Wastewater reuse is currently considered globally as the most critical element of sustainable water management. Water scarcity, foreseen to aggravate, pushes for maximum utilization of nonconventional water. Although reuse is accompanied by a number of benefits, there are still various open questions. The applied treatments fail to completely remove microcontaminants, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and/or their genes (ARB&ARG). Knowledge on the actual effects of reuse with regard to these aspects is currently not consolidated.
This Action will answer critical questions through a European multidisciplinary network, structured in interactive Working Groups (WGs), to achieve:
- identification of the microbiome and mobile antibiotic resistome in treated wastewater,
- assessment of the potential for uptake/transmission of microcontaminants and ARB&ARG in crops,
- determination of effect-based bioassays required for wastewater reuse,
- identification of efficient/economically viable technologies able to meet the current challenges and,
- development of a relevant risk assessment and policy framework
The Action, will establish criteria on technologies/assessment methods for wastewater treatment, and suggest new effluent quality criteria to overcome current barriers and safeguard the reuse practice. The Action will have a major impact on the enhancement of sustainable wastewater reuse in light of current challenges at technological, economical and societal level.