FIT4REUSE : SaFe and sustaInable soluTions FOR the integRatEd USE of non-conventional water resources in the Mediterranean agricultural sector

Project identifier 148-FIT4REUSE
Project Status ongoing
Start date 2019-06-01
End date 2022-05-31
Roadmap Theme
  • Sustainable intensification: Soil, water, land and input management
  • Type of Project Development and innovation oriented (research) project
    Programme PRIMA
    Keyword Wastewater treatment; irrigation; desalination; water resources
    Location Spain; Italy; France; Greece; Tunisia
    Main Funder Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (H2020)
    Coordinator University of Bologna
    Partners
  • Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
  • Bioazul
  • Ecofilae
  • National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
  • Mekorot
  • Higher Institute of Applied Biological Sciences of Tunis (ISSBAT)
  • Itunova Technology Transfer Office
  • Project Web Site https://fit4reuse.org/
    Documents PRIMA funded projects 2018

    Description

    Context

    High treatment costs, possible negative effects and actual low public ac-ceptance can hinder and restrict the safe usage of non-conventional water resources (NCWR, i.e. treated wastewater and desalinated water) that can help the Mediterranean region to overcome water scarcity in agriculture.

    Objective

    FIT4REUSE aims to tackle these challenges through three main pillars of the project: i) innovation of treatment technology, ii) application in simulat-ed/relevant environment and iii) assessment and regulation, insured by the inclusion of research, governmental and industrial partners from different parts of the Mediterranean region. The first pillar will concentrate on the wastewater treatment and desalination to optimize the treatment technolo-gies and to offer sustainable solutions. In particular, nature-based solutions and intensive wastewater treatment will be tested singularly or combined to provide the best possible quality of alternative water resources that can later be safely used in agriculture. Once water of suitable quality is ob-tained, the second pillar will study direct and indirect water reuse schemes. Different irrigation technologies and practices, together with the effects that NCWR have on soil and food safety will be studied. In the case of aquifer recharge with treated wastewater, the application pillar will aim to find the best way to preserve aquifer water quality and its ecological bal-ance, improving also the soil treatment and the infiltration processes. The third pillar will study the results obtained and analyse economic, social and environmental impacts of the solutions proposed. Moreover, the reasons for low public acceptance of NCWR will be analysed and solutions offered to overcome problems connected to it within the actual policies and regulato-ry framework

    Expected impacts

    Overall, since FIT4REUSE aims to provide regular, sustainable and safe wa-ter supply in agriculture, it will have a tangible positive impact on society, economy and environment. The most affected players in the FIT4REUSE field are agricultural farmers, operators of water/wastewater treatment fa-cilities, agricultural advisors, technology developers and consultants SMEs. Finally, guidelines to standardise water reuse safety planning will be devel-oped to minimise the threats and support regulation and water policies in Mediterranean regions.