Dr. Yaser Abunnasr, Associate professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management, and NAWAMED project coordinator at AUB, was invited by AQUACYCLE to participate in its first series of Stakeholder Workshops (July 25) at the Doctoral School of Sciences and Technologies, Lebanese University, Tripoli, Lebanon. AQUACYCLE is a project from the ENI CBC MED program Towards Sustainable Treatment and Reuse of Wastewater in the Mediterranean Region. The project offers opportunities for cooperation between eight partners in the Mediterranean region and works toward sustainable, cost-effective treatment and reuse of wastewater with minimal running costs and maximum environmental benefits. CERTE, from Tunisia, is a partner in both projects. The workshop was organized in the framework of the ENI CBC Med funded AQUACYCLE project, on the theme of “Changing the paradigm for wastewater reuse". It included interactive sessions in which participants were invited to identify relevant issues and possible solutions to overcome wastewater problems in the city of Tripoli.
As an invited speaker of NAWAMED, Dr. Abunnasr gave the presentation Nature based solutions for grey water recycling: Potential for cities in Lebanon in which he explained how green walls and constructed wetlands provide ecosystem benefits that help clean water, reduce temperatures, increase biodiversity, clean the air, and provide many other benefits. Abunnasr explained that “recycling grey water is becoming a mainstream of sustainability, although highly engineered solutions are costly and energy intensive, nature-based solutions can provide economically viable solutions to recycle grey water at the individual scale." His presentation introduced nature-based solutions and NAWAMED as a novel approach to grey water recycling and its potential applications and opportunities for cities in Lebanon through upscaling.
Dr. Abunnasr also participated in discussions to collect participant feedback and expectations about AQUACYCLE's envisaged outcomes, such as the planned demonstration on a pilot basis of an eco-innovative wastewater treatment technology and an initial prototype of a WebGIS based decision support tool towards the drawing up of treated wastewater reuse action plans. He shared a brief, filmed interview about reactions to the AQUACYCLE project. This workshop is a likely first step toward future collaboration between both projects, through sharing ideas, exchanging knowledge and information related to technical activities/tasks, pilot experiences and overall lessons learned.