EU LIFE | Freshman

Puttenveld Freshman project Dunea

The project Freshman (Freshwater Management in Coastal Zones), a partnership between Dunea and its research partners KWR, Allied Waters, De Watergroep and Aquaduin, has been honoured by the European LIFE grant programme with a grant contract worth over €3 million. 

Aim of the project

This project investigates brackish groundwater extraction and purification in order to realise more sources of drinking water, a long-term need. It also creates more space for the storage of fresh water in the dunes.

Pilot progress

The project started in 2020 in the dunes near Scheveningen and, in the meantime, the well field and the treatment plant have been constructed and all the necessary permits have been obtained. In January 2022, the research phase will start, provided that the results of the five trial extractions are in line with expectations and the permit application. The research will be repeated at the Avekapelle site in Flanders.

Explanation of process:

Extraction of deep fresh groundwater (1) leads to the attraction of brackish groundwater. This causes the deep extraction to salinise and it has to be taken out of production. By simultaneously extracting brackish groundwater (2), the boundary between the fresh and brackish water is pulled down and the deep freshwater extraction can remain in production. The pumped-up fresh water is purified into drinking water (3) and the brackish water is purified into fresh water with reverse osmosis (RO) (4). The produced fresh water is added to the final purification (blue arrows) and the concentrate (residual flow) from the RO is discharged (red arrows). This creates a much more robust groundwater extraction process that also uses an additional source of drinking water.


A video about the construction of the pilot plant and an explanation of its operation can be found on the Dunea website, but also here.



  • Dunea


  • KWR
  • De Watergroep
  • Allied Waters
  • Aquaduin


  • LIFE

Grant amount

  • €3.078.123

Website with more information


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