Press notes

The actions of the European LIFE WAT’SAVEREUSE project deployed on the Euroregion territory highlighted during the World Water Day


The Euroregion Pyrenees Mediterranean and its partners met on March 20 in Barcelona to present the first results of the project

This year, the #WorldWaterDay, World Water Day, is under the slogan
“Accelerating change through Partnership and Cooperation”

In this framework, the Catalan Water Agency (Agència Catalana de l’Aigua, ACA) and the Euroregion Pyrenees Mediterranean (EPM) organized an event where representatives of the partners were able to share the first results of the LIFE WAT’SAVEREUSE project and make proposals to the European and national representatives present at the event.

This year, the #WorldWaterDay, held annually on March 22, has the slogan “Accelerating change through Partnership and Cooperation”, in line with the objectives of the European project deployed in the member territories of the Euroregion.

On Monday, March 20, 2023, the Euroregion Pyrenees-Mediterranean as the leader of the WAT’SAVEREUSE project, therefore organized with the Catalan Water Agency this conference at the Pedralbes Palace, in Barcelona, with Teresa JORDA I ROURA, Minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat de Catalunya, who pointed that in Catalonia, we will continue to work on the four main uses of water, to save every drop of water. She also added that perhaps the lack of rain will be the way to accelerate all other levers so that the country is ready for this new normality in two years. In addition, she states that they are committed to promote reuse, in this sense. Last year with the Catalan Water Agency, we have increased the amount of regenerated water by 40 % compared to 2020 and we expect to double it by 2027.

Miquel MIR, Minister, Vice President of Environment and Territory of the Government of the Balearic Islands explained that in the Balearic Islands we face the challenge of improving the absorption capacity of regenerated water. Currently, we reuse 30% of purified water because, until now, it has been difficult to have a demand for this water. Our objectives are ambitious, and that is why, in the Hydrological Plan of the Balearic Islands, the reuse becomes a pillar.

It has long been known that 27% of drinking water is lost through the distribution network, and in some municipalities it exceeds 60 %. In order to mitigate the effects of such water loss through the municipal networks, we are allocating €20 million so that the municipalities of the islands can reduce the losses.

Eric CADORE, representative of the Occitania Region and President of the Water commission, highlighted the development of the WAT’SAVEREUSE project to raise awareness of the benefits of a circular water economy in the tourism sector, as well as the reduction of the risk of water scarcity and the impact of tourism on water in the Mediterranean basin. In addition, he emphasized that tourism in Occitania represents a tourist consumption of 15,900 million euros. Our agency AD’OCC innovation, has produced a document with very nice examples of solutions integrated to the fields of Water and Tourism.

Samuel REYES, Director of the Catalan Water Agency emphasized that the project WAT’SAVEREUSE is aimed at both tourists and businesses, improving awareness and developing technical guides to make water use more efficient in the tourism sector. Moreover, he added that achieving water self-sufficiency in the metropolitan area, consolidating municipal ordinances of saving and reuse and encouraging tax benefits in the water cannon in the field of regeneration.

Xavier BERNARD-SANS, secretary general of the Euroregion Pyrenees Mediterranean highlighted the campaigns of the three territories involved in the project WAT’SAVEREUSE: the campaign In the Balearic Islands, we have many things… but little water”, launched in 6 languages, reached more than 5 million users in just two months. The impact on social networks has been even greater. On YouTube it reached over 5 million impressions and 2.2 million views. In terms of impressions on social networks, 18 million were added: 10.5 on Facebook, almost 6.5 million on Instagram and 1.1 million on Twitter.

The Occitania Region focused its efforts on the creation and dissemination of an audiovisual campaign Leave us water that reached 3 million people.

Finally, Catalonia, with the campaign “Take back memories, not waterhas collaborated with more than 210 tourist offices and 40 companies and operators in the tourism sector to promote water saving.

The microsites published on the web or, for example, “The Water Footprint meter” that shows how much water is spent on personal hygiene and eating habits, are some of the tools available to all those who want and need them.

The European LIFE WAT’SAVEREUSE project implements initiatives in the tourism sector that promote a circular economy model based on the reduction of water consumption and its reuse, having a direct impact for a better adaptation to climate change and for the preservation of the Mediterranean environment in particular. The elected officials have thus highlighted the very good dissemination of the initiative through communication campaigns and events, workshops and meetings that have been organized in the three territories in the last two years, with the central element of promoting innovative solutions in the water sector involving public entities and other actors in the tourism sector.

In addition, during the day, a meeting was held with the steering committee and the consortium of 8 partners led by the Euroregion to present the next steps of the LIFE WAT’SAVEREUSE project, with a total budget of more than € 1.5 million, financed at 55% by the European Union.

At the end of the project, the objective is to achieve a 20% reduction in water consumption in hotels, a 9 % increase in the amount of water reused in the tourism sector of the three territories, and finally to achieve 12 % water savings in the public administrations of the three regions.

Moreover, the Canary Islands, Corsica, Sardinia and Malta are actively participating in WAT’SAVEREUSE through replication and capitalization activities planned soon.

Finally, representatives of the LIFE RECYCL’O project, on water recycling for laundries, were also able to share their results with those of the WAT’SAVEREUSE project.

More information: || Twitter: @Euroregion

Twitter @watsavereuse|LinkedIn watsavereuse|

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Written by: Ariadna Anton

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