EXPLOITATION POTENTIALS AND OBSTACLES OF CIRCULAR URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT
Project's state of the art study is focused on SWOT analysis, identifying key potentials and obstacles of circular water use in CE regions. Research showed that in Europe, more than 40,000 million m3 of wastewater is treated every year, but only 964 million m3 of this treated wastewater is REUSED .The potential for further uptake is huge, we could use 6 times the volume of treated water, but the benefits and risks of its reuse must be comprehensively considered, before actions can take place.
One of the key actions missing, needed to be implemented as soon as possible, are harmonised minimum requirements (notably key parameters on reference pathogens) on the quality of reclaimed water and monitoring together with harmonised risk management tasks. EU harmonised requirements would ensure clear rules for those engaged in water reuse and those affected, prevent potential obstacles to the free movement of agricultural products irrigated with reclaimed water and ensure health safety in EU and CE regions.
Besides mentioned, also smart government approaches and tools to support water reuse are missing. Governments in CE regions should focus on raising awareness and knowledge about water reuse, among all relevant stakeholders and citizens. Due to projected climate changes and impacts, smart governance approaches will need to consider a set of adaptation needs, arising from climate changes (biophysical and environmental, social, institutional, engagement of private sector, information, capacity and resources) in order to tackle the climate challenges comprehensively. Also, financial incentives need to be planned strategically, to ensure more good practices and investments in water reuse.