Horizon 2020 training on wastewater treatment and reuse in Tunisia

on 30 May 2011.

A three-day training course on wastewater treatment and reuse took place in Tunis, Tunisia (18-20 May, 2011) within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/MEP project. With 40 participants from all over the country, the course succeeded in engaging the interest of various professionals with the overarching objective of promoting an integrated approach to drinking water consumption, wastewater management and reuse and related technologies, and thus contributing to the ultimate goal of depolluting the Mediterranean Sea.

The course was launched by Mr. Massimo Mina, Head of the Sustainable Development Department of the EU Delegation in Tunisia, stating that: “The issue of wastewater treatment and reuse, which will be covered over the next 3 days of this training, is an issue which obviously presents important opportunities in a context of scarce water resources in our region, but also puts forth challenges that need to be discussed at an institutional as well as a social and economic level”. Mr. Khalil Atia, President of the National Sanitation Office, highlighted that “Tunisia will be facing a deficit in its water balance by 2030. For this reason the reuse of treated waste water is one of the central issues for national environmental policy. This training provides us a useful opportunity not only for building capacities but also for formulating ideas to be further developed by the professionals from the relevant sectors that are present (Ministries of Agriculture and Environment, Health, sanitation utilities, NGOs, academia, the private sector)”.

The Deputy Team Leader of the project providing the training, Dr. Emad Adly, stated that “The capacity building component of Horizon 2020 is pleased to start its national activities in Tunisia after the revolution. Tunisia has been a good model of environmental activities and we are sure that it will continue to be. The meeting has gained a lot of interest from many professionals active in the field and they are welcome to join the Horizon 2020 family of skilled practitioners”.

Organized by the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education with the support of the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), the course involved hands-on training through the use of advanced software aimed to facilitate technology selection in wastewater management. Further to the lectures and presentations, participants were involved in group exercises and discussions aiming for a fruitful exchange of experiences. It took place at the International Center for Technologies and the Environment of Tunis (CITET). Similar national trainings in wastewater treatment and reuse have just been concluded by the project in Algeria and Morocco.