New EU project "SafeCREW" launched

Scientific expertise on safeguarding drinking water supply systems under climate change conditions


The SafeCREW research project kick off meeting in Hamburg. Photo: private. 
The SafeCREW research project kick off meeting in Hamburg. Photo: private. 

The safe and affordable supply of drinking water in the EU under the pressure of climate change is a key priority. The European joint project SafeCREW, led by the DVGW Research Centre at Hamburg University of Technology, will address this key priority over the next three and a half years. SafeCREW will develop new methods for monitoring, quality assessment, treatment and distribution of drinking water and will derive guidelines for drinking water management and integrated risk assessment for water suppliers and authorities. The project has received 3.9 million euros in funding from Horizon Europe to provide answers to this important question: How do we need to adapt technologies for European water supply in order to provide safe and healthy drinking water under climate change conditions?

Hamburg, 1 December 2022 - The SafeCREW research project will kick off with a meeting in Hamburg on 1 and 2 December 2022. Together with ten partners from Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK, the DVGW Research Centre at the TU Hamburg will conduct research on the conditions for climate-resilient water supply and develop guidelines for action for water suppliers, policy-makers and regulatory authorities.

Climate change poses major challenges for the drinking water supply in Europe. With rising water temperatures and increasing heavy rainfall events, higher amounts of organic substances and microorganisms will also be present in raw water. Well-established processes that have so far guaranteed high drinking water quality will have to be changed and adapted. In southern Europe, disinfection of drinking water is already necessary today. It is possible that even northern European water suppliers will have to use disinfection in the future. One focus will be the investigation of previously unknown disinfection by-products and the further characterisation of already known ones and their formation. With the results, the participating companies intend to develop commercially available methods of quantifying and reducing these by-products so that negative effects on human health can be prevented.       

The SafeCREW consortium of research institutes, European water suppliers, small and medium companies and the German Environment Agency (UBA) will use three case studies in northern Germany, Italy and Spain to drive the further characterisation of water quality, and develop new water treatment methods and better management of water distribution networks to maintain high drinking water quality. This will include all processes from source via treatment and up to distribution. 

SafeCREW is funded by the European Union and targets stakeholders in the water sector:  Water suppliers will receive support for integrated risk management, regulatory authorities will be able to use the data generated in SafeCREW to inform the approval of safe materials in the distribution networks, and last but not least, the research will ensure the further development and implementation of the EU Drinking Water Directive. 

Further information on the project can be found at and

Project partners in the SafeCREW consortium

DVGW Research Centre TU Hamburg (Coordinator, Germany), German Environmental Agency (Germany), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ (Germany), KWB Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH (Germany), Tutech Innovation GmbH (Germany), Metropolitana Milanese SPA (Italy), Politecnio di Milano (Italy), Consorci Concessionari d’Aigues per als Ajuntaments i Industrie de Tarragona (Spain), Fundacio EURECAT (Spain), BioDetection Systems B. V. (Netherlands), Multisensor Systems Limited (United Kingdom)

Horizon Europe 

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. 

The DVGW Research Centre TU Hamburg

The DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) Research Centre at the TU Hamburg is one of four water research institutions run by the DVGW. It is affiliated with the University’s Institute of Water Resources and Water Supply. The research conducted at the DVGW Research Centre is linked to current practice. The centre provides advice to water companies and industrial corporations. Its research areas range from water collection to water treatment and distribution. They include, among others, the optimisation of water treatment processes, hygiene issues concerning water distribution, and energy efficiency. A key area of its work is the North German water supply with its special characteristics.

Picture material can be accessed on 1 December 22 from 5 p.m. at

Dr. Margarete Remmert-Rieper
SafeCREW projekt communication
Tutech Innovation GmbH
Phome: +49 (0)40 76629 6322

Scientific contact:
Dr. Anissa Grieb
DVGW Research Centre TU Hamburg
Hamburg University of Technology
Am Schwarzenberg-Campus 3
D-21073 Hamburg
E-mail: anissa.grieb(at)
Phone: +49 (0)40 428 78 30 95


TUHH - Public Relations Office