The 8th of July 2020 was the official Launch Day for the WIDER UPTAKE project at Palermo University.
Summary by Giorgio Mannina, UNIPA:
The Launch Day discussion focused on the WIDER UPTAKE project presentation with the aim to highlight the synergistic actions as well to engage stakeholders involved in the project towards the need of upgrading the existing wastewater treatment plants. The stakeholders emphasized the paramount interest to modify the local regulations, according to the concepts of the circular economy, through the demonstration of the feasibility of water smart solution for overcoming the existing social and administrative barriers.
In particular, during the discussion it emerged the prominent role of the Office of the Special Unique Commissioner in the Sicilian territory concerning the Wastewater Treatment facilities. The figure of the Special Unique Commissioner was born/started with a Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers on 26 April 2017 and the commissioner structure has its registered office in Rome. The task of the Commissioner is to carry out the necessary actions (design and construction) to overcome the convictions of the Court of Justice of the European Union in cases C-656/10 and C-85/13, as well as the infringement procedures 2014/2059 and 2017/2181. The current Special Unique Commissioner is Prof. Maurizio Giugni, appointed by Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers on 11 May 2020.
The event was attended by a number of stakeholders and other participants, directly and indirectly involved in the project, among which:
- The Rector of Palermo University, Prof. Fabrizio Micari;
- The Regional Assessor of Energy and Public Utility Service, Dott. Alberto Pierobon;
- The head of the Sicilian Department of Water and Waste, Eng. Calogero Foti;
- The Mayors of the Municipalities involved in the project, Dr. Nicolò Nicolosi (Mayor of Corleone), Hon. Francesco Ribaudo (Mayor of Marineo) and Prof. Leoluca Orlando (Mayor of Palermo);
- The President of AMAP S.p.A., partner of the Project, Dr. Antonio Di Martino;
- The Special Unique Commissioner for Wastewater Treatment, Prof. Maurizio Giugni;
- Prof. Giovanni Perrone, Director of the Department of Engineering, Prof. Sefano Colazza, Director of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, Prof. Silvestre Buscemi Director of the Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Prof. Aldo Schiavello, Director of the Law Department.
For more information, see https://wideruptake.unipa.it/events/8-july-2020
- After the Wider Uptake Launch Day, the 27th of July 2020 a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Special Commissioner on wastewater depuration (prof. Maurizio Giugni) and the Sicilian President of the national association of Italian municipalities (ANCI) (prof. Leoluca Orlando) in order to overcoming EU infringements in the wastewater depuration field. In more details, the aim is to create a network for breaking the existing administrative barriers regarding the application of Smart Solutions in the Wastewater sector. On behalf of the University of Palermo, Prof. Mannina has been appointed as the reference person of the signed memorandum for ANCI side.
- On 16th of July 2020 during the ECOMED Conference, held in Catania (ITALY), Prof. Giorgio Mannina presented the Wider-Uptake project in the oral presentation entitled "Transition towards a conversion of purification plants into biorefineries: the European wideruptake project".
- Finally, next September informative seminars will be held at Marineo and Corleone municipalities dedicated to citizen and other involved stakeholders in order to facilitate the overcoming of the existing barriers towards the application of Water Smart Solutions.