Asst. Prof. Alexandros StefanakisSchool of Environmental Engineering
Technical University of Crete
Speech Title: Constructed Wetlands for sustainable wastewater treatment and reuse: case studies and opportunities
Abstract: The issue of effective and sustainable wastewater management remains an open problem in many countries around the world, especially in regions with limited freshwater resources, while there is an always increasing water demand that results in over-abstraction and deterioration of the available freshwater quality. Hence, wastewater can be viewed as a new valuable water source that can be added to the local/regional water balance. This requires not only effective treatment of wastewater but also sustainable and cost-effective technologies that would further enable a more circular approach of water management allowing for the reuse e.g. in agricultural irrigation. Constructed Wetlands is a green technology characterized by low overall costs, easy operation, and an ecological character. This presentation will discuss the current global experiences on this nature-based solution by presenting various Constructed Wetlands case studies and full-scale facilities from different regions treating wastewater from a variety of sources, i.e., both domestic/municipal and various industrial effluents. Additionally, examples of integrated wastewater management by reusing wetland-treated effluents and exploiting the reed biomass (compost, biogas production) will be presented to highlight the high treatment capacity of this sustainable technology and its contribution to water conservation and climate change mitigation.
Dr Alexandros Stefanakis is Assistant Professor at the School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete in Greece. He is also Regional Coordinator of Africa and Middle East for the ‘Wetlands for Water Pollution Control’ Specialist Group of the International Water Association. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Circular Economy and Sustainability’. He is an expert in Ecological Engineering and Technology, specializing on the use of nature-based solutions for water and wastewater management. His expertise is the design of Constructed Wetlands for wastewater treatment and sludge dewatering and reuse. As an Environmental Engineer, he has designed, and built several wastewater treatment facilities using Wetland Technology in many countries around the world. He has been and is currently involved in more than 15 international research projects in various countries. He holds a record of publications in international scientific journals and conference proceedings, while he has also published three books and many book chapters.