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watering plants
Photo: Lumin Osity


The Unity4Water research project is an initiative between Mälardalen University (MDU), RISE and up to 30 partners in industry and food production. The project aims to revolutionize the reuse of wastewater and process water to use it as a resource in food production.

Despite major international shortages, drinking water is still used to irrigate crops and for various industrial processes today. This is neither sustainable nor efficient. Therefore, a new pioneering research project is being launched at MDU, with the aim of creating efficient methods to convert industrial process water and wastewater into a valuable resource for crop irrigation.

Unity4Water combines the latest technology with social science. A research and demonstration facility will be built where recycled industrial process water - and wastewater - is used to grow vegetables. This approach both saves water and recycles nutrients, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers. To monitor the water and optimize crop growth, advanced technologies such as optical sensors, electronic noses, dynamic light, carbon capture technology, AI and machine learning will be used. The researchers also plan to use mini-drones equipped with multispectral cameras to measure plant health.

The project is interdisciplinary and brings together 29 partners. Researchers from MDU, RISE, Mitt University, Lund University, Biotech Heights and Chalmers Industriteknik have joined forces with representatives from several companies and industries, including TetraPak, Siemens, Mälarenergi, Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö, ICA Maxi, Swegreen and DirectCarbon.

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Project name

Unity4Water - pioneering water project




Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project

Project partner

Project start


Three years

Total budget

31 million SEK


Mälardalens university, Mittuniversitetet, Lunds university, Biotech Heights, Chalmers industriteknik


Vinnova, TetraPak, Siemens, Mälarenergi, Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö, ICA Maxi, Swegreen , DirectCarbon, M.fl.


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

6. Clean water and sanitation
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
Malin Rosqvist

Contact person

Malin Rosqvist


+46 10 228 44 05

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