Iwater, Fira de Barcelona’s new trade show on the integral water cycle, is adding a notably international component to its business, knowledge, innovation and networking spaces at this first edition, which takes place on 15-17 November at the Gran Via Exhibition Centre. The show has targeted and invited around one hundred key actors, buyers, influencers and institutional representatives from over 20 countries to take part in business meetings and presentations of investment projects. It has also invited well-known international experts to speak at the Iwater Forum and the conferences of the Technology and Innovation Hubs.
Ángel Simón, the president of the organising committee of Iwater and senior executive vice-president of Suez Environment, in charge of Water Activity in Europe, notes the high expectations that the show is generating: “It will be a crucial event for the sector, showcasing new products and sharing knowledge that has a direct impact on water management and our ability to respond to the challenges it poses. It will also help to give Spanish companies in the sector the international exposure they need, especially in the Mediterranean Area and Ibero-America.”
In addition to putting the main players in the water industry in contact with professionals from demand sectors in Spain, Iwater has identified priority markets abroad. The organisers have invited users from industry and business with specific investment projects along with consultants, water operators, and the institutional representatives and bodies in charge of managing hydric resources in different countries. The attendance of top-level professionals and business delegations from Colombia, France, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, India, Israel, Italia, Morocco, China and Denmark, amongst others, has already been confirmed.
Organised by Fira de Barcelona, Iwater is being held at the same time as three other events with which it shares synergies and visitors from all over the world: Smart City Expo World Congress, devoted to smart cities; European Utility Week, focusing on energy and utilities; and the Circular Economy European Summit.
Around 120 exhibitors at the trade show
The new Iwater trade show already has confirmation from around 120 exhibitors from ten different countries, including leading operators, engineering companies, construction companies and public authorities, as well as companies providing solutions for the extraction, treatment, distribution, storage, recycling, reuse, irrigation, management and consumption of water for agricultural, industrial or domestic use. Firms taking part include Aigües de Barcelona-Agbar, Aqua Ambient Ibérica, Aqualia, AVK Válvulas, Azud, Bermax, Blupura, Canal de Isabel II Gestión, Canaletas, Chiemivall, Contazara, Copersa, Culligan, Danfoss, Ebara, Espa, Hanna Instruments, Grundfos, Hawle, ITC, Kamstrup, Krypton Chemical, Kurita, Likitech, Panatec, Oxidine Water Technology, Regaber, Remosa, Sofrel, Sorigué, SUEZ, Waterologies and Xylem. Apart from Spain, there will be exhibitors from Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Turkey, France, Brazil and Morocco.
Iwater enjoys the support of the sector’s main business associations in Spain and has also been given wholehearted backing by the International Water Association (IWA), the global organisation with a presence in 130 countries which promotes knowledge and research to solve the challenges facing the water sector from a standpoint of sustainability. The IWA recognises Iwater as a benchmark event for the sector in Spain and sits on the show’s Advisory Board, the body that decides on the content of the educational side of the trade fair – the Iwater Forum, InnoHub and TechHub – and which selects the products, projects and innovations exhibited at the show that will be entered for the Iwater Awards, the winners of which will be announced on 16 November. There will also be a special Iwater Award for solidarity.
The future of water management
As part of its activities, Iwater will address the keys to defining the future of water management in areas with extreme hydric stress. The main venue in this respect will be the Iwater Forum, a space for conferences and debates involving around 80 national and international experts, including US scientist and co-founder of the Pacific Institute in Oakland (California), Peter Gleick, who will be giving the keynote speech on a new approach to managing water resources, ‘Soft Path Water’.
At the Iwater Forum there will also be discussions on the resilience of water to climate change impacts such as desertification, drought and flooding; the role of governance in structuring efficient and integrating management models; and financing to find investment alternatives that will enable our infrastructures to be renewed and modernised. An emphasis will also be put on the true value of water and its impact on the economy and the development of society.
The Inno Hub will be the place to find R&D&I projects and will facilitate contacts and knowledge-sharing among companies, technology centres and universities, putting a particular emphasis on innovative public procurement, financing of R&D and training. It will also include meetings between entrepreneurs and potential investors. Meanwhile, the TechHub will present the cutting-edge solutions being exhibited at the show as well as examples of good practices in energy efficiency, irrigation and water management in smart cities, buildings, residential areas and industrial sectors, and will also reveal several countries’ plans for public investment in water.
Iwater will also be sharing the Brokerage Event with the Smart City Expo World Congress, organised by Acció, which will host bilateral meetings between SMEs, technology centres, universities, organisations and city council representatives from more than 40 countries, with a view to reaching collaboration, business or technology transfer agreements.
As side events, Iwater offers the chance for professionals visiting the show to tour landmark local water management infrastructures, such as the wastewater treatment plant (EDAR) at El Prat de Llobregat, which includes a water regeneration station (ERA) for recharging the water table; the Water Cycle Control Centre of municipal company Barcelona Cicle del Agua, SA (BCASA): the rainwater retention tank in the Joan Miró Park in Barcelona; the desalination plant for the River Llobregat basin and the potable water treatment plant (ETAP) at Abrera, amongst others.
Iwater will also be hosting various guest events such as the Smart Water & Smart Cities Seminar organised by the We are Water Foundation, which will put Mexico and Central America under the microscope; the seminar of the European Water Partnership (EWP) on the practical aspects of water management; the seminar on the R3Water project on the latest technological advances for water regeneration, the recovery of value-added products and the efficient use of resources in urban wastewater treatment; and the conference of the CEIT-IK4 technology centre on eco-innovative solutions in the water sector. Finally, the Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation Services (AEAS), Aqua España, and the Spanish Water Technology Platform (PTEA) will be holding their own meetings and events under the umbrella of the show.