H2OLOCK: A beacon of progress at a European circular water management congress

The advancements made in the European H2OLOCK project have sparked significant interest among participants at the “EU CAP Network Workshop on Circular Water Management“, an international congress recently convened in Seville to discuss cutting-edge practices in circular water management. PhD Alejandro Pérez’s poster presentation led to approximately 45 minutes of in-depth questions by attendees keen to learn more about this pioneering proposal.

Alejandro Pérez.

The conference united a diverse array of participants from the innovation ecosystem, fostering an exchange of strategies and practices for the sustainability and preservation of water resources. Within this framework, Mr Pérez, the H2OLOCK project manager and a member of the consortium’s Steering Committee, spoke about the project’s main advancements at its midpoint of development. He also mentioned the implementation of a system comprising floating modules designed to effectively cover agricultural water reservoirs.

CTC

This protective coating, combined with cutting-edge sectoring and mooring strategies for enhanced stability, along with the introduction of a monitoring system employing artificial intelligence techniques, stands at the forefront of the project’s innovations.

Achieving its objectives, H2OLOCK is poised to offer between 80-85% efficiency in controlling water evaporation, eliminate algae growth without resorting to algaecides and produce renewable energy for irrigation in medium to large agricultural reservoirs, thereby reducing CO2 emissions from irrigation practices by 77%.

H2OLOCKThe CTC’s European project manager outlined the primary challenges faced by the consortium in this initiative. Key among these is the need to refine the monitoring of the demonstrator in Spain and Portugal to allow for the verification of the efficiency of the cover under adverse conditions—a critical milestone that must be achieved before the project’s conclusion on 31 May 2025. Additionally, the AI models CTC is currently developing for remote imaging of the covered ponds must be finalised to monitor this efficiency effectively.

Mr Alejandro Pérez’s presentation, culminating in a forward look at the initiative’s forthcoming phases, sparked widespread discussions with various stakeholders. Engagement ranged from farmers, cooperatives and water management associations to SMEs, researchers, and project managers, underscoring the project’s potential to address a significant challenge within the agricultural sector.

Life H2OLOCK, supported by a budget of 1.8 million euros, boasts a consortium that includes Arana, the Lorca Irrigation Community (Comunidad de Regantes de Lorca, CRL), Avipe, the Portuguese Farmers’ Association, Arada, Global Factor International and the CTC Technology Centre.