The design of AGREEMed’s work activities took into consideration the fast-paced changing status of the components interfering with aquifers (ex: climate, land use, population…) especially in the Mediterranean region. To address this postulate, three pilot areas where selected to carry out AGREEMed’s activities: The Jordan Valley in Jordan, Hammamet basin in Tunisia, and the SoussMassa basin in Morocco.

The three areas have most of the common water resources challenges of the Med region, with some biophysical and socioeconomic specificities, which will help in enlarging the scalability of AGREEMed solutions scope in the region.

In addition to the biophysical and socioeconomic features of the pilot areas, other factors have been taken into consideration while designing AGREEMed’s methodology, such as: the complex trade-offs between disciplines within aquifers management (and water governance in general), and the recent advancements (as well as the remaing gaps) of scientific and technological achievements in water’ related disciplines. Bellow are the main adopted methods and approaches to capture the aforementioned factors while implementing the project tasks:

Sampling: several water sampling campaigns will be performed in the first year of the project to investigate and/or confirm specific groundwater quality parameters in the three pilote areas (as part of the WP2 and WP5). The number of sampling campaigns and samples number will be different depending on the concerned WP and the required amount of data per basin; and will range from 2 to 4 sampling campaigns and from 3 to 6 samples/campaign. Spatial hydrogeological variability and temporal flow regime variance (dry & wet) will be taken into consideration.

Chemical analysis: In the WP2 (hydro-processes investigation) major parameters related to salinity (CL, SO4...) and pollution (NO3) will be measured in the lab using spectrometers, titriing, Ionic Chromotograph, and Atomic absorption techniques. Isotopic techniques will be used to investigate rechange, exchange, evaporation, marine intrusion and flows circulation processes within the aquifers. Further physical parameters will be measured in the field (e.g. EC, PH, T°C...). Non-conventional water quality monitoring in WP3 and WP7 will be carried out as a preliminary task before the feasibility study and design of the solutions/prototypes. The effectiveness of the prototypes after implementation will be monitored with respect to salinity and salt concentrations (WP3) as well as pollution removal (COD, BOD, TSS, etc.) (WP7).

Modeling: Various modeling activities will be taking place across the project progress: climate and water modeling (both surface and groundwater) using conceptual and physical models (WP2), hydrologic alteration and freshwater ecosystem response to alteration using conceptual models (WP2), dynamic bio-economic and land use dynamics models (WP4). In addition to local knowledge and the collected data from surveys and investigations, Copernicus program data will be used to run some of the models.

Piloting and demonstration: The NBS prototype (WP7) is an "Enhanced Constructed Wetland" whose technology will be selected following the result of the feasibility study (including LCA) (T7.2) which will compare several technical options, namely aeration, mixing of the substrate with an active material (biowaste) or a conductive material (oxidation/reduction), seeding with selected bacterial consortium, as well as the introduction of a solar photocatalytic desinfection. The prototype will be modular, and the target treatment performances will be adapted to the needs of the farmer (or crop). Co-design with the Stakeholders Boards members is planned during workshop (T7.2). Adaptation to local context and adoption by the users of the prototype technology will be considered. In WP5 (Water treatment & brine management), two installations will be established in the Jordan valley and in Hammamet basin and will consist of concentration steps after the conventional reverse osmosis (RO). Based on the groundwater compositions of the demonstration sites, partly selective concentrating technologies will be selected. Nanofiltration, additional RO, electrodialysis (metathesis), capacitive deionisation in combination with natural evaporation/crystallization are possible techniques. The design of the demonstration plant will be based on the experiences with concnetrates from industrial effluents, drinking and coolig water. Emphasis is on high water yield, reuse of salts, robustness, easy and safe operation as well on low CAPEX and OPEX. After installation and optimizitation, the demonstrations will be accompanied by onsite wokshops and trainings of professionals, stakehoders and students.

Industrialization: all the developed solutions in WP4, WP5, and WP7 will benefit from market positioning, increasing of TRLS, oprimization and socio-economic footprint analysis (WP6) for potential investment and market release opportunities. The two SMEs partners of the project will investigate market potentials for their activities in the AGREEMed’s pilot areas; and startups incubation programs (in Morocco and Tunisia) will be invited in some project events to benefit and inspire the relevant startups hosted by the programs. Surveying: Surveys will be carried out as part of WP7 (NBS) to identify local water management challenges to tackle using NBS. The target group will be water and sanitation managers as well as users and civil society. Remote survey as well as direct interviews will be used. In the WP4 (ICT), and to analyse trade-offs and portfolio documented/Case study (CS) (at least in total 100 scenarios “combination of innovations and external drivers” with associated SDGs indicators), specific focus groups (at least 3/CS) and oriented perception surveys will be performed. Other surveys will be organized (in combination with the previous ones) about: i/ perceptions and willingness to reuse wastewater in agriculture, ii/ acceptance of brine management, and iii/ knowledge and perceptions on groundwater governance (200 to 300 households will be covered).

AGREEMED is part of the PRIMA programme supported
by the European Union.



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