OFF-SOURCE COST ACTION WORKSHOP Unlocking Offshore Freshened Groundwater: Innovations for Water Security and Sustainability
Water scarcity and deteriorating water quality present pressing challenges that require innovative solutions. Our working group within the OFF-SOURCE Cost Action is tasked with identifying potential applications for Offshore Freshened Groundwater (OFG) systems and bridge the technological and economic feasibility gaps. This workshop will explore the key considerations including the relationship between water demand and OFG feasibility, implementing desalination technologies, and leveraging insights from the hydrocarbon industry for water applications. During each session, we will engage in discussions with relevant experts, and identify concrete steps needed to realize the resource potential of OFG.
- Gather insights from organisations involved in water, hydrocarbon exploration, offshore engineering, and water treatment and management to discuss the feasibility of OFG;
- Propose a range of cost-effective infrastructure solutions for OFG exploitation;
- Define the scope of Short Term Scientific Missions to target specific technological gaps;
- Prepare a white paper and news media article to disseminate the outcomes of the workshop.
SESSION 1 – ASSESSING WATER DEMAND AND OFG FEASIBILITY
- Understanding the demand and quality of water for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use;
- Evaluating the feasibility of OFG systems, considering minimum required volume, salinity distribution, and the impact of water stress.
SESSION 2 SOLUTIONS FOR VARIABLE RAW WATER QUALITY
- Addressing the challenges of variable raw water quality through innovative solutions;
- Conducting comprehensive cost evaluations, including infrastructure, maintenance, desalination costs, brine treatment, disposal, and regional considerations.
SESSION 3 LEVERAGING HYDROCARBON EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGY
- Summarizing hydrocarbon exploration technologies applicable at varying depths and their transferability to water applications.
SESSION 4 BRAINSTORMING AND COLLABORATION
- Engaging in a creative brainstorming session to generate new goals, incentives, and potential areas of collaboration with organizations and companies;
- Discussing strategies to attract more experts and stakeholders to participate in WG3 and the COST Action.
After the launch of the Action in September 2022, the first in-person Management Committee meeting happened in Valletta, Malta on 1 March 2023.
The aims of this meeting were to develop and implement an effective dissemination campaign, encourage communication and collaboration between researchers, professionals, and stakeholders responsible for water resource management in different geographic regions, promote exchange of ideas, capabilities, and experiences on the latest developments in offshore freshened groundwater research identifying current needs and future directions, involve Young Researchers and Innovators and research teams from across Europe and beyond, and encourage interdisciplinary knowledge exchange between academia, industry, policy makers and regulators.
The first Working Group (WG) Workshop happened on 2 March 2023 in the same venue. The aim of the workshop was to develop a workplan to compile a database on information on offshore freshened groundwater bodies in waters of COST Member countries, as well as available geological and geophysical data from their margins, and to generate geological models of selected margins from COST Member countries, and run hydrogeological simulations to predict the occurrence, salinity, and volume of offshore freshened groundwater.