Digitizing water will provide real data on uses and accelerate investment

“If we can’t guarantee water, we can’t guarantee future prosperity.” This reflection was shared by all speakers at the Digital Water and European Funds discussion table at the Levante-EMV meetings, a newspaper belonging to the same publishing group as INFORMATION. In a water-stressed country, especially in southeastern Spain, the availability of the resource forces us to measure uses, seek efficiency and balance with demands. Digitizing the Water Cycle Part, which will mobilize more than 3,000 million people between public and private funds, will provide real insights into the system and its weaknesses, paving the way and accelerating investment in improvement.

However, as experts and public representatives agreed at the forum moderated by journalist Julio Monreal, this mechanism, which the Government arbitrates with Next Generation funds, is not an end in itself. Dionisio García Comín, CEO of the Global Omnium group, emphasized that the level of knowledge in the industry is “brutal compared to other countries”. “Thanks to our efforts and the support of universities, we are at the forefront of Made in Spain intelligence and, above all, the integrated water cycle, at Made in Valencia, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

“We have a star”

“If we can download this Perte well, we can become world champions in digitalisation,” he commented, appealing for the necessary unity between companies and management at this point. According to García Comín, the tool introduced by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, which will activate new professional niches, will “condition the way it works” and insists that “we have the star” in a reference to titles in the Valencian Community. your football.

El Perte proposes two calls for help, with a total investment of 1,200 million, so that cities or municipal groups with a population of more than 20,000 can implement measurement systems such as smart meters or Big Data platforms to analyze all information retrieval.

Elisa Valía, councilor for the integrated water cycle at Valencia City Council, focused on the need to accelerate the necessary projects. “Life goes on the day after Perte and governments must be up to the task,” she said. The capacity of the bureaucratic mechanism to manage European aid in a timely manner is precisely a recurring theme. There the majority coincided with pointing out the “bottleneck” required by environmental procedures. It’s an issue that Teodoro Estrela, Director General of Water at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, advocated a significant strengthening of the Environmental Quality Department by the Spanish Government.

Juan Valero de Palma, general secretary of the Junta de la Acequia Real del Júcar, focused his intervention on a not insignificant problem: the need to incorporate objectivity and transparency into water issues.

“You have to remove subjectivity because solutions driven by emotions and fears are not good,” he advised. Therefore, it is very important to measure things and have detailed information. Valencia stood out for its agriculture when Valero de Palma reminded him that “only Israel is surpassing us in modernizing irrigation”, despite bringing together 80% of demand. “The irrigation of the future has to be sustainable and it needs to be measured, and Perte will help us,” he admitted, and then insisted on the benefits of digitization. “You have to distribute water without war, distribute expenses and costs well, and you do that as you count,” he reiterated.

spill control

Marc García Manzana, Water Commissioner of the Hydrographic Confederation of Júcar, referred to the need to connect the social transition not only with the digital, but also with the ecological, “so that bodies of water can achieve a good environmental status”. With the extension granted by the European Union for 2027, this is the goal of the basin organization affiliated to the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Struggle. García Manzana summarized the CHJ’s actions regarding «control of discharges, investments in the western collector area, delivery of water to l’Albufera or satellite control of chlorophyll level in the lake, as well as installation. provision of more piezometers for over-monitoring of aquifers and guaranteeing ecological flows».

incredible possibilities

Carlos Fernández Bielsa, vice-president of Valencia City Council and mayor of Mislata, valued the “incredible possibilities” Perte had to offer. “It will allow us to work on issues that are in a drawer and need this injection,” he admitted. The socialist leader insisted that the water had to be of good quality, as this was a very irrigated autonomy. He emphasized fundamental cooperation between companies and public administrations and “ended the water wars that divided the regions”. We do not have a planet B and we must be conscious of being sustainable, efficient and developing because water is the economy, employment, and the guarantee of the future and prosperity.

Juan Ángel Conca, director of Generalitat Valenciana’s Public Authority for Wastewater Sanitation (Epsar), brought up another key issue in a climate emergency scenario where the Mediterranean is a particularly vulnerable region. Reuse of water. “We are leaders in the Valencian Community, but this Perte is perfectly relevant because it will enable us to control the uncontrollable thanks to data,” he said. “It would mean a before and after, especially in terms of environmental function,” he celebrated, but cautioned about the enormous challenges small towns have of being able to deal with administrative procedures of a certain complexity with Government-appointed deadlines. . . .

Water bill and Netflix

The best responsibility for Valía is to seek the best interest of the citizen, but she did not miss the opportunity to invite reflection on the water bill, a limited resource and primary necessity, although many users question it. Something that is not available in the spare time of digital platforms, whose cost is under criticism. Meanwhile, Dionisio García was outspoken, saying that operators and municipalities “will try to unite to be very strong and modern”. “The effort will be an investment, not an expense,” said Global Omnium’s CEO.

“We are a drought-stricken country that cannot afford not to use its water resources well”

Water General Manager Teodoro Estrela. | F. BÜSTAMANTE mmcalabuig


“The European Union has always been very clear about Spain in its reports and told us that if we didn’t know the availability of the water resources we had, we wouldn’t be able to act accordingly.” Teodoro Estrela opened his speech by talking about the importance of data and having knowledge in every field. Both in the urban cycle and in underground masses. The next step was to activate a mechanism that would allow up to 1,700 million to be injected to spur digitalisation. “We did this so that it was a very fast and user-taken project at the same time,” he said.

“A drought-stricken country like ours cannot afford not to use water well,” Estrela said. According to the ministry’s plans, digitalization will also reach irrigation and industry. For the head of national water policy, with a long history at the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation, “the goal is to have better efficiency in water use.” The episode in which he admitted that despite Spain being a pioneer in the circular water economy, “we haven’t made much progress in ten years.”

Estrela acknowledged that, as Juan Valero de Palma points out, the regulatory framework for reuse is not sufficient. Compliance with the European regulation brings with it a series of demands that need to be made. For example, how to pay for reuse so that it is affordable for the irrigator, when treatment plants are located at a different level from agricultural areas where recovered water flows are diverted, allowing aquifers to be preserved.

At this point, Marc García Manzana, water commissioner of the Hydrographic Confederation of Júcar, pointed out that digitization will allow the actual consumption to be known, and therefore treated residual water for agricultural use will be faced with complete conviction by substituting pumps.

Sanitation and purification

Estrela realized that more investment in sanitation and treatment was needed to avoid fines from the European Union and to tackle the problem of heaps still uncontrollably dumped into the natural environment. “Ecological transition means having bodies of water in good condition and closing the loop, being aware of how we use water and giving it back to rivers,” he said.

While Estrela insisted that digitization assistance would reach all local organizations, even through associations, she demanded “everyone be involved and agile”. And no matter how popular the measure may seem, the user has to pay more for the water advance, and the citizen thinks that he will “definitely save” if he really knows what he is spending and what he is spending.

Source: Informacion

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