The new project Trees4Water started in February 2023 with the goal to identify areas where introducing forests are cost-effective measures to reduce the costs of water treatment for companies. The project is coordinated by the University of Minho, Portugal with the Center for Ocean and Society (CeOS) at Kiel University. It is embedded in the Marine and Coastal Resource Economy working group, led by Prof. Marie-Catherine Riekhof.
CeOS co-leads the project and will implement a cost-benefit analysis to assess whether tree-based solutions (i.e. forests) are viable for water companies. Trees4Water will align bio-physical analysis with socio-economics, integrating existing modelling information, and co-design scenarios with local stakeholders from water companies, to apply a cost-benefit analysis to support the implementation of tree-based solutions for water quality improvement.
The team includes not only scientists spanning from different disciplines (hydrology, ecology, and economics) but also local stakeholders representing water treatment companies, e.g. Águas do Norte. The first kick-off meeting was highly successful at engaging local stakeholders and getting preliminary insights into which areas and specific challenges they face, in terms of ensuring water quality for water supply.
Ana F. Lopes