On Tuesday 22 November 2022, a live online co-creation workshop was held with stakeholders interested in the Project Ô demosite and technologies installed in Eilat, Israel. The agenda included an overview of Project Ô and a group discussion to unearth perspectives on water sustainability concerns and hopes. Project Ô technologies have been installed at the National Center for Mariculture (part of Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research).
Fish farming systems are the fastest growing food production sector in the world, providing 47% of global fish supplies. Traditionally, the water used in fish farming tanks is treated to convert harmful waste from fish into less toxic elements, called nitrates. Yet, these nitrates and other pollutants that remain in the water are typically released into lakes and oceans, where they can cause excessive algae and plant growth, overwhelming water-based ecosystems and harming wildlife. This is why new global environmental regulations require these nitrates to be removed from fish farming systems.
Project Ô has developed the SALTECH module as a simple to operate and cost-effective nitrate removal process for land-based mariculture. It removes nitrates, other pollutants and excess salts from the water, which enables it to be sustainably reused in fish tanks or to water plants. These technologies also allow for valuable nutrients to be recovered from the wastewater, which can then be used as fish food or processed further to be used as biofuel or green fertilisers. This process also maintains a stable water temperature, which is very important to improve the management of disease control. This allows the fish to grow bigger and healthier.
Watch this video about the water treatment module installed in Eilat, Israel:
The group discussion portion of the workshop asked stakeholders to consider topics in-depth, including impacts on local water chains and the environment, reuse of water and other mariculture byproducts, communication strategies to engage with the public and raise awareness, and benefits of engaging with Project Ô technologies.
The final stage of the event was a co-creation activity in which participants were asked to create and share a news story about either the future of water sustainability in their local areas or Project Ô innovations at the demonstration site. The participants decided to write a press article about how Project Ô innovations create opportunities for improving sustainability and the environmental footprint at the demosite in Eilat. They also included ideas for potential future projects for the reuse of resources, such as sludge and seaweed.
PROJECT Ô TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
Project Ô technologies have created new opportunities at the National Center for Mariculture in Eilat, Israel.
By using Project Ô technologies, a variety of fish species can be cultivated. Currently carnivorous fish, such as seabream, are cultivated, but these have a higher environmental impact than herbivorous or omnivorous fish species. Because of the variety of technologies, new ways of treating water are possible, which can allow for the cultivation of multiple fish species, with different levels of salinity requirements.
Furthermore, because fish farming takes place on land, away from the ocean, there is a lower environmental impact because transport and shipping distances are reduced.
The National Center for Mariculture is satisfied with what has been achieved in terms of circular water economy solutions. According to site representatives, there is a 80% recovery rate of water and Project Ô technologies are ready to be implemented in a scaled pilot system. The systems are also considered energy efficient because solar energy is being used.
Future opportunities for reuse include recovering materials from sludge, using seaweed more widely, such as in the textile, cosmetics and bioplastics sectors.
Read more about Project Ô’s activities in Israel here.