Iwater offers the water sector business, knowledge and international exposure

From 15 to 17 November, Fira de Barcelona is organising the first edition of Iwater, an event that brings together knowledge and networking for everyone involved in the integral water cycle at a single event. The show – through its trade show and side events – will use innovation, technology and sustainability to address challenges such as efficient water management, water reuse, hydric stress and lack of resources, the financing of infrastructures and new models of public-private collaboration. Iwater also has a strategic international component aligned with the interests of the industry which will help to raise the profile of Spanish firms abroad.

The first Iwater trade show boasts 127 confirmed exhibitors from ten different countries, including leading operators, engineering firms, construction companies and public authorities, as well as companies providing solutions for the extraction, treatment, distribution, transport, storage, sanitation, purification, 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, Canaletas, Chiemivall, Contazara, Copersa, Culligan, Danfoss, Ebara, Espa, Hanna Instruments, 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.
The president of the organising committee of Iwater and deputy CEO of SUEZ in charge of Water Europe, Ángel Simón, notes the high expectations that the show has generated: ‘It will be a crucial event for the sector, presenting new products and sharing knowledge with a direct impact on water management and our ability to address its challenges. It will also help to raise the international profile of Spanish firms in the sector, especially in the Mediterranean area and Latin America.’.
In this respect, Iwater aims to galvanize business and growth for companies operating in the integral water cycle in Spain, attracting professionals and stakeholders in the main user sectors. At the same time, Iwater has identified the priority markets abroad in which to highlight the R&D&I, know-how and excellence of Spanish firms. The organisers have invited around a hundred industrial and business users with specific investment projects, along with consultants, water operators, distributors, installers, institutional representatives and organisations in charge of managing the hydric resources of some 20 different countries. The attendance of top-level professionals and business delegations from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, India, Israel, Italia, Morocco, China and Denmark, amongst others, has already been confirmed.
Iwater will occupy Hall 1 of the Gran Via exhibition centre and is being held at the same time as three other notably international events with which it will share synergies and visitors from all over the world: Smart City Expo World Congress, dedicated to smart cities; European Utility Week, focusing on energy and utilities; and the Circular Economy European Summit.
The future of water management
As part of its activities, Iwater will address the key issues that will define 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’.
The Iwater Forum will analyse the keys to the new scenario for the integral management of the water cycle. Core topics include resilience, to address the effects of climate change such as desertification, drought and floods; governance, to structure more efficient and inclusive management models; and financing, to find investment alternatives to update and modernise our infrastructures. An emphasis will also be put on the true value of water and its impact on the economy and the development of society, as well as its key role in environmental matters.
Innovation and Technology Hubs
The Inno Hub will be the place to find R&D&I projects and facilitate contacts and knowledge-sharing among companies, technology centres and universities, putting a particular emphasis on innovative public procurement, the financing of R&D and dual training. It will also include meetings between entrepreneurs and potential investors. Meanwhile, the Tech Hub 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.
To showcase and recognise the latest innovations, on 16 November the Iwater Awards will be presented to the best product, research and idea on show at the event, and a special prize will be given to the best humanitarian initiative in the water sector.
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 a complement to the main event, Iwater offers visiting professionals the chance to tour some ground-breaking local infrastructures in water cycle management, such as the wastewater treatment plant (EDAR) at Prat de Llobregat, which includes a water regeneration station (ERA) for recharging aquifers; the control centre of municipal water authority Barcelona Cicle del Agua, SA (BCASA), and the rainwater retention tank in the Joan Miró Park in Barcelona; the desalination plant in the Llobregat river basin, and the potable water treatment plant (ETAP) at Abrera, amongst others.
Iwater is also hosting various guest events such as the Smart Water & Smart Cities seminar organised by the We are Water Foundation, which will shine a spotlight on Mexico and Central America; a seminar on the R3Water project, featuring the latest technological advances for regenerating water, recovering value-added products and the efficient use of resources in treating urban wastewater; and the conference by 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.
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. This organisation has recognised Iwater as the benchmark event for the water sector in Spain.
Barcelona, November 2016