The “WATER-MED” Partnership
Waste as Assets for susTainable Eco-Resources & Metropolitan Economic Development
The Ashkelon Foundation was established in 1989 as a non-profit organization to provide an equitable solution for the urban development needs of the City of Ashkelon in the areas of community and social services, education, culture, and healthcare. It is registered in Israel (ILL – 580158533) as a non-profit organization and is located at Herzel Street 1254/123, Ashkelon, Israel.
The W-SMART Association was created at the aftermath of 9/11 under the leadership of the Commissioner of New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Since 2005 it is registered in France as a non-profit Association (legislation 1901) and involves private and public metropolitan water and wastewater utilities. Its goal is to create an international experience-sharing forum and promote collaboration among the member-utilities for upgrading their capabilities to ensure sustainable water safety and security with regard to terrorism, industrial and natural disasters.
Facing the challenges of climate change impact on the regional eco-resources and the growing water stress the two parties have mutually agreed (as per the MOU) on leveraging their expertise and resources to jointly establish a climate impact response partnership on Waste as Assets for susTainable Eco-Resources & Metropolitan Economic Development (WATER-MED) hereby named The WATER-MED Partnership.
Mission – The WATER-MED Partnership is jointly established by the parties in order to leverage the local governance experience of the Ashkelon Foundation in sustainable urban economic development and the international experience of water and wastewater management utilities, which are members of the W-SMART Association, in order to promote global and local stakeholders’ partnerships for:
- Public and Private investments in innovative solutions and new technologies for turning waste into resources for sustainable ecosystems and metropolitan economic development;
- Research, development, demonstration and early deployment support for integration of smart monitoring and control systems in wastewater treatment facilities to upgrade their energy use, performance and quality control for water reuse applications and energy recovery;
- Creating a worldwide Educational Center for local governments, urban utilities the financial sector, consumers and other stakeholders with an Intelligence based Waste Water Treatment Process (I-WWTP) demonstration site and learning center, for turning WWTP into a self-sustained profit making venture, offering sustainable water resources for agriculture and industry, and renewable energy resources;
- Promoting the development and demonstration of innovative solutions and smart control systems for minimizing GHG emission of the treatment process, facilitating and accelerating energy efficient treatment for compliance with industrial waste disposal regulations and turning organic waste into competitive products for industry and agricultural market demand;
- Engaging government-operator-consumer dialogue on global and local scales on the critical issues and emerging regulations on safe and secure water reuse for agricultural applications;
- Supporting consumers awareness initiatives and public education in all levels, including schools, universities and community at large, for safely turning waste into assets for sustainable ecosystems and urban economic development in water stress regions.
Governance – The WATER-MED Partnership is a non-profit organization, administratively operated in Israel by the Ashkelon Foundation, which is registered in Israel (ILL – 580158533) as a non-profit organization and is located at Herzel Street 1254/123, Ashkelon, Israel.
The Board of Governors of The WATER-MED Partnership, nominated for a renewable 5 year period, is chaired by the President, who is appointed by the Chair of the Ashkelon Foundation, and consists of three additional officers, including: an officer appointed by the Chair of the Foundation to serve as a Treasurer and two officers representing the W-SMART Association, who are appointed by the President of the W-SMART Association to serve as Vice President and Secretary General. The CEO of the W-SMART Association serves as the CEO of the WATER-MED Partnership and assumes the overall responsibility for program development and management.
For the first 5-year period, the Executive Management of the WATER-MED Partnership includes:
- President – Dr. Benny Vaknin, Former Mayor of the City of Ashkelon. (bio)
- CEO – Prof. Ilan Juran, CEO of the W-SMART Association. (bio)
- CTO – Mr. Erich Shaw. (bio)
Programs, Scope & Resources
The development of The WATER-MED Partnership will efficiently leverage the expertise of the two parties in pursuing resources and development of the programs though external sponsorships without encumbering the existing resources of the two parties. At this stage, the program development in Israel will be administratively operated by the Ashkelon Foundation.
SMART-WATER Project Abstract
The objective of this project is to develop and harness “intelligent” wastewater treatment processes as Integrated Systems-of-Systems (I-SOS) with artificial intelligence (AI) based control, machine learning algorithms, data-driven operation support systems and reuse-enabling technologies for tailored “fit to purpose” water reuse, energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies. The project includes research on technology development, pilot demonstration, and commercialization project applications with up to four wastewater utilities (two in Israel and two in the US). It is focused on integrating Smart Monitoring, Automation & Reuse-enabling Technologies for Wastewater Advanced Treatment with Energy Recovery and Renewables (“SMART-WATER”) in order to promote economic operations, service resilience and security for sustainable water and energy systems solutions (Figure 1). More specifically, the team will target water and wastewater utility and water recycling to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)-specific monitoring, data integration, processing, and AI-applications for process optimization, effluent quality control, and new grid/customer services. The water security objective will be approached in tandem with energy consumption optimization and identification of potential new revenue streams through grid services that may also enhance power grid reliability. In addition to reducing the financial burden associated with wastewater treatment, SMART-WATER will improve the sustainability, resilience, and security of infrastructure, thereby limiting the negative externalized impacts of human activities. Water and energy utility engagement, through the Industry Advisory board, will enable the selection and advancement of demonstration sites utilizing the I-SoS platform. In addition, the development of the I-SoS platform will inform utilities and markets in enabling new upgrades to economic, operational, environmental, societal and service quality impacts for increasingly integrated ‘fit for purpose’ water and energy recovery processes with efficient renewable energy systems.