Sustain-Coast project team went to Arborea to meet local stakeholders ...

Between 27-29 September 2021, the Sustain-Coast project team went to Arborea to meet local stakeholders.  

Interviews were carried out with institutional actors, economic actors (local agricultural entrepreneurs) and social actors (head of the local public library). The aim of the interviews was to understand local stakeholders' perceptions about the state and use of groundwater resources, as well as the sustainability of the local agriculture system. To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the local context, diversity was ensured both in terms of gender and age cohort. 



The 1st Review Meeting of Sustain-COAST project took place online yesterday 20-09-2021. The Project Coordinator  The Technical University of Crete-TUC, presented the progress towards the project objectives to the reviewer, the project officer, and the funding agencies. The reviewer provided Sustain-COAST team recommendations and suggestions for the second period of the project.     The Project Officer welcomed the efforts deployed by the Consortium to overcome the impact of Covid-19 on the activities of the project.

Semi-structured interviews with Sustain-COAST stakeholders in Malia demosite in Greece, 8th-9th of July 2021

On  8-9 July Sustain-COAST team in Greece (Technical University of Crete)  realized 6 interviews with Sustain-COAST stakeholders in Malia demosite. 2 banana farmers, 1 potato farmer and 3 hotels.

semi-structured interview is a method of research used most often in the social sciences. While a structured interview has a rigorous set of questions which does not allow one to divert, a semi-structured interview is open, allowing new ideas to be brought up during the interview as a result of what the interviewee says. The interviewer in a semi-structured interview generally has a framework of themes to be explored.

 The Semi-structured interviews held with Sustain-COAST stakeholders revealed their concerns, their experience and perception regarding groundwater resources.

Sustain-COAST participated with a poster at the AISSA#under40 conference on 1-2 July 2021

The AISSA#under40 conference, organised by the Italian Association of Agricultural Science Societies (AISSA), aims to promote the exchange of experience and the creation of transversal and multi-disciplinary networks among young researchers in the fields of agriculture and forestry. 

The topic of the second edition of the AISSA#under40 conference (1-2 July 2021), which was hosted by the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Sassari, was the sustainability of agricultural and forestry systems.

A new Sustain-COAST deliverable D3.3a is now available for download!

Sustain-COAST project has published recently a new public deliverable presenting  the main activities of the WP3 team  in the topic  "cost efficiency and cost-benefits of selected preventive scenarios". Efforts were spent to identify the cost benefit use of water resources and to mitigate groundwater depletion and degradation in each case study of the four Sustain-COAST demonstration sites. The choice of the appropriate mitigation technique in each case study mainly depends on the site conditions. This task is presented as a pilot for each demonstration site and will be updated in part b (D3.3b), considering local data and the final suggestions by all stakeholders in each case study.

To this end, the full cost-benefit methodology is presented, and the optimal options for managed use of groundwater and surface water is presented for each case study. The mapping of those options is a dynamical process and will be adjusted over the course of the project, where key stakeholders can be added at a different stage to enrich the multi-stakeholder partnership process. The provided information will give insights into assessing the sustainability of the current and future groundwater management strategies. This analysis will identify the impact of the adequate mitigation option considering sustainable water resources availability, management, and pollution risks.

You can download the deliverable here.

Sustain-COAST at the 3rd Euro Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration (EMCEI 2021)

On June 11th, 2021, the Sustain COAST project was presented during the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration (EMCEI 2021) by the participation of Ass. Prof Hanene AKROUT, National coordinator Leader in CERTE-Tunisia who contributed with an oral online communication on “Surface water quality assessment of Wadi El Bey, Tunisia”.

EMCEI 2021 aims to support research and innovation, to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge, and to foster collaboration among Euro-Mediterranean communities and it was a great opportunity to present some of the results of the work carried out in Tunisia within the framework of the Sustain COAST project.


Challenge Taken Up : Smart River Watcher, an IoT solution for water quality monitoring

Within the framework of the Sustain-COAST project, the CERTE team represented by the project leader in Tunisia, Ass.Prof Hanene AKROUT supervised in collaboration with Mr Seif Eddine Azzabi, an Iot Expert at the Higher Institute of information and communication technologies, two students, Mr Ayed BOUKADIDA et Mr Mohamed DHIFLI, in their graduation project for the development of an application and a dashboard connected to an intelligent boat for remote monitoring of Wadi El Bey surface water quality using IoT and low technologies (LowTech).

