Analysis of Barriers and Opportunities for Reclaimed Wastewater Use for Agriculture in Europe
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This paper presents an analysis of the perception regarding reclaimed wastewater reuse in agriculture conducted in the European Union regions. The analysis is based upon a SWOT framework and applies a cluster analysis to reduce the dimension of the responses enabling an assessment of the different perceptions of water reuse. More than one hundred key actors identified among the regions participated in the evaluation of the relevance of aspects identified. The results indicate some groups of countries according to natural conditions (water scarcity) and the strategic role of agriculture as a key factor to determine agent’s perceptions and attitudes. The results indicate that the forthcoming EU regulation of water reuse should focus in the problems of the perceived high cost of reclaimed water for farmers and the sanitary risk perception for irrigated crops by consumers as the critical points for fostering the use of reclaimed water in agriculture and the need for regional implementation of the global regulatory framework.