WEX Global 2024 featured water, energy and climate change debates

This year’s WEX Global, co-organised by Idrica, was held in Madrid, Spain from 4-6 Mar 2024. The forum entitled ‘Water, energy and climate change: Integrated solutions to build a water positive future’, was attended by over 250 industry experts of around 45 different nationalities from all over the world.

WEX Global CEO Mark Barker said, “WEX has consolidated its position as one of the most important forums for debate in the water and energy sectors, both in terms of number of participants and the quality of its round tables, which have centred on addressing key issues to improve resilience and sustainability in a scenario characterised by climate change.” 

Over three days of discussions, conferences and networking sessions, the event focused on efficient resource management, innovation and deployment of smart monitoring and control solutions

Idrica vice-president of Americas Pablo Calabuig said that “it is the best time in history to focus on innovation, collaboration and global action to build a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future for the water sector.”

Xylem solution selling Europe director Jean de Montal added the need for “a holistic, long-term vision to embrace digital transformation, focused on breaking down information silos within utilities”, pointing out a need to generate a digital culture in companies. Idrica digital twin manager Pilar Conejos also said that artificial intelligence (AI) technology “is set to transform the water and energy sector”.  

Some of these strategies were discussed in the panel sponsored by Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua. Manuel Meléndez Prieto, advisor to the secretary of state for the environment’s office (MITECO), explained the role of digital transformation in the PERTE water cycle initiative, a programme with a budget of €3bn aimed at improving water management in Spain.

The event was rounded off with the WEX Global gala dinner and awards ceremony, where Servicios de Agua y Drenaje de Monterrey took home the Innovation Water Circularity award for its efforts in tackling one of the worst droughts in Mexico in 2022.