This project consists of designing an on-board system connected to electronic boards and four sensors (temperature, humidity, conductivity, and pH) to collect and send in-situ the ​​measured values by the sensors and transmit it to a mobile application and a dashboard to monitor the water quality of the wadi.

A challenge taken-up thanks to a hard work and an ambitious and strategic vision by the Tunisian Team.


Sustain-COAST partners had a fruitful meeting with the project scientific advisory board members

On 20 May 2021,  Sustain-COAST partners organized a meeting  with the project scientific advisory board members (SAB). During the meeting, project partners and SAB members  discussed the project progress and the main challenge faced. The SAB gave their recommendations for the future activities of the project.

List of Sustain-COAST advisory board members

Sustain-COAST at the EGU general assembly 26 April 2021

The annual EGU General Assembly is Europe’s largest and most prominent geosciences event. It attracts more than 16,000 scientists, more than half of which are early career, from all over the world.

Sustain-COAST project was presented yesterday 26 April during the HS1 "Role of hydrology in policy, society and interdisciplinary collaborations: across disciplines and beyond scientists"

Sustain-COAST at the 3rd Atlas Georesources International Congress (AGIC2021)

On March 24th, 2021, Sustain COAST project was presented at the 3rd Atlas Georesources International Congress (AGIC2021) organized by the Laboratory of Georesources (LGR) at the Water Researches and Technologies Center (CERTE, Borj Cedria, Tunisia) in collaboration with the Tunisian Association of Georesources (ATGr) during session 9/Topic 4 : Sustainable and smart solutions for water resources management. More than 100 participants were present at conference.

The AGIC2021 addresses the problems and potential solutions related to water resources sustainability, evaluation of the stock, the quality, and management of water resources in the context of climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressure which fits perfectly in  the theme of Sustain-COAST project.

By Hanene AKROUT, Thouraya Mellah, Hatem BACCOUCHE

Well water sampling campaign & piezometric survey of Grombalia shallow aquifer 7-8 April 2021

On 7 & 8 April, as part of Sustain-COAST project and in coordination and cooperation with the CRDA Nabeul, the CERTE team carried out a well water sampling campaign and a piezometric survey of Grombalia shallow aquifer.

Author of the news: Hanene AKROUT, Thouraya MELLAH, Hatem BACCOUCHE

Sampling & monitoring campaign of surface water quality 01 April 2021

On 1st April 2021, as part of Sustain-COAST project, the CERTE team carried out a sampling and monitoring campaign of surface water quality in Wadi El bey, the Tunisian demo-site.

Author of the news: Hanene AKROUT, Thouraya MELLAH, Hatem BACCOUCHE

Sustain-COAST Second Online Annual Meeting Fruitfully Concluded

The second online annual meeting took place on 29 September 2020 and hosted by the project coordinator “ Technical University of Crete (TUC) ”. The meeting was held remotely due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the meeting, partners presented the current status of the project and the achieved tasks during the previous 15 months. They presented the preliminary results of the work achieved in  the 4 demo sites,  Arborea in Italy, Wadi El Bey in Tunisia, Malia in Greece and Erdemli in Turkey. Partners also discussed currents status of WP’s, the problems and delays due to Covid 19, agreed on a list of solutions to solve the first year problems and they planned next steps.

Sustain-COAST and MEDSAL online joint meeting

On September 28th 2020, a joint conference of the Sustain-Coast and the Medsal projects took place via zoom. Medsal is a PRIMA project focuses on the sustainable management of coastal aquifers subjected to multiple salinization phenomena, through the combinational use of hydrogeochemistry, physical-based models, environmental isotopes artificial intelligence and advance geostatisticsSustain-Coast addressing sustainable groundwater management in coastal areas. About 66 participants of the the meeting involving stakeholders, scientists and partners of both projects have attended a highly interesting meeting with excellent presentations about the objectives of each project, WPs, progress to date and projection for coming months.Both projects have exchanged their knowledge and experiences and discussed possibilities of future cooperation.


