American University of Beirut

  • Nature Based Solutions for Domestic Water Reuse in Mediterranean Countries


    Project description

    In Mediterranean countries, domestic water use accounts for a minor part of water consumption – a much larger amount is used for irrigation – but it requires the best quality and its demand is continuously growing, along with improving lifestyle and increasing urban population. Moreover, urban water is still the main cause of pollution of rivers and groundwater, even when treated before being discharged. Per capita domestic water use can be drastically reduced by using non-conventional water (NCW) resources for not potable purposes: greywater (and rainwater where available) can be reused for WC flushing and irrigation but requires the implementation of decentralised treatment systems, serving one or a few buildings. NAWAMED aims at changing the urban water management practice by mean of innovative, sustainable, and low-cost treatment technologies, applicable in a decentralised pattern, to replace the use of potable water with good quality NCW.



    To increase the adoption of innovative, sustainable and low-cost technologies and measures for the use of non-conventional water resources for domestic purposes.

    What will be improved

    The project will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of nature-based and low-cost solutions, such as living green walls, to treat non-conventional water resources in schools, universities, public facilities and in a refugee camp.  Recovered wastewater or stormwater will be reused for different purposes, including toilet flushing and irrigation and therefore consumption of potable water for domestic uses will be decreased. Furthermore, the project will showcase that design and architecture can make buildings water producer rather than water user.

    Who will benefit

    • Owners/managers of the 8 pilot sites
    • 450 practitioners (e.g. engineers, architects, etc.), construction companies, university students
    • 50 staff of local and regional authorities 

    Expected achievements

    • 8 real scale pilot installation for greywater/rainwater treatment and reuse including living green walls (vegetated vertical elements mounted on building facades) and constructed wetlands treating flows froma public building, a parking area and a refugee camp
    • 30% reduction in water consumption at pilot sites level
    • 9.000 m3/year of unconventional water to be reused at urban/domestic level
    • 15 technical visits to pilot sites
    • 10 training workshops organized for technical staff and decision-makers
    • 1 Mediterranean Policy Document to foster the inclusion of water demand management and non-conventional water resources measures in national policy frameworks.​


    3.2 Million total budget (90% ENI CBC MED Programme EU- contribution)

    Duration in months

    36 months : 10/09/2019 – 09​/09/2022 



    Province of Latina (Lazio)

    IRIDRA (Tuscany)                            

    SVI.MED. Euro-Mediterranean Center for Sustainable Development (Sicily)                        


    University of Jordan (Amman)


    American University of Beirut


    Energy and Water Agency


    Centre for Water Research and Technologies (Nabeul)


    Lead Partner:

    Fabio Zaccarelli 

    Project Manager

    Province of Latina – Urban Planning Department

    +39 0773 401317   

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