Water scarcity is a global problem which is not only limited to traditional dry areas. Indeed, 17% of European territory suffers from water scarcity and 46% of the European population lives in places which are water-stressed. The problem is especially acute in Southern Europe where a growing water demand mainly for the agriculture and tourism sectors. Agricultural production in Europe represents the highest water use accounting for 36% of the total annual water use and 75% in the Mediterranean region.
SUWANU EUROPE is focused on water reuse projects in Europe through the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. The reason behind is that wastewater treated according to appropriate standards and methods has a strong potential to complement conventional water resources used in agricultural irrigation.
The aim of the water reuse projects is to promote the effective exchange of knowledge, experience and skills between practitioners and relevant actors of water reuse in agriculture, so that direct applicable technological and organizational solutions are widely and balanced disseminated all around Europe resulting in a more resilient agricultural sector to cope with water scarcity and climate change effects.
SUWANU EUROPE is based on a previous project of water treatment in Europe called SuWaNu: Sustainable Water treatment and Nutrient reuse options, which consisted in developing strategies based on water reuse projects to solve problems such as the scarcity or the availability of nutrients. However, SUWANU EUROPE has been conceived not only as an extension of former SuWaNu project activities but also as the creation of a new instrument based on an existing network to accelerate the uptake of research results in the field of water reuse in agriculture and water innovation in Europe.
For that reason, the project will create Regional Working Groups between consortium members and relevant actors in 8 target regions that will work to spread the water recycle project findings. The objective is to establish permanent links - beyond the project timeframe - with relevant local actors, encouraging flow of information among researchers, private innovators, civil organizations and public administration.
SUWANU EUROPE is a Thematic Networks co-funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme. It was submitted under the call “Rural Reinassance” (call identifier H2020-RUR-2018-2020), topic “Thematic networks compiling knowledge ready for practice” (topic identifier RUR-15-2018-2019-2020). The objective of this topic was summarising, sharing and presenting the best practices and research findings that are near close to being put into practice in a language that is easy to understand by the farmers and foresters.
Set the basis in a participatory and evidence-based process for the development of implementation strategies in 8 target regions.
Develop strategies and recommendations to pave the way for the implementation of water reuse solutions.
Create regional networks that combine efforts within and outside the consortium to support implementation and uptake of organizational and technological solutions.
Increase the capacities of practitioners and other stakeholders in water reuse for irrigation.
Develop, summarize and structure practical knowledge for practitioners in a way that it is easy to understand.
Create synergies between Regional Working Groups, operational groups, national and international networks and practitioners who supporting the implementation of water reuse.
Strengthen the links between water and farming sectors in order to find synergies for water reuse in agriculture.
The Thematic Networks is a coordination and support action included in Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). According to Work Programme, this action aims to collect and distribute the practices and research findings on the thematic area chosen and therefore, increase the flow of practical information between farmers/foresters in Europe in a geographically balanced way, creating spill-overs and taking account of the differences between territories.