1st Living Lab in Malia, Greece on 9th July 2020

On 9th of July, 2020 the first Living Lab and stakeholders meeting in Malia study area, Greece took place in the city hall of Malia. In the meeting, organized by the TUC team, 55 users, local authorities, NGOs, official water management organisations and policy makers had the opportunity to meet each other and discuss. During the meeting, the overall scope of the Sustain-COAST project was presented in order to invite the stakeholders to participate in the living labs. Through the activities of the living lab, the stakeholders exposed and classified the issues of their area and they proposed relevant solutions. Several activities were organised including, ice-breaking activities, an interactive web-based questionnaire, and a participatory creation of maps containing the actual situation and future plans. The Greek team is really happy that the Stakeholders showed collaborative spirit and were willing to participate in the project activities and that valuable information came out that can be reclaimed by the scientific team.

See here the meeting video

A new Sustain-COAST deliverable is now available for download!

Sustain-COAST project has published recently a new public deliverable related to the demo-sites  characterization. The deliverable presents the first step for an optimal selection and implementation of the best methodologies, i.e. a sound characterization of the four case study sites. The scientific team in this document collects and analyses all the available data for the proposed sites in Greece, Italy, Tunisia and Turkey and makes an assessment on how the real situation is in each site.

You can download the deliverable here.

Sustain-COAST at "Doors Open Day" held in the Water Researches and Technologies Center (CERTE), Tunisia 11 March 2020

On March 11th, 2020, the Water Researches and Technologies Center (CERTE) organized a Doors Open Day for public as part of the celebration of the World Water Day. More than 60 visitors were present:  Academics, students, pupils, trainees, administrators, associations and industrials from Tunisia and other countries. The “Doors open day” was an opportunity for the Tunisian team to present  Sustain-COAST project, its missions, its objectives and the specific issues the project is dealing with. It was also an opportunity to focus on the importance of the implementation of the local sustainable management of water resources through innovative tools of governance and social learnings.

Taking advantage of this day and through Sustain-COAST project, the CERTE team calls on all participants to be inspired and take action to make a difference in favor of environment.

By Hatem Baccouche 

Sustain-coast 2nd Coordination Meeting & Stakeholders’ Workshop fruitfully concluded

Organised by the project partner, Mersin university,  Sustain-Coast project held its 2nd coordination meeting on 4th-6th February 2020 in Turkey. On 5th February  morning a  meeting with mayor of Erdimli Municipality was held,  and in the afternoon a stakeholders meeting with potential actors from the Turkish demosite  was organised at the municipality permises.

During the 2nd  coordination meeting, the partners presented the current status of the project and the achieved milestones during the previous 9 months. They presented the preliminary results of the living lab organised in Tunisia, and defined the next steps for the development of the project.

See here the meeting video.


Living Lab Wadi El Bey Tunisia : 1st stakeholders meeting

The first meeting of the  “LivingLab wadi el Bey” was organized on January 07th, 2020 by the Tunisian team CERTE. It took place at Ezzahra town. The program has been planned for one day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. This meeting was preceded by visits to the various stakeholders to present the project and to invite them to participate in the living lab meetings. It brought together 23 users and stakeholders among the 35 invited.  Different representative from local authorities attended the meeting: water users associations, innovation promotion agency, national sanitation utility, researchers, engineers, industrials, NGOs, farmers, rural women, municipality and official water management organisms and researchers.

At the beginning of the meeting, the participants were asked to present themselves and to display their motivations and expectations from meeting attendance. 

The meeting's program was divided in two main activities :

1- Building a common vision on resources and their uses in Wadi el Bey’s watershed

The main purpose of this activity was to familiarize stakeholders with their environment, to understand it, to re-explore it and to interact with it.

The expertise of the participants and their use related to resources of Wadi el Bey, each in his field, has created a significant complementarity in the exercise of participatory mapping

The stakeholders worked on a 2D map representing Wadi el Bey watershed and its hydrographic network.  They worked together to determine the phreatic aquifer limit, roads, location of industries, treatment plants, cities. 

They delimited according to their perception and experience, the irrigated perimeters and determined the land use and the industrial and urban discharge points. 

