During the celebration of the M23 General Meeting organized by FCC Aqualia in Almería, the project consortium was received in the city’s Town Hall by the Deputy Major Manuel Guzmán, responsible for the Area of Public Works and Urban Services.
The Deputy Major thanked the consortium for their efforts and for choosing Almería as one of the three pilot sites where the UrbanWater platform is going to be tested all along 2015 (jointly with the cities of Tavira, in Portugal, and Palkovice, in the Czech Republic).
With nearly 200.000 inhabitants, the southern province of Almería is one of the most arid regions in Europe, with roughly 20 rainy days per year. That’s why the local government has always treated the water as one of the most important issues to deal with every day. Projects such as UrbanWater, whose objective is to achieve an intelligent, efficient and integrated management of the urban water resources, are key to develop innovative public initiatives in order to solve the problem of water scarcity.
The consortium took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the R+D projects in order to find disruptive solutions to old problems. In that sense, the coordinator Albert Rodríguez (ATEKNEA Catalonia), summarized the strong points of the UrbanWater platform: an open, flexible and SME led system. Each region of Europe faces different problems regarding water management, so traditional ITC solutions have problems to adapt to each of the different end-user needs. In that sense, the modul-based design of UrbanWater is a leap forward, as it can adapt to different requirements with relatively low effort, as compared with traditional water management systems.
The consortium also pointed out that the specific assets of the UrbanWater platform not also benefit water utilities, but also citizens – who are the main water consumers -, by providing them more information and offering them a chance to be proactive in their water consumption attitudes. At the same time, policy makers such as the Almería local government could also benefit, as they can offer a better service to their citizens.
In a nutshell: UrbanWater provides the water sector stakeholders with a wide range of tools in order to enhance water management; a win-win scenario that, thanks to the project validation phase in Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic, will last far beyond the project lifetime.