NRD - Desertification Research Centre

NRD image

NRD is focused on developing and managing research and cooperation projects in different areas of research directly or indirectly related with desertification.

In particular, NRD researchers have been involved in the study of physical, biological and socio-economic aspects of desertification and land degradation in the Mediterranean, with particular reference to the impact of agricultural policies and agropastoral activities.

Networking and training initiatives are also an important part of NRD work. The NRD group has promoted several events and activities aiming at favouring the exchange of data and experiences at the international level and at promoting scientific training of young researchers from European and non-European Countries.



MENAWARA - Non Conventional WAter Re-use in Agriculture in MEditerranean countries

(, funded by the EU under the ENI CBC Med Programme ( Its total budget is € 2.903.917,60, out of which 2.613.525,84 as EU funding (90% contribution). It started on 1st September 2019.

About the project:

Mediterranean Countries are torn between old and new water policies, and water shortage experience is not related only to increasing demand, but also to poor infrastructure and management practices. The joint challenges of MENAWARA project consist of providing additional resources by recycling drainage and wastewater (WW), tapping water losses, rationalizing water use practices and setting operational governance models in line with national and international plans. The project is designed to enhance access to water through the treatment of wastewater to be re-used as complementary irrigation and to strengthen the capacity of governmental institutions, non-state actors operating in the sector, technicians and farmers. The action will reduce the stress on freshwater sources from agriculture sector and will improve the quality of treated wastewater (TWW) in agriculture. Clean and environmental friendly technological, managerial and operational innovation will be applied and results shared among relevant stakeholders. MENAWARA will play an important role in reducing water insecurity by designing the most suitable post-treatment and MAR systems for each intervention area and by promoting a sustainable agriculture.

Expected change:

The expected change is to improve the quality of NCW and increase its use in agriculture thus reducing the pressure on fresh water. Know-how, experiences and pilot project’s results will be transferred at regional and transnational levels, in the occasion of meetings, visits, trainings and events.

In the medium term, the implementation of the activity in the different areas and the related training will generate new jobs, also in synergy with national programs while the improving of irrigation systems supplied by high quality TWW will boost agricultural activity and indirectly cause the increase of jobs. In the long term, the engagement of associate partners, due to their institutional functions, will ensure the replicability of the actions thus generating multiplicative effects and so the creation of new jobs.


From September 2019 to August 2022


University of Sassari - Desertification Research Centre (Applicant) (Italy)

Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes (C.I.H.E.A.M.) – Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari (Italy)

WEWORLD-GVC Onlus (Palestine)

National Agricultural Research Center (Jordan)

Office National de l'Assainissement (Tunisia)

Fundación Centro de las Nuevas Tecnologías del Agua CENTA (Spain)