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Network for effective knowledge transfer on safe and economic wastewater reuse in agriculture in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SuWaNu Europe (Network for effective knowledge transfer on safe and economic wastewater reuse in agriculture in Europe)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30

SUWANU EUROPE is a thematic network intended to transfer existing practical knowledge in the use of reclaimed water in agriculture. The term reclaimed water is referred to treated urban wastewater according to appropriate standards and methods (i.e. reclaimed water) so that the resulted effluent achieves the quality standards defined for a specific use such as agriculture irrigation. Reclaimed water has a strong potential to complement conventional water resources used in agricultural irrigation and it is currently misused in a context of water scarcity which limits agricultural production.
SUWANU EUROPE aims to make results of research and innovation available to practitioners so that this knowledge can become a driving force for the agricultural sector and become more efficient and sustainable. This approach requires an intense effort to find the best way to present the information in order to reach the users and have a real impact. SUWANU EUORPE is concentrating efforts to extract relevant knowledge and lessons learnt and translate them into abundant and appealing material in terms of format (e.g. layout) but also using appropriate language (e.g. avoiding technical words or the structure of scientific articles in journals) and transferred through effective dissemination channels.
SUWANU EUROPE is also committed with public participation and participatory processes. We believe this is the only way to promote an effective exchange of knowledge, experiences and skills. Therefore, the project has intensively involved a wide range of target groups including farmers, water engineers, consultants, advisory groups, consumers, authorities, etc. following a multi-actor approach. This strong involvement ensures that direct applicable technological and organizational solutions are widely disseminated all around Europe resulting in a more resilient agricultural sector to cope with water scarcity and climate change effects.
SUWANU EUROPE main outcome is to provide practical knowledge for the different actors involved in water reuse for agriculture. The wide range of stakeholders involved required a multi-disciplinary and multi-actor strategy to meet the knowledge gaps of very different actors with different views and demands. With this purpose, the consortium firstly assessed current situation in several countries within and outside Europe. We have characterized 8 European target regions to assess the potential of further water reuse under different scenarios as well as to identify existing experiences which have been included in a project data base. This work resulted in a set of fact-sheets with success stories, including the cases of Israel and Cyprus as front-runners countries in the use of reclaimed water in agriculture. These two countries are very advanced in water reuse implementation and therefore bring valuable lessons learnt for other countries in terms of technology but also governance structures.
The characterization of the target regions was followed by the development of Regional Action Plans with strategies and measures to extend the implementation of water reuse practices in their territories. These plans were built on the participation of relevant actors that gathered in Regional Working Groups (RWG). Several meetings were organized in each target country with RWG members to receive their insights on the water reuse implementation process and promote dialogue on best strategies. Participatory workshops were also organized in the 8 target regions and the conduction of SWOT and PEST analyses.
Abundant training materials and activities have been developed during the project. In this sense, the consortium has developed six info-packages with 30 fact-sheets oriented to reach the main stakeholders identified. The info-packages were adapted to the needs of each relevant stakeholder group. Each info-package includes a set of fact sheets specifically oriented to train each stakeholder identified. The info-packages have been shared with education centres so they can be used in their training programmes. Likewise, a total of 8 training workshops have been organized in the target regions. Moreover, 2 cross fertilisation meetings with Regional Working Groups members have been organized to promote the work at regional level and enable interaction between regions. 4 Policy briefs have been developed to target authorities. 4 training modules have been produced and integrated in a e-learning platform for water reuse with a set of audio-visual courses. The training materials have been translated into the 8 languages of the target regions.
The results have been widely disseminated in the project website and social media with numerous dissemination campaigns including posts, videos and flyers. Likewise, synergies have been sought with EIP AGRI through the contact of operational groups and the publication of 100 practice abstracts. The international conference had more than 200 participants and enabled us to present the project results and materials to a wide audience, to interact with other experts and get insights about the future opportunities to extend water reuse practices in agriculture. Moreover, the project has been presented in relevant events such as the 15th Water Congress and the 12th IWA International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse in Berlin.
Project results achieved during the first period are listed below:
Regional characterization of the 8 target regions
Data base of water reuse projects: 79 initiatives have been collected and mapped
Good practices characterized in 16 fact sheets
SWOT and PEST analyses for the 8 target regions
AKIS analyses for the 8 target regions
10 Participatory workshops (Total: 435 participants) organized in the 8 target regions and in the EIP Water Conference held in Zaragoza.
One General action plan
14 meetings have been organized with key actors in order to engage organizations out of the consortium with an active participation in the project activities.
One cross-fertilisation meetings has taken place in Rome with consortium members and representatives of several RWGs: 4 representatives of RWG participated.
SUWANU EUROPE created synergies with the Water Europe platform, Water Reuse network, EUVRIN and EURAKNOS thematic network.
The project website is available and continuously updated with materials resulted from the project, news, information from workshops and other events, etc.
16 project presentation were carried out in congress, conferences, seminars, etc. related to water reuse, agriculture, etc.
11 press releases and 3 articles have been developed
One project flyer and one poster have been developed in English and translated into national languages of the target regions
Active communication through social media. SUWANU EUROPE twitter account has 519 followers by the time of preparing this report (28/02/2020)
For the second period, the following main results have been achieved:
8 regional action plans completed
1 cross fertilization meeting with RWG members
30 fact-sheets with practical knowledge adapted to different target groups
8 training workshops
1 international conference
4 training modules for e-learning
4 policy briefs
100 practice abstracts
Presentation of SUWANU EUROPE in relevant events
Network with other projects and initiatives
Finally, expected impacts identified in the proposal are still valid.
Presentation during project workshop