CB-WR-MED – Conserving our most valuable resource
The Mediterranean Basin is one of the regions in the world most vulnerable to climate change, as well as one of the most impacted by human water demand. Reduced river flows, lowered lake and ground water levels, and the drying up of wetlands are commonplace.
Hotter, drier summers are predicted in the region with a progressive increase in the frequency and severity of droughts. The Mediterranean region therefore needs to implement a sustainable approach for managing its water resources, which is focused on conserving water and using it more efficiently. And this is where the ERA-Wide project: “Capacity Building for Direct Water Reuse in the Mediterranean Area (CB-WR-MED)” adds value.
The main objective of CB-WR-MED is to increase the networking and scientific capacities of the Water Research and Technologies Centre (CERTE). Started in November 2010, the project also aims at establishing CERTE as an international centre of excellence by giving researchers the chance to fill the gaps in capacity building and develop a strategic development plan for the Centre.
CB-WR-MED’s specific aims regarding sustainable water management (SWM) and water protection include: strengthening CERTE’s capacities in innovative treatment and sanitation concepts, technology, knowledge and skills; as well as advanced water treatment and re-use.
“CB-WR-MED will greatly add to the knowledge on integrating wastewater to the community’s water resources and is a vital component of sustainable water management (SWM). It will build expertise in wastewater treatment, enabling the multi-use of water and direct recycling while at the same time reducing water system pollution”, says CB-WR-MED Project Coordinator, Dr. Eng. Latifa Bousselmi.
The project also wants to increase Tunisian and European science and technology cooperation in the environmental field and build capacity to address specific problems that Tunisia faces or that are global in nature. Crucially, it will improve the country’s response to various socioeconomic needs related to water management.
CB-WR-MED intends to establish a permanent national “water cluster alliance” which will be based on all the Tunisian partners involved in European water-related projects collaborating effectively, thus ensuring continuity once the project ends. This water cluster alliance, comprising research centres, universities and technical centres, aims to provide a platform of opportunities for scientific exchanges at national and international level, and to offer support to decision makers.
The CB-WR-MED consortium brings together one Tunisian and four EU based organisations representing a well-defined mix of competencies and expertise. Alongside CERTE in Tunisia, the partners include Politecnico di Torino, (POLITO) in Italy; Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS-LRGP) in France; Centre Tecnològic (CTM) in Spain; and Europe For Business Ltd. (EFB) in the United Kingdom. All parties involved share the common goals of improving and creating innovative technologies for water management.
With this impressive array of partners, all possessing complementary skills, coupled with a budget of over € 500000, CB-WR-MED hopes to increase its capacity building and develop a research plan that will contain all the technological and strategic tools necessary for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean Basin.