Clean energy transition

Reduction of GHG emissions

Project transfer

Intelligent management system




Water and energy are two of the most important resources of the 21st century. In particular, cities are a framework where this water-energy nexus is becoming critical due to demographic movements, economic growth and global change pressures. The current context of water scarcity and need for low carbon intensity solutions is making it a challenge to continue to deliver core urban water services without increasing the impact on the environment.

LIFE NEXUS propose a breakthrough by considering urban water networks as a source of renewable energy. The Project will show the potential of mini-hydropower systems to recover the untapped energy deriving from abundant pressure (water head) or kinetic energy (water flow) in existing European water networks.

LIFE NEXUS will be focus on Pump as Turbine (PaT), which is becoming the technological solution for micro-hydraulic projects (≤ 100 kW). A cutting-edge integration of a PaT machine together with electrical storage will be carried out to enhance the possibilities of the energy management. This innovative prototype will be installed at the entrance of the Porma Drinking Water Treatment Plant in León (Spain) and will cover the total energy demand of the installation, in addition to contributing to a significant reduction of water loss through leaks.

Despite the potential of hydropower units to produce “green electricity”, no systematic assessment has been done till the date in Europe. LIFE NEXUS will face this gap by cataloguing the potential energy recovery locations in European cities and will evaluate their technical and economic feasibility.

What if water treatment networks could become a source of renewable energy?

MWh/year generation of renewable electricity


Reduction of GHG emissions

t CO2 equiv/year savings of operation.


Reduction of water leakages

Replication studies

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Latest news

Fourth Coordination Meeting

The fourth Coordiantion Meeting of LIFE NEXUS was held on 22th April, 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting was telematics and was attended by the entire consortium together with the external monitor, Mrs. Cristina Vicente Álvarez, from IDOM-NEEMO. The main...

Third coordination meeting

On May 14, 2020, the third coordination meeting of the LIFE NEXUS Project took place. Due to the situation arising from Covid-19, the meeting was telematic and had the participation of CARTIF and the external monitor of the Project, Ms. Cristina Vicente Álvarez, from...

Second coordination meeting of LIFE NEXUS Project at CARTIF

The Second coordination meeting of LIFE NEXUS Project was held in CARTIF on 9th May, 2019. The meeting was attended by the entire consortium and external monitor of the Project, Mrs. Cristina Vicente Álvarez, from IDOM- NEEMO. The advances made in the two preparatory...
Kick off meeting

Kick of meeting

The LIFE NEXUS Kick of Meeting was held in Fundación CARTIF on Thursday 15th November 2018. This Project aims to promote the sustainability of the urban water cycle by demonstrating the use of small- hydropower plants to recover untapped energy in existing water...

León welcomes the LIFE NEXUS project, which will recover unused energy in the city’s water network

The León City Council and the company Aguas de León, members of the NEXUS project consortium, have presented to the capital of León this innovative initiative, coordinated by the CARTIF Technology Centre and financed by the European LIFE program, which aims to promote...