The transition towards a circular water economy (CWE) involves new governance challenges raised by adapting existing water loops with new and different types or qualities of water, new risks, and a new set of stakeholders involved.
Co-creation processes are key tools to engage current and new stakeholders to further improve institutional arrangements and water reuse management strategies. Co-creation workshops contribute to win-win strategies to face new challenges and to manage and reduce potential risks, as well as to collectively ensure adequate rules and governance approaches.
On Wednesday 8 June 2022, a live online co-creation workshop was held with relevant stakeholders and agencies in Omiš, Croatia, one of the Project Ô demosites. During this workshop, participants discussed and identified potential solutions to problems related to the implementation of the new water loop at textile factory Galeb d.d. in Omiš.
Based on the potential problems identified during the workshop, stakeholders identified two possible solutions based on their priority, feasibility and efficacy:
- Co-financing of projects by the EU to promote circular water economy solutions
Participants mentioned that easier access to EU projects, such as Project Ô, is critical. According to participants, there is minimal investment in circular water economy solutions in Croatia at this stage. Furthermore, they said the technologies are expensive for private companies and proposed that the government and EU should co-finance/subsidise such projects and technologies in Croatia.
- Employ experts to assist with problems
Participants expressed the need for experts with circular water economy knowledge to be able to integrate the new technologies with existing technologies at the current wastewater treatment plant and to channel the output water back into the production process.