Nature-based Solutions to Reduce Antibiotics, Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance in Aquatic Ecosystems (NATURE)



This project will assess nature-based solutions (NBS) as management option for water treatment on the catchmentscale.

Ongoing project

An array of NBS including conventional and high-end constructed wetlands, river re-naturalization, and restoration of wetlands will cover the continuum from urban sources to coastal biota in estuaries. We propose a comprehensive quantification of the fate of ABs, pathogens, and AMR in these systems together with ecotoxicological and human health assessments. NBS performance will be analyzed using multivariate modelling techniques to identify parameters with the greatest empirical influence on the attenuation of targeted pollutants.

The NATURE project will encompass three interconnected phases: An experimental phase in which the reduction of aquatic pollutants will be evaluated in NBS and compared with reference sites. In a data modelling phase, diagnostic indicators (indicative parameters from the first phase) will be identified for cost-effective future monitoring. In a risk assessment phase, the effect of aquatic pollutants on environment and human health will be evaluated, estimating its reduction due to NBS implementation. The unique combination of advanced approaches from analytical chemistry, molecular microbiology, modelling and ecotoxicology will be of paramount importance for an accurate evaluation of NBS treatment performance. NATURE’s key objective is to promote the sustainable and green attenuation of aquatic pollutants.

Project partners

  • Victor Matamoros, CSIC, Spain (Coordinator)
  • Sidy Ba, École Nationale d’Ingénieurs – Abderhamane Baba Touré (ENI-ABT), Mali
  • Pedro Carvalho, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Rene’ Kilian, Kilian Water Ltd., Denmark
  • Jochen Mueller, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany
  • Marisa Almeida, CIIMAR-Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Portugal