Water is the “life-blood” of our economy, industries, societal functions, nature as well as health and wellbeing of our citizens.
Water Scarcity will bring environmental degradation and competition on water use (agricultural, domestic, and industrial) which, overall, will have an impact on the socioeconomic development and the competitiveness of the European industry. The Water Academies are shaped to address the challenges of specific sectors on fighting water scarcity to contribute to the creation of a water-saving economy. It is a capacity building programme composed of 3 workshops and a MooC to transfer knowledge on water management for the manufacturing industry, agri-food, water utilities and municipalities.
The Water Academies are part of the Cross-KIC project Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe lead by four innovation communities (EIT Manufacturing, EIT Food, EIT Climate and EIT Digital) in cooperation with three project partners (TU Delft, Athena and BioAzul). We will deliver 3 all-day long on-site and hybrid Water Academies workshops with the sessions on water efficiency in industry, urban water management and the role of nature-based solutions and water reuse in agriculture.
The participation on the workshops will be free. Participants will be granted certificates for a fee when taking the on-line course (MOOC).
Manufacturing Industries Workshop
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WATER REUSE WORKSHOP Use of reclaimed water in agriculture
Water scarcity is a multi-dimensional challenge whose solution requires the coordination of different actors moving towards more sustainable water management.
The use of non-conventional resources such as reclaimed/recycled water is gaining importance especially in agriculture as a climate change mitigation strategy. Water reuse implies economic, social and environmental benefits but there are still important barriers for implementation.
The new EU Regulation on water reuse shall be an incentive for safe practice based on common standards in the whole EU, but there is a need to acquire the necessary knowledge for proper adaptation.
The hybrid workshop held in Malaga on 6 July is intended to increase competences and skills of the audience to advance in the implementation of water reuse in agriculture. It will be a multi-disciplinary event with high-profile speakers who will provide practical insights on the most relevant topics for water reuse such as socio-economic aspects, adequate technologies for water reclamation, risk management and practical recommendations for farmers. The workshop will include a field visit to an experimental site of sub-tropical crops irrigated with reclaimed water.
NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS IN URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
Water is essential for human health, socioeconomic development, and the provision of long-term environmental services. Natural processes (e.g. precipitation, infiltration, evapotranspiration, condensation, etc.) sustain a large cycle in nature, which is disrupted by urbanization and man-made water systems. As a result, water has been forced into the linear model of “take-make-consume-dispose,” which is economically unsustainable and results in a gradual degradation of water quality as it passes through the system. The move to circular water systems necessitates a rethinking of water infrastructure, the application of cutting-edge technology, and the integration of nature-based ecosystems into grey infrastructure (i.e. hybrid infrastructure). Nature-based solutions (NBS) can be thought of as a catch-all term for addressing the above-mentioned challenges in a more sustainable way, compared to conventional hard engineering. NBS are systemic initiatives that bring more and more diversified natural characteristics and processes into the environment. They solve a single problem (i.e. societal challenge) or a set of problems (i.e. multiple challenges) while also providing environmental, social, and economic advantages, such as biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, human well-being, and so on.
The workshop held in Marathon Dam (Greece) on 22 July, 2022 is intended to increase the competencies and skills of the audience to advance the understanding and integration of NBS in urban water management. It will be a multi-disciplinary event with high-profile speakers who will provide practical insights on the most relevant topics for NBS such as the role of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, socio-economic aspects, best practices, protection and restoration of environment services in a water catchment, adequate technologies for water reclamation, risk management and practical recommendations for water resources managers. The workshop will include a field visit to the Marathon Dam, which is the primary water supply of Athens. The dam is famous for being the first recorded occurrence of seismic activity related with reservoir inundation, as well as its importance in Greece’s industrialization.
MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES WORKSHOP
ON-LINE COURSE (MOOC)
The on-line course includes a general introductory path with general topics related to Water Scarcity issues and mitigation actions and the niche modules on water efficiency in industry, urban water management and the role of nature-based solutions and water reuse in agriculture.
The MOOC consists of various modules, including knowledge videos, quizzes, exercises and assignments.
The MOOC is designed for sustainability managers, researchers, students, national authorities, innovation startups and NGOs with the competence certification for all the relevant sectors and without specific pre-knowledge requirements. The on-line course will also have the option for certification for the interested participants.