Use of Wastewater in Agriculture was the subject of a webinar by the Portuguese Engineers Association of the Southern Region
On July 15th, an online conference was held in Portugal about the "Use of Wastewater in Agriculture", organized by the Order of the Engineers of the Southern Region.
The panel of speakers, composed by Engineers Pimenta Machado (Vice-President of the Portuguese Environment Agency), Rita Alves (Águas de Portugal), Maria Teresa Santos (ISEL - Lisbon Higher Institute of Engineering), Diana Cordeiro (Fenareg - Portuguese National Federation of Irrigators), Rita Rijo (Consulai) and Alexandra Brito (CAP - Portuguese Farmers Confederation), as well as the topicality and relevance of the topic, aroused a strong interest, which was reflected in a total of 180 participants.
The different presentations, of excellent quality, conveyed several of the possible approaches to the subject under analysis. They thus constituted a valuable contribution to an informed explanation, at a time when there was an increase in the level of media noise and opinion on the topic, which was not always correctly supported by technical and scientific data.
It became evident that Portugal has adopted a set of legislative and regulatory initiatives, sometimes even anticipating EU regulations, which tend to frame the reuse of waste water in different sectors of activity in the short term. In parallel in this context, a public tender is already underway (POSEUR - Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources) with a financing of 6 million euros, to support:
- Investments in improvements in urban wastewater treatment systems, for the production of water for reuse by installing or increasing the existing treatment refinement steps; and
- Construction of water storage and transport infrastructures for reuse in pipelines, to a place that can be accessed by any end user.
Several current examples of the use of water for reuse in Portugal were shared in different sectors of activity, such as agriculture, tourism and municipalities.
It was also pointed out that there is academic and technological research carried out in Portugal on the production and use of water for reuse, this knowledge being at the origin of a set of operating procedures already in application by the major operators in the sector, with a view to allowing widespread use and safe water for reuse.
The interest of the agricultural and livestock sectors in the use of water for reuse, under conditions of competitiveness and security that do not penalize these activities, which were already subject to new and more severe conditions, due to the ongoing climate changes, was also very clear. In fact, specific organizations in these sectors already participate in a European network for the transfer of knowledge in the safe and economical reuse of water for reuse in Agriculture (SUWANU EUROPE).
This enriching session allowed participants to learn about a set of very up-to-date information on the reuse of wastewater in agriculture in Portugal, creating the conditions for its generalized expansion in the short term, as a result of the ongoing initiatives and stimuli.
See the recording of the session here
See the presentations: