Water is one of the most critical resources worldwide, in Europe as well. Clean water is used for cooking, drinking and cleaning but also for a wide range of other activities.
However, different uses require different standards of water quality, which means that these other activities could be carried out with re-used wastewater. Treated wastewater could be used for several purposes such as street cleaning, irrigation of parks and gardens and other industrial activities.
Today, the use of cleaned water from wastewater treatment plants is restricted by the existing EU and national regulation on water and wastewater. However, a more efficient re-use of water is essential in the transition towards circular economy.
The Municipality of Prato is the Italian representative in the EU’s “Urban Agenda: Circular Economy Partnership” initiative. The final goals of the Urban Agenda are to contribute to design better EU policies , to strengthen the EU’s understanding of urban issues and to share best practices.
Within the Circular Economy Partnership, The Municipality of Prato, together with GIDA (local waste water treatment plant) and ARCO, is leading the debate regarding wastewater reuse.
Our proposal within the Partnership concerned the use of treated industrial and civil waters (e.g. urban wastewater) for irrigation purposes, e.g. urban green-gardens, green areas, peri urban-agriculture. Taking this as a starting point, the Partnership will develop a general position paper to be used in the ongoing and future revision process of EU strategies on water to enable cities to re-use wastewater.
This idea was put forward just before the EU Commission announced the publishing of a proposal for “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum requirements for water reuse”.
ARCO, together with the Municipality of Prato and GIDA, carried out an in-depth analysis of the changes that Prato would like to see in the water reuse directive. Later, together with the other municipalities involved in the Partnership, we opened a debate on the new EU proposal, focusing on the requirements for water reuse and its future application.
On October 17th 2018 we participated in the EUROCITIES working group WATER, in Tampere. Our Leonardo Borsacchi gave a speech on “Closing the cycle by reusing treated wastewater in the city of Prato”. Then, Leonardo leaded the open discussion on the European Commission’s proposal on water reuse.
Find out more on our activities on circular economy >> click HERE