REUSE seeks to enable the utilisation of ApR in agriculture through leveraging the development of low cost technology that makes recourse to renewable energy, natural barriers, the combination of the reduced scale of the local wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), the profiles of the respective river basins, rates of sunshine and periods of irrigation within the framework of fostering the value of water from across the diverse perspectives (availability, micronutrients) of the new ‘Fit for Purpose’ approach and the growing awareness in the agricultural sector regarding hydric efficiency and the need to diversify their sources.

Now undergoing testing is the ApR production system that applies solar disinfection to the treated wastewaters from the Beja WWTP for their subsequent utilisation by farmers in the surrounding region for the irrigation of pomegranate orchards with the objective of studying the impact on the plants, soil and water.

The project pilot demonstration, installed in the Beja wastewater treatment plant, consisted of an ApR production system involving the solar disinfection of the wastewaters treated by the Beja plant for application in the region for irrigating a pomegranate orchard. This held the objective of studying the impact of the utilisation of this water source on the development of the plants and fruits, the balance of nutrients and evaluating any eventual savings in the level of mineral fertilisers required, the impact of ApR on the water reception environments (soils and watercourses) and in addition to the consequences of this water for agricultural irrigation systems.

The results obtained by this pilot project have proven fairly significant. The ApR technology for solar disinfection produced waters with the quality necessary for the drip irrigation of a pomegranate orchard and without any significant impacts observed either in the irrigation system or on the development of the plants and fruits. However, there remains the need to confirm with greater certainty and reliability this latter conclusion through the undertaking of additional irrigation campaigns (medium and long term analyses), which justified the launching of the project’s second phase in March 2021.

REUSE is a project financed by the national Environmental Fund and results from a partnership between AdP – Águas de Portugal, AgdA – Águas Públicas do Alentejo , EDIA – the Alqueva Development and Infrastructures Company, ISA – the Higher Institute of Agronomy, EFACEC and COTR –the Irrigation Operating and Technical Centre.

1st PHASE:
Budget: 200 000 EUR
Starting date: March 2019
Project duration: 22 months

2nd PHASE:
Budget: 75 000 EUR
Starting date: March 2021
Project duration:11 months

Funded by: