The main tasks and activities of the AQUARES project in Latvia have been related to the promotion of public awareness of the benefits of water reuse and the advantages of these benefits, as well as the integration of water reuse measures into policy planning instruments. Therefore the topics relevant to Latvia which are addressed in the AQUARES Action Plan are water reuse measures aimed at sustainable stormwater management solutions that promote the use of stormwater for urban microclimate regulation, biodiversity, irrigation and firefighting, as well as improvement of the attractiveness of public outdoor spaces.
Guidelines for municipalities on sustainable and integrated stormwater management
Currently, the Latvian legislation does not hinder, but also does not promote sustainable stormwater management and reuse. The lessons learned whithin the project AQUARES included the need for a multidisciplinary approach for the impelementation of water reuse solutions, in combination with solutions that are multi-functional. There is a necessity for comprehensive guidelines for the implementation of sustainable stormwater management at the municipal level. This would facilitate the development of municipal stormwater management programs/guidelines at the local level.
Guidelines for motivational tools for sustainable stormwater management solutions
One of the factors that promotes the use of stormwater as a resource is the full implementation of the “polluter pays” principle and the collection of fees for the maintenance and development of stormwater management infrastructure. At the same time, one of the biggest problems mentioned in connection with sustainable stormwater management in Latvia is the lack of funding. This action will gather information on mechanisms for incentives for water reuse (motivational tools) and develop a draft local regulation on stormwater fee. It is expected that the action will result in the development of local policy documents incentivising storm water reuse. It will also promote the attraction of funding for water reuse solutions from the private and public sector.