This activity was followed by restitution and discussion through it the stakeholders guided by the moderator classified their problems and their proposed solutions in a matrix that indicates the importance of the problems and the proposed solutions according to the stakeholders and to the decision-makers.

2- Common management

In order to more understand the perception of each stakeholder, the participants embodied each other's roles in a role play process and they got into a constructive discussion where each participant has expressed his positions and his vision for the future of the region. The stakeholders were very interactive. They were satisfied with the meeting and felt the importance of the problem and they insisted on the need to manage the problem by including all the intervening components, and they expressed their willingness to participate in the next living lab meetings.

 By Hatem Baccouche, Thouraya Mellah, Hanene Akrout

Meeting with Water Users’ Associations in Wadi el Bey watershed-Tunisia Agricultural Development Associations (GDAs)

On November 19thand December 12th, 2019, the CERTE team met with different representatives of water Users’ Associations in Wadi el Bey watershed (GDA Marja, GDA Turki, GDA Nianou, GDA Sammech) to present the Sustain-COAST project and to look at the mutual interests. During the meeting, the CERTE team emphasized the important role of farmers in the use and the preservation of water resources and presented the problem of the pollution of Wadi El bey and its impact on the mini ecosystem of the region. The Tunisian partner team sensitized the members of the associations of the importance of their involvement in the project by highlighting the crisis of water resources in Tunisia which is between the hammer of the rising demand of the water and the anvil of the scarcity of this resource.

For their part, the assosiations’ representatives showed a great understanding of the critical situation in the context of climate change that the world and especially Tunisia live. They presented their problems related to the pollution of Wadi Elbey and gave their perception to solve the problem.

They showed an interest in the project and were willing to be a positive and interactive actor in the project and the living lab’ meetings


Meeting with the NGO in Wadi el Bey watershed-Tunisia Association of Environment and Development in Soliman (AEDS)

During the meeting  held on the 14th of November at the CERTE, Sustain-COAST Project has been presented to  the Association of Environment and Development in Soliman (AEDS).  The AEDS is active in the study project’s site to raise citizens’ awareness about environmental issues, contribute to preserve the ecosystem and to strengthen the values ​​of citizenship. The Tunisian team emphasized the role that may play the civil society in the project. Therefore,  the possibilities of collaborations between the Tunisian team and the NGO  within the framework of the project have been discussed. The AEDS representatives have shared their opinion about the local water resource use and showed interest to join the sustain-Coast project.  The two teams have agreed to participate in events organized by each other. For this purpose. The CERTE team participated on Saturday 16th November in the workshop organized by AEDS around the theme of  "Youngs and climate change" which is an activity of their project ' Flora-Wet".

By Hanene AKROUT, Thouraya MELLAH and Hatem BACCOUCHE

Sustain-Coast Tunisian team meets with Maghreb Tanning Industry staff, 5th November 2019

On November 05th, 2019, the CERTE partner team met with TMM staff (Tanneries Mégisseries du Maghreb) in the factory in Grombalia, Tunisia to present Sustain-COAST project and to look at the involvement of the industrial in the project.  During the meeting, the TMM staff has presented the enterprise as well as water management in the production process (discharges, recycling, water points, and consumption). The staff has denoted the standards followed, the problems encountered and, the planning for the activity development.

The issues related to groundwater management in Wadd el Bey watershed have been discussed. The industrial seem highly concerned about the critical situation of the groundwater. 

The TMM staff has underlined the successful former collaboration with the CERTE and has shown interested in collaboration with the  project team. The two parties agreed to have an agreement under the Sustain-COAST project that supports their collaboration.

By  Hanene AKROUT, Thouraya MELLAH and Hatem BACCOUCHE

Sustain-COAST- Kick-off meeting, June 11th-13th 2019 in Chania-Crete, Greece

The kick-off meeting of the new PRIMA project Sustain-COAST "Sustainable coastal groundwater management and pollution reduction through innovative governance in a changing climate" took place on June 11th-13th 2019 in Chania-Crete, Greece. 
The overall objective of Sustain-COAST is to design and test innovative governance approaches to MED coastal water resources to improve their management and mitigate their pollution by creating new long-lasting spaces for social learning among multiple interdependent stakeholders, people, NGOs, and scientific researchers at four case studies located along the shores of the MED Sea (Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Italy).