Iwater 2018 showcases innovation and technology for sustainable and intelligent water management

In this, its second year, Iwater 2018 will seek to boost business, networking and knowledge of the different phases of the integrated water cycle. The focus will be on digitalisation as a vehicle for improving efficiency and the circular economy as a new means of addressing the scarcity of water resources. From 13 to 15 November, the International Integrated Water Cycle Trade Fair, organised by Fira de Barcelona, will bring together around 100 exhibitors from 8 countries. They will be showcasing cutting-edge technologies and new products, designed to modernise infrastructures and guarantee smart, sustainable water management in cities, industry and agriculture.

In the commercial exhibition area, companies with a wide range of solutions for the collection, treatment, distribution, transport, storage, sanitation, purification, reuse, irrigation, management and consumption of water for agricultural, urban, industrial and domestic use will be present. The leading companies taking part includes: Aganova Group, Bürkert, Contaza, Dorot, Go Aigua, Corsa Group, Culligan, Likitech, Keller Ag, Regaber, Lacroix Sofrel and Xylem. As well as Spanish companies, others from Austria, Belgium, the United States, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Switzerland will be exhibiting.

The President of Iwater’s organising committee and CEO of MAT Holding, Pau Relat, stated that the fair is “an important meeting point for all the stakeholders who form part of the water sector in Spain, generating debate and sharing initiatives related to the huge challenge of conserving and guaranteeing access to water resources in areas of high water stress, like the Mediterranean.” In the opinion of Relat, Iwater’s focus on bringing together the sector’s latest solutions and technologies is highly essential because “the recipe for reducing water scarcity lies in innovation”.

Projecting R&D+i
The specific aim of Iwater is to showcase the Spanish water sector as a world leader based on its capacity for innovation. For this purpose we intend to take advantage of the synergies offered by holding it simultaneously with other events of distinguished international character: Smart City Expo World Congress, devoted to smart cities and Smart Mobility, focusing on sustainable mobility.

This joint staging will provide Iwater with a significant number of international visitors who have important roles in urban management and public services. These will include experts and other professionals, representing more than 700 cities in around 120 countries, with a keen interest in learning about technologies to improve urban water management.

Iwater has also sought out professionals and stakeholders from other user sectors, mainly from industry and agriculture, the two greatest areas of water consumption, and has invited them to join us this year. All in all, the Fira de Barcelona Trade Fair hopes to boost business and growth in the water sector, both in Spain and in other priority markets in the Mediterranean basin and in Latin America. International delegations from Colombia, Morocco, Guinea, Israel, Italy, Germany, Iran, the UK, Scotland and Portugal are also expected.

What’s more, with the aim of promoting networking, business partnership agreements and technology transfer, the Trade Fair will also host Water Market Europe, organised by the European Water Technology Platform (Wsstp). This will take the form a conference, combining brief presentations about digital water transition with bilateral meetings between SMEs, start-ups, investors, universities, technology centres, representatives of cities and professionals from different countries, who will be taking part in the Brokerage Event, organised by Acció and shared with the Smart City Expo World Congress.

The Real Value of Water
As part of the event related to knowledge and debate on water resources, as a new feature, Iwater is hosting the 9th edition of the Water Economy Forum, an initiative by the University of Alcalá to analyse the integrated water cycle’s management model and the sector’s water resource challenges. With the participation of some 15 international speakers, this important meeting will address issues such as the value of water and water security, the digital revolution in water services, the financing of infrastructure and sanitation and the regulation of water services. There will be a special session devoted to water in cities and its management, in accordance with circular economy strategies.

Amongst the experts will be the former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and current president of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS), Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Professor and Head of the Oxford Water Network at the University of Oxford, Dustin Garrick, the Global Director of Business Development and Strategic Global Partnerships at Telefónica Open Future, Agustín Moro, the Analyst from the Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities at the OECD, Oriana Romano, and the Academic Director of the Water Economy Forum, Gonzalo Delacámara.

Iwater stories and Hubs
The Trade Fair is also organising a series of conferences and debates, open to all visitors, called Iwater Stories. This will address related topics, such as the sector’s foreign markets, digital water, the challenges and opportunities presented by sustainability, as well as the launch of the PRIMA R&D+i programme between the EU and the Mediterranean region, whose aim is to achieve sustainable agriculture which is resilient to water stress. 20 national and international experts will take the stage in this arena.

This year, Iwater also offers, two areas for leading companies to publicise and demonstrate their latest products, solutions and R&D projects. These two areas are the InnoHub and the TechHub, which between them will host 60 presentations. InnoHub will bring together R&D+i projects whose common denominator is digitalisation and sustainability, with particular attention being paid to cyber-security in water infrastructures and to reduction of the environmental impact of waste water treatment and waste management. Meanwhile, TechHub will present cutting-edge solutions on display at the Trade Fair, as well as examples of good practice and success stories. Additionally, on November 14, the Iwater Awards for the best product, research project and solution exhibited at the Trade Fair will be presented, giving visibility and recognition to the latest innovations.

As a complementary activity, Iwater 2018 is offering professionals attending the fair the opportunity to visit state-of-the-art integral water cycle management facilities. These include the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) at El Prat de Llobregat which incorporates a Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) for groundwater recharge, the control centre at the municipal water company, Barcelona Cicle del Agua, SA (BCASA), and the rainwater storage deposit at the Joan Miró Park in Barcelona, as well as the Rubí Waste Water Plant, where a pilot plant using a two-stage system of autotrophic nitrogen elimination has been installed. The visits are being organised by the Catalan Water Agency.

Iwater has the full support of the Spanish water sector’s main professional associations, as well as that of the International Water Association, IWA, which recognises Iwater as the sector’s leading event in Spain.