Droughts and water scarcity are an increasing concern in Europe, with around 20% of the European territory and 30% of the total population already affected by water stress. The anthropogenic alteration of the water cycle poses risks for energy production, food security, human health, economic development, and poverty reduction. In addition to drought impacts, overexploitation of water resources in some European countries increases the risk of water deficits – especially for agriculture – and consequently environmental hazards. Furthermore, unsustainable consumption and production patterns (“take, make, consume, and waste”) as well as climate change are degrading ecosystems and reducing their ability to provide essential goods and services. To overcome these challenges, the concept of a Circular Economy (CE) has emerged and water reuse is being promoted as one important solution. However, the implementation of necessary changes still faces several barriers (e.g. technology, economy, knowledge, social perception).

BOOST-IN (Grant Agreement 101135239) will develop and implement a strategy that promotes the types of technological changes, governance schemes, mindset shifts and organizational structures that the water sector needs to become circular. This will be achieved through an effective transfer of innovative “Water Circular Economy Solutions” (WACES) and initiatives to further close water cycles, reuse water and recover energy, nutrients and other by-products from wastewater, based on real-life experience in the circular economy. The project will foster multi-disciplinary action at the EU level but also at the regional level targeting “Regions of Opportunity” to promote knowledge exchange, build capacity, support entrepreneurship, advocate policy and create an active network of actors that interact effectively and synergistically. The “Regions of Opportunity” are distributed across Europe (Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Italy and Bulgaria). At the EU level, the project will create an active network of stakeholders and set detailed action plans, including different training and education activities targeting water professionals. The project will provide expertise on suitable business models and develop standardized quality criteria, as well as facilitate the links between solution providers and potential investors. Moreover, BOOST-IN will upgrade and benefit from the existing Water Europe Marketplace platform that will enable project clustering, B2B matchmaking and selections of appropriate WACES solutions for specific user needs. BOOST-IN is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) that works together with other projects running parallel.

FT leads the work package 3 “Guiding Policy Development” and contributes to WP 1 “Scouting, mapping and impact assessment of innovative WACES”, WP 2 “Scaling up with public stakeholder engagement and professional training”, WP 5 ”Maximizing impact with effective communication and dissemination” and WP 6 “Project management and coordination”. We aim to improve the existing European policy framework and to create new regional ones, paying particular attention to technical feasibility, social and environmental effects, promoting the uptake of implemented solutions, and ensuring that water reuse contributes to reducing water scarcity and the impact of droughts.

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