Within the SUPERLOCAL project in Kerkrade, four organisations collaborate to close the water cycle in this circular neighbourhood of the future. In order to promote the project, a fifth partner has been included which is operating a small-scale replication project in Flanders, Belgium.
Kerkrade is a municipality in the south east of the Netherlands with approx. 45.000 inhabitants. Within the water cycle part of SUPERLOCAL, the Municipality of Kerkrade is responsible for public space and the drainage of rain- and waste water. New for the municipality is the separation of waste streams – grey and black water – including a vacuum sewage system. Within the municipality of Kerkrade, the Department of Urban Development facilitates collaboration and coordination with housing associations and safeguards aspects such as social wellbeing.
HEEMwonen is a social housing organisation in the south of the Netherlands and is also active in (re)development. HEEMwonen is the main developer and owner of the real estate within SUPERLOCAL. The organisation is responsible for the in-house water technologies and communication with residents. HEEMwonen has previously worked on sustainable energy solutions in close collaboration with residents, although coordinating innovative water technology with its users is a novel experience for the organisation.
WML (Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg) is the drinking water utility in the Province of Limburg. Next to being the project lead of the SUPERLOCAL water cycle, WML is responsible for production and supply of drinking water within the project. Ordinarily, WML produces drinking water out of ground- and surface water. For the utility, the challenge of using municipal harvested rainwater as a source holds many opportunities surrounding water conservation and climate resilience.
Diederik van Duuren
WBL (Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg) is the Provincial wastewater utility that cleans wastewater and dries residues such as sludge from homes and businesses in Limburg. Within the water cycle of SUPERLOCAL, WBL is responsible for the treatment of grey and black wastewater and the valorisation of valuable by-products. In this process, energy, nutrients, re-usable water and other resources are reclaimed from wastewater. Experiments will be performed to test and further develop possibilities in reclamation and application of valuable products (such as fertilizers) extracted from wastewater.
Ad de Man
De Watergroep is the largest Belgian drinking water utility. The company currently runs a small-scale replication project in Harelbeke, Belgium. Here, a single detached farm is developed in line with the SUPERLOCAL philosophy. De Watergroep faces several cases in their service area in which their centralised system is not able to deliver drinking water. The production of drinking water from local sources such as rainwater and groundwater provides a sustainable solution to this issue. The differences in scale between SUPERLOCAL and the replication project provide valuable lessons in terms of scaling and replicability beyond the scope of both experiments.
Evelyn de Meyer
Both the water cycle and the SUPERLOCAL project in general have been granted funding from European and regional authorities. This online platform is funded by the LIFE funded project LIFE Local Water Adapt.
The LIFE programme is the EU funding programme for the development and implementation of the European nature- and environmental policy. The LIFE programme is divided in two sub-programmes, one for environment (representing 75% of the overall financial envelope) and one for climate change (representing 25% of the envelope).
In October 2018, a LIFE grant of 2.5 million euros was awarded to the water cycle component of SUPERLOCAL. In this part of the SUPERLOCAL project, under the name LIFE Local Water Adapt, four Dutch partners work closely together: HEEMwonen, municipality Kerkrade, Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg (WBL) and Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML).
The main objectives of the project are to prevent:
1. Water stress (scarcity) at the time of extreme drought.
2. Waterlogging during extreme rainfall.
Since the international sharing of knowledge and collaborative learning is an important spearhead of the project, the Flemish Watergroep also participates as a fifth partner, including a small-scale replication project in West Flanders. The objective of LIFE Local Water Adapt is to demonstrate an innovative approach to local water management as an effective urban adaptation strategy.
The project location in Limburg – Bleijerheide in Kerkrade, has geographical features that are common in large parts of Europe and is ideal to demonstrate the effectiveness and flexibility of CAWM. A replication project is being developed in Harelbeke, Belgium. The project will contribute to a range of European policies, including the EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the Flood Directive, the Water Framework Directive and the Drinking Water Directive.
The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is the EU subsidy programme for the promotion of sustainable urban development. The main objective of UIA is to provide urban areas throughout Europe with the means to test innovative solutions to urban issues. Examples are poverty, integration of migrants and refugees and a circular economy.
For the total SUPERLOCAL project, including the water cycle, a UIA grant of 4.7 million euros was received in November 2017. Twelve partners collaborated closely in the grant application: HEEMwonen, Municipality of Kerkrade, IBA Parkstad, City region Parkstad Limburg, Dusseldorp Infra, Sloop en Milieutechniek BV, Bouwbedrijven Jongen (Royal VolkerWessels company), Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML), Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg (WBL), Municipality of Brunssum, Municipality of Landgraaf, Zuyd Hogeschool and branch association VERAS. The during the project collectively gained knowledge is publicly available, so that newly developed methods can be applied to other (international) projects.
In 2012, the first high-rise (situated at the Voorterstraat) was demolished. The housing cooperation noticed that during these and other demolition works within the city of Kerkrade, many environmental qualities were lost in the process. Not only the building itself is lost during demolition: The memories concerning life in- and around the buildings also fade. This fact set in motion the idea of SUPERLOCAL. This is how the idea for Superlocal was born.
Designing SUPERLOCAL Watercycle
With the aim of researching the possibilities regarding building with reclaimed material from the demolition site, the Expo Pavillion was built. The building is comprised of the key element of a regular dwelling, which marks it as a testing site for the future development of the area.
Three circular test dwellings are realised on site with the aim of testing the feasibility of constructing houses consisting of at least 90% reclaimed material from the demolition site. Newly added materials are fully “bio-based” (vegetal). The dwellings adhere to current living standards. Funding was partly obtained from the European Fund for Regional Development within the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative. The reclaimed building material was collected by demolition contractor Dusseldorp. Further processing was done by the construction company: Bouwbedrijven Jongen BV.