NAWAMED: water management, an important challenge for the Italian Municipality of Ferla


The Municipality Ferla is the pilot area in Sicily, Italy of the NAWAMED project, thanks to which it will test innovative solutions for integrating the use of the Non-Conventional Water resources into the water management system.

A small community located in the the Iblei mountains between the Ragusa and Syracuse districts, the Municipality of Ferla was among the 10 finalists of the "Innovation in Politics Awards", as a best practice in Europe in terms of civic participation. In fact, Ferla has developed an innovative path for active citizens' participation that has made possible to improve the management and delivery of public services.

The NAWAMED project catched up with Michelangelo Giansiracusa, Mayor of the Municipality of Ferla to get his insights about the activities to be implemented at local level to improve water management. 

Ferla is among the Virtuous Municipalities of Italy for its innovative policies in the field of sustainable development in the tourism, waste and energy sectors. Ferla is now ready to take another challenge and saves drinking water, thanks to the NAWAMED project.

The direct involvement of students in the NAWAMED project activities will allow to increase the environmental performance of the local school building and improve consumption in terms of energy efficiency, waste management and water resources, but also to train future citizens to be more sensitive and attentive to environmental issues.

Thanks to a past project within the school, a water manager was identified and he had to monitor behaviours, report a tap that was leaking water or left open by mistake, etc. Students can be and must be protagonists of their school management and of their future.

The school of Ferla, in fact, with about 200 students and 12 cubic meter of water consumption per day, is the building where NAWAMED project will test the Nature-Based Solution for reusing grey water, empowering students and internal staff in order to develop and promote the proposed solution.

The pilot action that will be developed in our school allows us to save the amount of water currently used for the toilet discharge by reusing the water coming from the sink drain, thanks to the Green Wall of constructed wetlands which will be installed on an external wall of the school. This activity will be monitored and studied involving territorial stakeholders with the aim to evaluate its scalability at local and region level.

As thousands of people visit Ferla annually to find out how it has achieved important environmental standards, from the next autumn 2020 on, this visit will be enriched with the visit to the innovative vertical constructed wetland plant. Water savings will be constantly monitored  thanks to an external panel that will show how much water is reused daily.

The NAWAMED project will be presented on the next 20th of March in Syracuse.