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TRansitions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow (TRUST) is an integrated research project funded by the European Union. Over the course of four years and driven by the need of transformation and the wish to protect natural resources, 30 partners in eleven different countries researched innovations and tools to create a more sustainable water future. The results are being implemented and tested in nine participating different pilot cities or regions, grouped in green cities, water scarcity regions and urban/peri-urban metropolitan areas. All the information and products resulting from the project are presented and organized in this website under 9 basic steps.

The central objective of the European project TRUST is to deliver co-produced knowledge to support Transitions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow, enabling communities to achieve a sustainable, low-carbon water future without compromising service quality. We aim to deliver this ambition through research driven innovations in governance, modelling concepts, technologies, decision support tools, and novel approaches to integrated water, energy, and infrastructure asset management. TRUST intend to demonstrate and legitimize these innovations by the implementation of the most promising interventions in the urban water system of the nine different participating city pilot regions.

The project is organized under 8 different Working Areas (WA):

WA1 – Diagnosis and vision: Where an initial assessment of the urban water situation in Europe is performed, going also beyond the TRUST pilot regions. It aims to suggest a solution-oriented planning approach with four key questions: Where are utilities now? Where do they want to be? How might the utilities get there? How does it ensure success?

WA2 – Policy, financing and society: Support the development and assessment of adaptive potential in the governance and socio-economic regimes which shape urban water provision. Existing physical and institutional infrastructures are, by their very nature, conservative and resist change. A step change is urgently required in the capacity of the water sector to respond to contemporary challenges, one which requires a deeper understanding of how innovative solutions are generated, evaluated and embedded in existing systems. Work Area 2 aims to deliver innovations to drive this step change through a targeted and scientifically authoritative programme of research, knowledge brokering and intervention.

WA3 – Analysis tools: The objectives of this Work Area are to develop, according to state-of-the-art systems analysis approaches, tools for metabolism analysis and systems performance evaluation of the urban water cycle services (UWCS). This is done by taking into account the economic, social and environmental boundary conditions of the urban water systems, and examining in detail the technical functions of the water services, including the physical assets, key activities and technologies of each subsystem of the urban water service system. This forms the basis for quantifying resource consumption inputs, waste and emission outputs, and risk issues, in order to document the present and possible future overall system sustainability performance (economic, environmental, safety).

WA4 – Technologies & operational options: The main objective of Work Area 4 is to develop technologies and management options to enhance urban water systems by providing new tools, methods and models for the planning, implementation and operation of enhanced urban water systems. The investigated intervention options will cover the entire urban water cycle from water supply via water use to wastewater disposal and water reuse. The work area will have a strong focus on the needs of the pilot/case study cities and the end-users involved in the project. The work area will generate results applicable in the pilot cities to enable the desired transitions in urban water systems being also relevant for many other application areas in Europe and worldwide.

WA5 – Future water policies & integrated tools: The objective of Work Area 5 is to develop general-use integrated approaches and planning support tools aimed at the transition from current status to the desired sustainable urban water cycle services of tomorrow. The integrated approaches, developed both at the regional/national level and at the utility level, will seek a balanced long-term asset management view between performance, risk and cost, and will take into account social and political acceptance. The life cycle assessment paradigm will be incorporated whenever appropriate and feasible. The proposed development work aims at empowering policy makers and water utilities.

WA6 – Implementation and demonstration: The objective of Work Area 6 is to promote the implementation of the outcomes of TRUST at a European level through validation and demonstration in pilot cities and regions. The participating cities/regions are considered as pioneering and very determined to radically change their existing water cycle systems and their associated governance and financial models to more sustainable systems. They also cover the broad spectrum of frameworks in which cities throughout Europe are operating (urbanisation, water scarcity, climate change and energy, transient populations).

WA7 – Dissemination and knowledge transfer: A high profile, a catalysing impact, and an enduring legacy are the hallmarks of a successful Framework project. We intend that the knowledge, tools and technologies generated through TRUST be available to a wide range of professional and lay communities. To promote a durable influence we have adopted a set of innovative approaches to knowledge dissemination & utilisation which consortium members are well placed to exploit. Meeting the challenge of translating scientific understanding and knowledge into action and desirable change will require engagement and commitment from all stakeholders.

WA8 – Management: The objective of this Work Area is to co-ordinate and to manage the progress of the project, in order to ensure that the objectives will be met. This includes the coordination of activities among the Work Areas and Work Packages, facilitation of the internal communication, organisation of meetings, guidance of the decision-making processes, reporting to the European Commission, monitoring of progress, quality control of the project deliverables, and re-adjustment of the work if necessary.