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Climate crisis, water shortages, droughts, rising energy costs: in order to avert water crises that are becoming more and more imminent, water reuse and efficiency measures are urgently needed.
There are solutions and exemplary cases, capable of responding to the adaptation needs that the near future will impose on us.
Syracuse, in Italy, is a candidate to be the international capital where these practices and policies will be recounted, discussed and proposed: between October 3rd and 5th 2022, the ‘Mediterranean green transition towards climate change adaptation and circular water management’ event will in fact be held in the Sicilian city, a unique opportunity for a constructive confrontation at the Mediterranean level between existing good practices on the theme of water management and reuse, both at urban and rural level, presented by numerous institutional and research bodies from all the Mediterranean countries, involving dozens of European projects, in order to accompany the transition towards the application and scalability of the proposed solutions.
The parterre of participants representing their institutions was very rich.
Among them: the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), National Association of Land Reclamation, Irrigation and Land Improvement (ANBI), MedCities, Mediterranean Youth for Water (MedYWat), Climate Change Mediterranean Center (CCMC), European Federation of National Associations of Water Services, International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM – BARI), Mediterranean Network of Basin Organisations, as well as the University of Catania, the University of Bologna, ARCA University Consortium of Palermo, the University of Sassari, the Polytechnic University of Turin, the Centre for Water Research and Technologies of Tunis, the American University of Beirut, the University of Jordan, the Greek Centre for Research and Technology, the National Technical University of Athens, the Palestinian Wastewater Engineers Group, the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations.
The event is open to the public but subject to mandatory registration, and will be structured in such a way as to integrate educational sessions, dynamic debate and strategic discussions with informal networking and entertainment.
About the programme:
– On the first day, 3 October 2022, two parallel workshops will present innovative urban and rural measures to address water management and climate adaptation issues.
– On the second day, there will be two “Living Lab” workshops, which will address with the participants and representatives of the invited “case studies” the existing solutions, presented the previous day, in order to define the challenges to be addressed at the social, economic, technical and political level, to promote the use of non-conventional water from the local to the Mediterranean level.
The two workshops specifically will deal with ‘Sustainable integrated water management at urban level‘ and ‘Water scarcity and agriculture‘, also assessing the economic opportunities in applying circularity to water and wastewater management, towards a multidisciplinary approach.
– Also on 4 October, there will be an opportunity to visit two exemplary projects “in the field”: the “Wall2Water” (a “green wall” that makes it possible to treat so-called “grey water” and recover it for reuse) installed on the wall of a school in Ferla (www.pareteverdeferla.it) and INTESA, the innovative water-saving system in “soilless” production in Ispica (Ragusa).
– Two international panels moderated by journalist Pietro Raitano will close the proceedings on 5 October. The first will address solutions for optimising water management and the provision of water services in the Mediterranean region; the second will focus on financing the transition of the water sector in the Mediterranean.
Organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Sustainable Development – Svi.med of Ragusa, in collaboration with EWA – Energy Water Agency of Malta, with the support of the Province of Latina and the technical-scientific coordination of Iridra, and sponsored by the Region of Sicily, the Municipality of Syracuse, the network of technical professions of Syracuse, and the Municipality of Ferla.
Manuel Sapiano, CEO at EWA (Malta)
“Adaptation to climate change will require a radical change in the management of water resources: increasingly comprehensive solutions that optimise the links between water, energy, food and the natural ecosystem will be required”.
Barbara Sarnari, vice president of Svi.med, explains:
“The need to break the mould with respect to the daily narrative on the water emergency and the related simplistic centralised and linear solutions, prompted us to propose this event in Sicily, in the heart of the Mediterranean. The NAWAMED and MEDWAYCAP project partners supported us in this challenge (in the challenge) and the result is already evident. Prestigious international speakers have responded positively to our invitation, sharing the need for moments like these to systematise knowledge and chart a course, perhaps unconventional”.
The event is being realised within the framework of NAWAMED, a European project that, with a budget of over 3 million euros, aims to promote the application of innovative, sustainable, low-cost technologies and measures for the use of non-conventional water resources for domestic purposes, through the interventions of 7 partners operating in 5 different countries of the Mediterranean area.
The three-day Syracuse event will also involve all the projects of the ENI CBC MED “Water Efficiency” cluster. ENI CBC MED is the largest multilateral and cross-border cooperation initiative in financial terms (€209 million) and in terms of the number of countries involved (14 of which 7 from the southern shore: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Jordan, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia) promoted by the European Union within the framework of the Neighbourhood Policy.