Industry, innovation and knowledge for better water managementDelphine Romeu
Delphine Romeu. Director of iWater 2016
The iWater exhibition organized by Fira de Barcelona has launched a different proposal capable of boosting the innovative and industrial dimension of the integral water cycle in our country and of giving it international projection as an integrating event and as a reflection of the Agua España (Spanish Water) brand.
The positive results obtained in this first edition last November demonstrate the success of adding three fundamental aspects for the growth of the water sector: industry, innovation and technology, and shared knowledge to address the sustainable management of water resources.
Several studies indicate that by 2030, an increase in the world's population and the need to increase food production will result in a water deficit of 40%. This forecast, combined with the effects of climate change that accentuate water stress with prolonged droughts, desertification and episodes of heavy rains and floods, makes it necessary to increase the resilience of cities, industries and the rural environment to cope with this adverse scenario.
We have to be aware that the amount of water on the planet is finite and that this problem can only be solved by substantially modifying forms of consumption, saving water resources in processes and recycling water. In this sense, the circular economy paradigm is fully integrated into the management of the integral water cycle, enhancing recycling of water that has already been subjected to previous use as a new source of provision.
Innovation and technology are the main allies to guarantee water in sufficient quantity and quality in the future. For this reason, iWater wanted to put in value the permanent R & D & I effort carried out by the sector's companies, facilitating an effective platform for companies to sell and export their know-how when managing water stress, in the form of commercial solutions and technology transfer agreements. This has been evident in the very design of the fair with a leading role in the exhibition area, complemented by the technology and innovation hubs where more than 120 current projects and concrete applications have been presented, greatly enhancing networking.
With the participation of 127 companies from 10 countries, the stand area has shown a greater modernisation of water management and treatment thanks to the use of technologies of the industry 4.0, as well as tools that provide real time information on consumption, both for the users and the managers, a key factor in their decision making.