Experts call for renovation and maintenance of urban water infrastructure despite the cost
Madrid, 10 mar (EFE).- Several experts demand the renovation and updating of urban water infrastructures to guarantee the sustainability of the service and to offer water in the necessary quality and quantity, even more so in view of the pre-alert situation that has been established in Seville or in municipalities of the Corredor del Henares.
Public services and urban renewal
This was pointed out by experts who participated this Thursday in the virtual forum ‘Public services in urban renewal’, the third meeting organized under the LIFE Watercool project for adaptation to climate change, co-financed by the European Union and developed in the Andalusian capital.
LIFE Watercool (LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122), which has renovated the infrastructure in the Macarena neighborhood in Seville to create climate comfort in several rooms, aims to make Seville a reference in climate adaptation in public spaces so that the experience accumulated in the project can be applied anywhere in other cities.
Amelia Pérez Zabaleta, director of the Chair of Water Economics at the Aquae-UNED Foundation, explained that the slogan of World Water Day (March 22), ‘making the invisible visible’, “appeals to the need to renew the sanitation and distribution networks that run under cities”, facilities that “often go unnoticed by the public”.
Despite the high cost involved, this renewal of urban water infrastructures is even more important at a time when “the population’s demand for water is increasing” and when, in addition, “its availability is limited due to climate change and the drought pre-alert situation” and can cause problems in terms of quantity and quality in this situation.
Faced with these environmental challenges arise “economic challenges that impact on the cost of the service and increase the cost of tariffs”, so the citizen “should be concerned about their consumption”.
“There is competition between regions and there will be competition between generations, so we must think about the legacy we leave them”.
Recovery funds for urban infrastructure
Pérez Zabaleta pointed out that the funds for recovery, transformation and resilience “must reach the municipalities in the form of water”, especially in cities that need to undertake projects linked to this resource.
The head of service of the Energy and Sustainability Agency of the Seville City Council, César Gallardo, stressed that water management “brings together all municipal services across the board”.
Climate change “is moving cities and forces to redesign urban spaces, as evidenced by the LFIE Watercool project to achieve climate mitigation and adaptation” and turn cities into “20-minute cities”.
A renovation of the sanitation network “involves redefining the mobility of a specific area, modifying urban transport, public lighting, waste treatment and the maintenance of green areas.”
According to Gallardo, the sustainable urban mobility plans approved by the Seville City Council “focus on the pedestrianization of roads, with public transport and the use of bicycles as a real alternative to mobility in cities”.
Changing mobility habits
LIFE Watercool will allow the modification of mobility habits to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) and will “strengthen local trade”.
Gallardo stressed that “the maintenance of green areas is the most difficult part to adapt to the changes in the public road”, because “the road tree competes unequally with the other uses of the road” and stressed that “it is necessary to have a holistic vision” in urban renewal”.
The Financial and Commercial Director of EMASESA, Joaquín García Romero, stressed that “citizens have become more demanding and aware of their environment” and, in this situation, water “offers a magnificent area of co-responsibility to mitigate climate change”.
Reducing water consumption
The head of Consumption and Services of Empresa de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento de Aguas de Sevilla S.A (Emasesa), Alfonso García, has detailed that “the current daily domestic consumption per inhabitant is 113 liters” and the objective in this pre-alert situation is to reduce it to 90 liters.
As a public company, EMASESA “puts the user at the center of management”, and for them it has designed “a social tariff” that guarantees access to this resource as a human right and 30 points of face-to-face attention” to bridge the digital gap of the elderly, among other initiatives.
After this third meeting, the fourth and last LIFE Watercool forum will take place on March 31 and will focus on the role of ‘Circular economy in urban renewal’.
The LIFE Watercool project, co-financed by the European Union, has a duration of 48 months (2019 to 2023) and a specific budget of 3,779,677 euros.
In addition to Empresa Metropolitana de Agua y Saneamiento de Sevilla, S.A. (Emasesa), the University of Seville, the Seville City Council, the technology company ALTEN and EFEverde of the EFE Agency are participating. EFE
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the European Union/EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.
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About LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122
Life Invasaqua is co-financed by the EU under the Life initiative and coordinated by Emasesa. This European project aims to: develop and test innovative solutions to cope with high temperatures, both outdoors and indoors, and with temporary water runoff and drought situations in an urban environment subject to climate change.