Tunisia's Water Research and Technologies Centre (CERTE) has called for the implementation of the pilot experiences conducted during the three-year technical and economic feasibility NAWAMED project. It has also cited the necessity for development of an adequate legal framework to support the re-use of grey water.
The Nature Based Solutions for Domestic Water Reuse in Mediterranean Countries (NAWAMED) project, launched in September 2019, aims at innovating urban water management practice. Sustainable and low-cost treatment technologies have been assessed in order to replace the use of potable water with good quality non-conventional water (NCW). Tunisia, Italy, Jordan, Malta and Lebanon participated in the European Union financed project.
The national coordinator for the project, Latifa Bousselmi, explained at a recent workshop: "the project aims at reusing non-conventional water, especially grey water (water from showers, bathtubs, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers) and rainwater in the urban environment using nature-based solutions."
"These solutions consist mainly of artificial wetlands, sustainable urban drainage systems, green walls, water reuse facilities, etc," she added.
She also cited "governance" and "environmental awareness" as barriers to overcome in achieving greater use of non-conventional water sources.
CERTE is the national coordinator of the project in Tunisia, where several pilot stations for grey and rainwater recovery have been set up.
With regards to the current lack of wastewater reusage in Tunisia, Bousselmi said: "CERTE has been working since 1985 on issues related to wastewater reuse and that this reuse has always been part of national water strategies. However, to date, Tunisia recycles barely 5% of treated wastewater, which indicates that there is clearly a problem in this regard.
"The problem is not technical or one of research," she added “technology and know-how are there but it is clearly a problem of governance, awareness and social and environmental awareness”.