The ValEUrGabès project has evolved from last year until now. And it is with great excitement, that at the beginning of this 2023, in January, the European project ValEUr Gabès presented the milestone of the project, the Municipal Non-Conventional water (NCWR) Action Plan for the city of Gabès. It is the result of the participatory planning process launched by the project in order to provide the Municipality of Gabès with consensual strategic and operational documents on NCW valorization. This document contains ten priority projects to be implemented in the short and medium term, as well as a battery of indicators to evaluate the impact of their implementation.

To do this, it has relied on the participation of representatives of public administrations, academia, CSOs, water management institutions, and the industry. The process was initiated in October 2022 with a questionnaire and three online round tables to fine-tune the identified projects. Then, finally, a participatory session with the members of the Steering Committee of the Plan took place on 1 December to review and discuss one by one the ten consolidated project sheets, shaping what is today the action plan for non-conventional waters of the city of Gabès.

These ten projects can be grouped into three categories:

a) improvement of the governance of NCWR;

b) the sustainable management of drainage water and

c) making Gabès Municipality a leading institution for NCWR valorisation.

Identifying and validating these ten priority projects leads the city of Gabès to start thinking beyond the project, allowing them to continue looking for funds for their implementation. Also, during February, the project held several other activities.

And then, on 6 February, MedCities presented some of the project’s lessons learned on the role of municipalities in NCWR valorization mainstreaming at the international MEDWAYCAP/NAWAMED projects joint event held in Tunis. On 9 February, the three partners met EU officials in Tunis to present the project’s current state and recent progress. Also, on 13 and 14 February in Gabès, the EU Delegation organized a follow-up mission, where ValEUr Gabès partners shared successful implementation experiences with the partners of the BestTag project, especially representatives of the Municipality of Taranto in Italy.

Some technical visits were also organized to two innovative pilot project sites for greywater regeneration and reuse, that form part of the replicable solutions identified in the NCWR Plan. Last, the project has also launched the necessary technical and environmental feasibility studies to prepare for the construction of the pilot projects.

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