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Energy and Ecosystems

02 Mar 12

Green Energy from Black Water

by Hamburg Wasser, Germany

HAMBURG WATER Cycle in the Settlement Jenfelder Au – Integration of the Infrastructure Services Water and Energy

The conversion of former military barracks into a new residential area of about 630 households, called Jenfelder Au, is one of the largest urban development projects in Hamburg at present. The urban design concept for the 35 ha area follows a high quality approach to develop a climate-neutral, attractive neighborhood for approx. 2,000 inhabitants abundant with green space and urban water.

The current urban wastewater disposal is energy and water intensive and does not allow a guaranteed return of nutrients to agriculture. HAMBURG WASSER, Hamburg’s water supply and wastewater utility, rethinks the way of wastewater management by implementing an integrated concept for decentralized wastewater treatment and energy production – the so-called HAMBURG WATER Cycle (C) – in this new residential area, based on source control of wastewater. Stormwater, greywater and blackwater are collected separately and then treated separately on-site. The realization of the HAMBURG WATER Cycle will be the hitherto largest demonstration of a resource oriented sanitation concept working with vacuum technology for the collection of concentrated black water.

Making use of synergies between wastewater management, waste management and energy production, the realization of the concept leads to a cutback of water consumption up to 75%. Moreover nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen can be returned to agriculture. The process generates electricity and energy for space heating, resulting in a low carbon quarter.

  • Kim Augustin, Department Manager Technology Development, Hamburg Wasser, Germany



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Green Energy from Black Water

by Hamburg Wasser, Germany

Further Reading

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There are strong reasons for a new approach to the issue of sustainable water management

19 Apr 12

On 13 April 2012 Germany officially submitted its application for Bonn to accommodate the headquarters of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Uschi Eid, Co-Chairs of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference, has recently been nominated as ambassadors to promote this application.

25 Sep 12

The “Greenius” - or Green Genius - competition is seeking innovative solutions to questions of food, water and energy sustainability such as “How to keep bills down for consumers and businesses?” or “How to better manage our energy, food and water resources?”

NEXUS in the Media

11 Nov 11

Farming First

The Water, Energy and Food nexus refers to the interlinked risks of water security, food security and energy security. With the current combined challenges of degraded ecosystems, a rapidly increasing demand for resources, climate change, growing urbanization and globalization, there is a threat that social-ecological systems at all levels will be driven across critical thresholds.

22 Nov 12


In the US and around the world, our food, water and energy systems are under tremendous strain (e.g. drought and its impact on all three) and are often in conflict with one another where they intersect - the nexus. Poor policy making and reckless management of resources are partly responsible, but so too are the everyday choices we make as consumers. - There are countless ways through which we as individuals can lessen our impact on the earth. While the range of options is long and can be daunting the oft-repeated good advice is to tackle a few actions at a time. But which ones?

17 Nov 11



  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
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