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 Friday 1 April 2022, the first live online co-creation workshop was held with relevant stakeholders and agencies in Almendralejo, Spain, one of the Project Ô demosites. During this four-hour workshop, participants discussed and identified potential solutions to problems related to the implementation of the new water loop in Almendralejo.
Based on the potential problems identified during the workshop, stakeholders identified two possible solutions based on their priority, feasibility and efficacy:
- Water quality control and monitoring
Participants mentioned that this could be achieved by contracting a company to perform the analysis, as well as having the supplier conduct preliminary risk analysis. The sanitary risks of reused water would be significantly reduced if these actions are implemented.
- An agreement that establishes minimum guaranteed flows
Participants agreed that this could be done by having regular meetings with relevant stakeholders (i.e., suppliers, managers, users, government representatives) to develop, submit and approve a water reuse project with concrete objectives. These actions could enhance the coordination of authorisations and end-use infrastructures.
The next co-creation workshop, involving the demosite in Italy, will take place on Wednesday 4 May 2022.