Trinity professors lead €2.9m project to take stress out of water networks

A​ ​new​ ​project​ ​which​ ​has​ ​received​ ​€2.9​ million in​ ​funding​ ​from​ ​the​ ​European Union (EU) ​will​ ​be lead ​by​ ​Trinity engineering​ ​and​ ​business​ ​professors.

​Reducing​ ​the​ ​Energy​ ​Dependency​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Atlantic​ ​area​ ​Water​ ​Networks (REDAWN) aims to lessen the​ ​burden​ ​on​ ​stressed​ ​water​ ​networks​ ​and​ ​reduce​ ​associated​ ​negative impacts​ ​on​ ​the​ ​environment.​ ​The​ ​project​ ​also​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​reduce operational​ ​costs​ ​for companies​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​down​ ​water​ ​bills​ ​for​ ​the​ ​public.

With the water​ ​services​ ​industry​ ​being the fourth-most​ ​energy intensive​ ​sector​ ​in​ ​the​ ​EU,​ ​REDAWN​ ​is aiming to develop​ ​both​ ​the​ ​technology​ ​and​ ​policy​​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​the​ ​energy​ ​efficiency​ ​of​ ​water​ ​suppliers​ ​in​ ​European water​ ​networks.

The​ ​REDAWN​ ​project​ ​also​ ​aims​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​an​ ​adequate​ ​environment​ ​from​ ​institutional, social​ ​and​ ​technological​ ​standpoints​ ​to​ ​promote​ ​greater​ ​resource​ ​efficiency​ ​in​ ​all​ ​water networks.​ ​These​ ​include​ ​irrigation,​ ​public​ ​water​ ​supply,​ ​waste​ ​and​ ​storm​ ​water.​ ​Many countries​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Atlantic​ ​area​ ​will​ ​also​ ​see​ ​REDAWN​ ​adopt​ ​next-gen​ ​micro-hydropower energy​ ​recovery​ ​technology​ ​in​ ​their​ ​water​ ​networks​ ​including​ ​Ireland,​ ​the​ ​UK,​ ​France​ ​and Spain.

Associate​ ​Professor​ ​in​ ​Energy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Environment​ ​in​ ​the​ ​School​ ​of​ ​Engineering​ ​at​ ​Trinity, Dr​. ​Aonghus​ ​McNabola​ ​will​ ​be​ ​the​ ​technical​ ​lead​ ​of​ ​this​ ​multidisciplinary​ ​project.​ ​

Dr. McNabola​ ​believes​ ​REDAWN​ ​will​ ​play​ ​a​ ​crucial​ ​role​ ​in​ ​environmental​ ​protection​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as strengthening​ ​European​ ​economic​ ​competitiveness.​ ​“The​ ​water​ ​industry​ ​in​ ​Europe contributes​ ​significantly​ ​to​ ​energy​ ​consumption​ ​and​ ​CO2​ ​emissions,​ ​which​ ​in​ ​turn​ ​impact negatively​ ​on​ ​the​ ​environment​ ​and​ ​the​ ​economy.​ ​European​ ​business​ ​competitiveness​ ​is impacted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​operational​ ​costs​ ​of​ ​water​ ​services…The​ ​REDAWN​ ​project​ ​will​ ​make significant​ ​advances​ ​in​ ​improving​ ​energy​ ​efficiency​ ​in​ ​this​ ​sector​ ​and​ ​it​ ​will​ ​have​ ​positive environmental​ ​and​ ​economic​ ​impacts”.

Dr.​ ​McNabola​ ​will​ ​be​ ​assisted​ ​by​ ​Professor​ ​in​ ​Operations​ ​Management​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Trinity Business​ ​School,​ ​Paul​ ​Coughlan,​ ​and​ ​Assistant​ ​Professor,​ ​John​ ​Gallagher​ ​from​ ​the​ ​School​ ​of Engineering.​ ​

Prof. Coughlan​ ​stressed​ ​the​ ​important​ ​role​ ​REDAWN​ ​will​ ​play​ ​in integrating​ ​many​ ​experts​ ​from​ ​varying​ ​fields​ ​to​ ​realise​ ​the​ ​project’s​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​maximising energy​ ​efficiency.​ ​“REDAWN​ ​is​ ​set​ ​up​ ​to​ ​enable​ ​the​ ​engineering,​ ​environmental​ ​science​ ​and business​ ​researchers​ ​to​ ​interact​ ​directly​ ​with​ ​practitioners​ ​from​ ​European​ ​industry. Together,​ ​these​ ​partners​ ​are​ ​committed​ ​to​ ​bringing​ ​their​ ​established​ ​expertise​ ​to​ ​the​ ​table and​ ​open​ ​to​ ​learning​ ​with,​ ​through​ ​and​ ​from​ ​each​ ​other”.

REDAWN​ ​will​ ​run​ ​for​ ​three​ ​years with​ ​support​ ​from​ ​the​ ​EU’s​ ​Atlantic​ ​Area​ ​co-operation​ ​programme​ ​2014-2020.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.