Malta and Cyprus have been acknowledged as the water poorest countries in Europe, while a large number of Italian and Greek islands depend on desalination and even on water transfers by tankers.
The NCWR Programme in the Mediterranean is designed and implemented by the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med) and partner institutions, organisations and companies with Coca-Cola as a key collaborator. It aims at advancing the use of NCWR, mainly rainwater harvesting and grey water reuse, improved by innovative techniques and methods, in water scarce communities in Mediterranean islands and insular countries, as a cost effective method for water availability and climate change adaptation at local level.
The Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med) has developed the concept and content of the Non-Conventional Water Resources (NCWR programme implemented in Greece since 2008, in Malta since 2011, and in Cyprus since 2013. It is a multi-stakeholder Programme, bringing together a regional organisation [GWP-Med, implementing agent] with actors from the private sector [the “Mission Water Environmental Program in Greece, the Coca-Cola System in Cyprus, and Malta and The Coca-Cola Foundation] as partners and primary donors, as well as central and local authorities (municipalities in the Greek Islands; Ministry for Gozo and Ministry for Energy & Health in Malta; Ministry of Education in Cyprus)] and NGOs [Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development; Nature Trust Malta].
The NCWR Programme activities are designed and implemented by GWP-Med. Following the initial identification of needs and on-site visits, potential sites are identified, taking into consideration primarily water scarcity issues and current and future water challenges. All applications are site-specific and the final selection is made according to local needs and costing. Infrastructure works are of small and medium size. Technical works are carried out by contractors, selected through a tendering process, according to EU legislation and regulation.
Results and lessons learnt
- The involvement of the local authorities in the Programme implementation, by contributing to the NCWR applications, increases ownership. This ensures the sustainability of the demonstration applications delivered to the islands and contributes to the Programme’s objective to promote NCWR practices as a sustainable way for water availability.
- Awareness raising of targeted groups and general public can create the acceptance of NCWR at local level and facilitate the expansion of this cost-effective method at domestic and community level.
- Raising political attention at national and regional level, as certain activities are supported by key institutions in the countries (Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, Ministry for Gozo, Maltese Ministry for Energy & Health, etc.)
- Implementation of more than 75 site-specific applications of NCWR systems in public buildings and areas, in 31 water scarce insular communities.
Note: On 15 April 2015, the NCWR Programme was presented at the Water Showcase Live World Final & Award Ceremony of the 7th World Water Forum in Daegu, The Republic of Korea. Out of a 120 entries and among 9 finalists, NCWR was ranked 2nd place.
Photo: One of the greywater reuse systems installed at schools and centers of environmental education in Cyprus.