Case

Nye – a new sustainable and water-wise suburb in Denmark that meets half of the SDG’s

Aarhus Vand

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Nye is a new suburb near the city of Aarhus where rainwater has been considered as a resource and not as a problem right from the start of the development.

Nye is a new suburb near the city of Aarhus where rainwater has been considered as a resource and not as a problem right from the start of the development.

Globally people are moving towards cities. One example of this is Aarhus. Denmark’s second largest city is growing and need new residential areas. The city had a vision to create a new, water-wise, urban district, where citizens can effortlessly live sustainably. Blue/green structures promote liveability and biodiversity in this new suburb named Nye, which is developed to manage anticipated challenges brought upon by climate change.

For instance, rainwater is harvested and cleaned locally for re-use by households. All resources for this are provided by the private developer Tækker Group and the local water utility Aarhus Vand in close cooperation with Aarhus municipality. This is key to the implementation of a successful project. Implementing the vision of a sustainable city contributes directly to fulfil the SDG’s goal 6, 9, 11 and 13 and indirectly to SDG goal 3, 7, 12 and 15.

Sustainable and holistic water management

Within the urban development project for the city of Nye, the focus is on establishing a city with sustainable and holistic water management. Integration of nature and water, protection of streams and groundwater, as well as safeguarding against extreme rains are therefore key elements of the city’s visionary planning and realization. Long term, the city will have approximately 15,000 inhabitants and right now 650 homes are under construction. The first residents moved in during the summer of 2018.

Throughout the city development project, rainwater has been treated as a valuable resource and as the starting point for holistic water management within the city. With the implementation of phase one, Denmark’s first central secondary water solution has been established.

The central secondary water solution is established as a full-scale pilot project. The production and distribution of secondary water is established and operated by Aarhus Vand.

Rainwater as the city’s primary source

The entire city’s rain and drainage waters are the source for secondary water production. Rainwater from roofs, roads and open areas is collected in trenches, running through ponds, before being collected in a central lake, while a well at the local treatment plant collects the drainage water from the entire area. Rainwater from the lakes is the primary source, and drainage water is used only during periods with insufficient rainwater.

Nye water transportation system

The treatment plant uses the “raw water” from the lake, where it is purified to a quality acceptable for its intended use through a three-step treatment process before being distributed to the area’s homes in a separate pipe network; the first place in Denmark to do so.

Illustration of the three-step purification process

Inside, the homes use the treated water for toilet flushing and laundry. This saves approximately 40% of the drinking water, and thus the limited groundwater resource. Furthermore, the consumption of washing powder and other cleaning agents is reduced since the water quality is softer than the drinking water.

Open for visitors in 2021

If you are a delegate to IWA 2021 in Copenhagen we would be delighted to invite you to visit Nye and explore all the different solutions that have been implemented.

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Aarhus Vand
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Mariann Brun
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