Everyone in Flanders towards circular and water-neutral water use
Flemish households collect and treat rainwater themselves
Flanders has a high level of water stress and several policies have recently been put forward to provide solutions. We have more than enough precipitation, only we are handling it irresponsibly. It is becoming crucial to use captured rainwater for more purposes than flushing toilets and watering gardens.
With this project, KasEco+ is further pushing for better and circular water use in housing groups. We want to optimise the use of collected rainwater and put it to maximum use in the household. Moreover, we want to purify the water again after use, so that it is ready for reuse (closed cycle) or for clean disposal.
We already apply this system in our autonomous bio-ecological greenhouse. Through this project, we want to further disseminate our water system through workshops, webinars and a number of demos in different types of houses.
The aim is to develop and install an affordable system in as many homes and buildings as possible, so that our natural water supply is maintained.
'Lead by example' is an important first step: proving that autonomous functioning on rainwater alone is possible. This has happened, because for more than four years our greenhouse residence has been completely independent from the public city grid for drinking water.
We did a water analysis of our plant, with positive results. The rainwater has high pH and low hardness, but is perfectly usable for the desired purposes. So no adjustments to the treatment plant are needed.
We have invested heavily in spreading knowledge through workshops. Because of the corona pandemic, we successfully switched to webinars. We also held these in French to increase our range.
We installed our system in seven demo houses. A fully autonomous system does not yet comply with current legislation. Still, it allowed us to show the different possibilities, highlight water quality and explain all aspects of the legislation.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
We wanted to create a modular prefabricated element to maximise rainwater use even in small facilities or in locations with little space. However, that solution proved more expensive than an on-site version.
The corona pandemic forced us to make a digital shift. This allowed us to look beyond Flanders, because the greater the awareness, the faster the turnaround. For instance, we now want to start a digital learning platform and convert our webinars into training linked to a revenue model.
Besides the difficulties of fitting within the legislation, we experience a certain reluctance from the Water Group. If more rainwater is used and reused locally, the offtake of city water will decrease, which means lower revenues for the Water Group.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
It is our intention to further develop our learning platform and become the reference for all information around ecological and circular building, housing and living. We want to focus strongly on understandable language so that the public without a construction background can learn how to make their own living environment more climate-robust.
We are currently negotiating with other experts to also share their knowledge through our platform. We also want to involve producers of various ecological products and materials in the project, who will in turn attract other producers ... so that the platform grows organically.
Subsequently, we would like to offer training for professionals. The intention is to use the learning platform to build a community where everyone can share their questions or experiences.