29.04.2019 -

Reuse of wastewater as an innovative sanitation alternative

© AECID Montevideo

The Regional Workshop on Wastewater Reuse took place in Montevideo, March 25-29, 2019. The course focused on sanitation, its various alternatives and its universalization, as a fundamental right for humanity. This is the first course organized by the Regional Experimental Center for Sanitation Technologies (CERTS), which is in the process of being implemented as a Category II UNESCO center, the Ibero-American Water Directors Conference (CODIA), the International Hydrological Program (IHP) ) of UNESCO, the Institute of Mechanics of Fluids and Environmental Engineering (IMFIA) and the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII) and the collaboration of other partners. It was aimed at technicians and professionals, managers of companies or water cooperatives, control entities, members of NGOs and civil society, community leaders, disseminators and communicators, among others.

The improvement of wastewater management generates social, environmental and economic benefits essential for sustainable development (UN World Report on the Development of Water Resources 2017: "Wastewater: the untapped resource"). Within this viewpoint, Regional Workshop on Wastewater Reuse (Montevideo, 25-29 March 2019) that was given to 33 participants (15 from Latin America and 18 from Uruguay) including theoretical-practical activities, in 2 simultaneous venues: the IMFIA and the Center of Spanish Cooperation. Due to the wide interest generated by the call, the objective was to train professionals in water reuse alternatives and their design criteria, providing tools to establish the technical, social, economic and environmental viability of a related project with the reuse of wastewater, as well as design and calculate reuse solutions.

The course was organized by the Conference of Ibero-American Water Directors (CODIA), the Training Center of Spanish Cooperation in Montevideo (AECID), the Regional Experimental Center on Sanitation Technologies (CERTS) of the National Water Directorate (DINAGUA - MVOTMA), the Institute of Mechanics of Fluids and Environmental Engineering (IMFIA) of the Engineering Faculty of the University of the Republic, Uruguay (UdelaR), the International Hydrological Program of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean (IHP-LAC) , with the collaboration of the Experimental Center for New Water Technologies (CENTA) in Seville, Spain, the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) and the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII). The course was inaugurated in the IMFIA with the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Mrs. María Simón, Mr. José Luis Genta, in his capacity as former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and a broad expert and promoter of the topics of alternatives of sanitation. In addition, at the Training Center of Spanish Cooperation was inaugurated by the Minister of Housing, Land Planning and Environment of Uruguay, Mrs. Eneida de León, the President of Sanitary Works of the State, Mr. Milton Machado, the director of the Center of Training of the Spanish Cooperation, Mrs. Mercedes Flórez and the National Water Director, Daniel Greif.

The content of the course was focused on the conversion of liquid effluents into resources, the reuse of sludge as soil improver, energy source or raw material. The approach was based on legal guidelines and regulations for the reuse of water, purification of urban wastewater, reuse technologies, and sludge reuse.

In addition, the participants made a field visit to the Canelones effluent plant and a wasteweater treatment plant. It was an instance of wide and rich exchange of knowledge with professionals of the region in the different alternatives of water reuse, and its design.

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