The effects of climate change have brought new challenges to water management in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, while droughts limit water usage, particularly for irrigation. According to predictions, water scarcity will become even more severe in the future. In this context, water reuse is seen as a key solution to reduce the pressure on water resources, and it is becoming increasingly important to local, regional, and even transnational stakeholders.
KWB and 15 project partners promote water reuse as a new element in the water management in the BSR to make water supply more climate-resilient. Some isolated examples of water reuse actions exist in the BSR for both reusing treated water and for recirculating retained water, a wider rollout is still missing. The key actors for water reuse are local authorities and water/wastewater companies. The WaterMan project will build the knowledge and capacities of the key actors for the still new topic.
The capacity building process involves a transnational peer learning process. Municipalities and water/wastewater companies from six countries will work together to co-create exemplary water reuse strategies for selected model regions. The project will combine measures for (a) the reuse of treated water, (b) the recirculation of retained water and (c) promoting stakeholder and consumer acceptance for that. In a set of six complementary pilot measures for water reuse in Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Germany, concrete solutions for typical use cases will be tested and validated. Research institutions and domain experts provide their knowhow and facilitate the capacity building in a number of workshops and trainings.
KWB will prepare these solutions by jointly developing guidance on methodology and available tools. The tools will help the local stakeholders to determine their local need for water reuse, conduct a respective chemical and microbiological risk assessment and select a feasible environmental-friendly technology, among others. The project will provide a final “BSR Water Reuse Toolbox” how to foster water reuse: A comprehensive and concrete guidance for other local authorities & water/wastewater companies.
With our professional knowledge of water reuse as well as with sharing experience and training practical capacities on risk and life cycle assessment, we will significantly contribute to reducing the pressure on natural water resources and building a more climate-resilient water management in the BSR.