“The valorisation of non-conventional water is no longer a choice but a necessity” NAWAMED decision makers workshop in Tunisia on local regulations and urban planning tools
The Centre for Water Research and Technologies (CERTE), partner of NAWAMED project, organized the first “National Decision Makers" Workshop in Tunis on March 8th, 2022.
The objective of this workshop was to encourage exchanges between several national actors and stakeholders in order to identify possible changes/amendments in local regulations and urban planning tools to foster and promote Non-Conventional Water (NCW) use in urban areas.
The workshop started with an overview of the Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for the treatment of grey water in urban areas, developed and designed by the consortium of NAWAMED project. Possible modifications of local regulations and urban planning tools in order to encourage and promote the valorisation of grey water and rainwater in urban areas were presented.
According to survey conducted in the frame of this workshop, all participants consider greywater as resource and are positive to a legal obligation to separate grey water from black water in order to valorise it, which should be applied to large producers of greywater. Therefore, it is no longer a question of convincing but of taking action together.
As recommended mechanisms for grey water valorisation in Tunisia, 43% of the participants require subsidies for the implementation of grey water treatment and valorisation systems, similar to solar energy subsidies, deductible from bills. 30% of participants recommend the creation of water management agency that will be responsible for setting up rainwater and grey water recovery mechanisms, and more than 13% think it is imperative to put in place a law like the one on rainwater.
On his side, Mr. Slim Daoud, expert and General Controller at the National Agency for Environmental Protection (ANPE) in Tunisia, presented the existing legal frame with a comparison with others countries and underlined the process for setting a legal frame related to grey water valorisation at urban level.
In the face of the scarcity of water resources in Tunisia, the valorisation of non-conventional water is no longer a choice but a necessity. The need to the protection and conservation of water, as well as the legal framework become necessary for the grey water valorisation, as was done for the collection and storage of rainwater for reuse in urban areas. In Tunisia, the legal framework could be inspired from international experiences, while taking into account some national specificities.
Propositions collected from the participants were classified in a matrix according to their impact and their facility to integration during the workshop. Regarding rainwater, the most relevant one which can be easily integrated and can has a great impact is the creation of guides for urban planning which will be adopted by communes, as well as setting up actions plan to the management of rainwater. The necessity of awareness and encouragement for rainwater collection is considered as a horizontal and continue action.
The subject of grey water and rainwater harvesting is becoming a necessity in countries heavily impacted by climate change like Tunisia. Hence, we must converge and gather our efforts on the current and future sustainable city, whose central issue is the ecological transition
The workshop had a strong impact on the press and online media, which highlighted the importance of non-conventional Waters and the need of a legal framework and an adapted governance that will allow their valorisation in urban environment. More than 10 press magazines have covered the workshop outputs. (press review available here).