In Catalonia, the last few months have been marked by water shortages, alerts in the vast majority of internal basins and little accumulated rainfall. This historical trend has not been able to be reversed by the last rains in June, keeping the reservoir water levels still very low. Therefore, given the current situation, the Catalan Water Partnership (CWP) has taken an active part in the organization of several sectoral conferences in relation to the efficient use and management of water.
Recently, the CWP has participated in several conferences focused on different sectors to work on water management in the respective areas. On April 19, framed in the tourism sector and the efficient management of water in such an important economic sector in Catalonia, co-organized with the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) and participated by the Climate Action and Business and Work departments, it had a total of 500 participants. The next one was on May 18, also organized with the ACA and ACCIÓ, aimed at optimizing water consumption in the various industrial sectors and with a total of 560 attendees.
On the other hand, work has been done, from a cross-sector and intercluster point of view, collaborating with other clusters, as is the case on the day of April 21 with INNOVACC “Day of circularity of resources in the meat industry” and on May 24 with INNOVI “Water and Cellars. How to act in the face of the climate emergency in the water in the wineries”. Specifically, these two alliances with the meat and wine sector have turned out to be very assertive and thanks to the success of the conferences, the interest of the sector and the need to alleviate the effects of the drought, two more conferences focused on both areas were held last week.
Specifically, on July 13, the day “Solutions for water management in the meat sector in the context of the current drought” took place, organized jointly with the CWP and INNOVACC and held at the Faculty of Medicine of the UVic – UCC. More than 20 attendees, corresponding to 15 partner companies from both clusters, participated in the day. The aim of this was to learn about solutions, projects and success stories that have been carried out to reduce water consumption in the meat sector industries, and to make known the paradigm of climate change and current drought and future, as well as water restrictions in the sector and how to deal with a possible savings plan. The event was opened by Mariona Pratdesaba, Director of the INNOVACC Projects Area, who welcomed and introduced the INNOVACC cluster. Next, the Cluster Manager of the CWP, Xavier Amores, explained water management in the context of a water emergency and how to deal with a savings plan in the context of the current drought. Then, members of the BETA Technology Center presented the REAQUA, ACCELWATER and PIGPEF projects, to offer technological solutions for efficient water management in the sector.
Finally, the success stories and technological solutions that have been carried out to reduce water consumption in the meat sector were presented. Andreu Camps, from the company Diversey, explained how to focus on reducing water consumption in the food industry. Adriano Pace from KURITA presented a technological solution for saving water and energy in steam/treatment systems. Mariona Danés from the company Derypol presented the water saving in the treatment plant with the use of flocculants. Lluís Baldi from CIMAigua presented the improvements in discharge conditions with an optimized design for the treatment of water supplied by the packaging industry.
Then, on July 14, the 3rd day was held with the wine sector of the year. The first (February 22, 2023) was focused on the irrigation of the vineyards under the title “Water and vines in times of drought: possibilities and alternatives”. The second, previously mentioned, focused on wineries under the same paradigm and, the latter, co-organized with the INNOVI cluster, as well as the Catalan Wine Association (AVC) and the CWP, focused on both strategic points of water use in the sector: the vineyard and the wineries. Thus, under the title “Water, Vine and Cellars: water management and innovation in a context of water emergency” a very profitable telematic conference took place with more than 30 attendees who had the opportunity to listen to more than 8 presentations by experts in the sector. Below, we briefly summarize the content of the day:
Xavier Amores, Cluster Manager of the CWP, started the round of presentations with an immersive presentation of the current and future context of the drought, water management through ACA savings plans, as well as the importance of water management innovation in all industrial sectors. Next, experts from the water sector presented successful cases of solutions to deal with the drought:
- Circularity and self-sufficiency in the agricultural world and agri-food industry” by Agustí Figueras | Head of projects and responsible for clients – ABM
- IOT digitization in viticulture. The water availability of the vineyard” by Carlos Serrano| Telecommunications Engineer – AonChip
- Efficient use of water and resources in the project LIFE PRIORAT MONTSANT” by Alba Cánovas | Circular Economy Project Manager and Agrifood Service Manager – Anthesis Lavola
- Integrated solutions for the recycling of wastewater from a winery” by Carme Santasmasas | R&D manager – ACO
- “Application of precision irrigation in vineyards” by Joaquim Bellvert | Researcher of the Efficient Use of Water in Agriculture Program – IRTA.
- Finally, before the closing, there was talk of pilot tests in the vineyard and cellar by Toni Cruces, General Secretary of the Catalan Wine Association and of possible projects and financing by the cluster manager of INNOVI, Eloi Montcada. The day was recorded and has been made available on the INNOVI portal to all interested wine companies.
Finally, before the closing, there was talk of pilot tests in the vineyard and cellar by Toni Cruces, General Secretary of the Catalan Wine Association and of possible projects and financing by the cluster manager of INNOVI, Eloi Montcada. The day was recorded and has been made available on the INNOVI portal to all interested wine companies.
In addition, it is also necessary to mention the day “Water and Packaging” organized with the Packaging Cluster on July 11, which also made it possible to provide solutions for water management focused on the characteristics of the sector. The aim of the day was to discuss technological solutions and success stories that have been carried out to reduce water consumption in the paper and packaging industries, and to explain how these restrictions can affect and how to deal with a possible savings plan in the context of the current drought.
The alliance between the various sectors and clusters is an indispensable tool to mitigate the effects of water restrictions, while establishing new guidelines and innovative and sustainable alternatives to face the future, which will involve a change in habits in relation to use and consumption of this good.