Technological Centre

Unidad Mixta de Investigación UMI AQUATIM - Aqualia + CETIM

AQUATIM, an alliance to make present the sustainable future, through a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle

AQUATIM Joint Research Unit is launched, which will seek to respond to great challenges and challenges to achieve a sustainable Future through the implementation of a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle.

AQUATIM is made up of CETIM Technological Centre, an expert in research and development of new water treatment technologies, and AQUALIA group, a leading company in the water sector.

With a total duration of 39 months, the project foresees an investment of more than 2 million euros.

In the current global context, the decarbonization of the economy, sustainable efficiency in the use of resources, adaptation and mitigation to climate change and the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity are presented as some of the main challenges of the 21st century, which we must address. Likewise, the use of new circular economy models and the implementation of digitization tools in a transversal manner within our society are key to advancing in obtaining solutions for these great challenges.

Faced with the need to respond to these challenges and challenges facing society, the AQUATIM Joint Research Unit (UMI, by its acronym in Spanish) emerged, with the aim of achieving a sustainable and decarbonised future, using the implementation of a circular water cycle as a fundamental tool. efficient, safe and resilient.

Arranca la Unidad Mixta de Investigación AQUATIM, que buscará dar respuesta a grandes desafíos y retos para lograr un Futuro sostenible mediante la implementación de un ciclo del agua circular, eficiente, seguro y resiliente.
La UMI AQUATIM está formada por el Centro Tecnológico CETIM, experto en investigación y desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías de tratamiento de agua, y grupo AQUALIA, compañía líder en el sector del agua.
Con una duración total de 39 meses, el proyecto tiene previsto una inversión de más de 2 millones de euros.

CETIM and AQUALIA, a key alliance for the Galician industry
The UMI AQUATIM is made up of three highly relevant entities in the field of research and the water sector: CETIM Technological Centre, specialized in research and development of water treatment technologies and processes, circular economy and digital systems, the company AQUALIA, European leader in comprehensive management of the water cycle, and the company TRAINASA, a subsidiary of AQUALIA specializing in industrial water treatment and with extensive knowledge of the context of wastewater in Galicia.

The alliance between CETIM and AQUALIA is key so that the developments of the project allow a projection and repercussion in the rest of the Galician industrial fabric. This alliance will be key not only for the water sector, but for its entire value chain and its driving effect on other sectors such as the automotive industry, the agri-food industry, fertilizers, etc.

AQUATIM, a sustainable future thanks to a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle
Water is a sector with a high economic impact worldwide and, specifically, in Galicia, where many highly relevant companies in sectors such as agri-food and beverages, the production of cellulose pulp, energy production, etc. , depend directly on the availability and quality of it. Currently, the low flow of rivers and reservoirs due to water deficit is causing many of these companies to be forced to stop or reduce their usual production.

With the aim of alleviating this problem and achieving a sustainable and decarbonized future, using the implementation of a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle as a fundamental tool, the members of the UMI will study and implement new technologies throughout the entire water cycle, through innovation, the development of new circular economy models and digitization to obtain new sources of green energy, new natural resources and their efficient use. In addition, the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, the development of new digital technologies and the introduction of improvement actions to ensure the quality of water bodies are included.

To carry out these objectives, the UMI AQUATIM proposes six lines of research: 1) Obtaining green hydrogen from water as a key element towards decarbonization, 2) Nature-based solutions (NbS) and sustainable urban drainage systems ( SUDS) for the efficient management of the water cycle and adaptation to climate change, 3) Circular economy of water for a sustainable efficiency of resources, 4) Quality of water masses guaranteeing their safe use and the protection of ecosystems, 5) Digitization of the integral water cycle, 6) Integration and validation of technologies.

Thus, the actions carried out in AQUATIM push the water sector in Galicia and Spain towards a new reality where the WWTPs become biofactories for the production of resources (energy, agricultural, or industrial); sustainable production (through efficient technologies and nature-based solutions) and traceable (through the deployment of sensor and blockchain solutions). Likewise, the UMI AQUATIM will also facilitate the ecological transition of Galicia, through the reduction of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and support for innovation in the industrial field.

In this sense, the UMI will put water at the Centre of the board and will cause a tractor effect on other sectors thanks to its developments. On the one hand, the quantity and quality of water available for industry will be increased and, on the other hand, the use of waste from the sewage treatment plants themselves and from other sectors will make it possible to obtain high value-added products such as biofertilizers or renewable energies, thus avoiding dependency on third parties.

AQUATIM’s impact on society
CETIM, AQUALIA and TRAINASA will push society and industry towards a sustainable future through a circular, efficient, safe and resilient water cycle. To do this, the UMI will promote the use of clean energy, the circular economy, fair industrial transition, sustainable mobility and respect for the environment in the complete water cycle.

AQUATIM is an intrinsically sustainable alliance: it works to achieve a better future, powered by renewable energies, sustainable mobility and where the circular economy and respect for the environment will be cornerstones of our economy. For its partners, it is an alliance that will have a real impact on society. It will go beyond laboratory research work to also make semi-industrial-scale prototypes and real environments, which will lay the foundations for its real implementation in municipal and industrial treatment plants.

In this sense, the UMI will contribute significantly to the modernization of the water sector and the improvement of environmental sustainability, through the improvement of the efficiency in the management of resources, in energy and cost improvement. This will lead to substantial improvements in the quality of life of citizens: it will improve the quality of water masses, it will improve the management of the water cycle, and it will create new tools for mitigating climate change.

AQUATIM will help guarantee quality water for the supply of agricultural, industrial and urban activity in Galicia in future decades.

The actions carried out by the Joint Research Unit “AQUATIM” are subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency within the framework of the 2022 call for the Mixed Research Units Program (File: IN853A2022/05).