More than 30 people participated in the workshop “Circular water management in touristic facilities” held on May 19th at hotel Samba in the coastal town of Lloret de Mar, in north-east of Catalonia. Organised by LEQUIA research group of University of Girona (UdG), the event brought together researchers, water utilities’ managers, technology providers, water authorities and touristic facilities managers to extensively debate the feasibility of such water management in tourism.
A guided tour and three sessions of presentations
The workshop started with a guided tour to hotel Samba facilities for water reuse. Participants had the opportunity of visiting the technologies developed by projects REUCITY and demEAUmed, and exchanging opinions during a fruitful networking lunch shared with the attendants of the demEAUmed final project meeting, also taking place at hotel Samba.
In the afternoon, the manager of hotel Samba, Eduard Coloma, welcomed the attendants. The first session was opened by a ground-breaking speech on the evolution of wastewater treatment by Manel Poch (LEQUIA-UdG). Concepts like decentralisation, resource recovery or the water-food-energy nexus indicated the future development of water management. After this, Ariadna Gabarda-Mallorquí (UdG Department of Geography) gave a detailed presentation on current trends on the use of water in the south of the Costa Brava.
These two presentations created the perfect framework for presenting three different approaches to close the water cycle in touristic facilities in the following session: project REUCITY, by Natasa Atanasova (LEQUIA-UdG); project demEAUmed, by Gianluigi Buttiglieri from the Catalan Institute of Water Research (ICRA); and sustainable on site sanitation technologies by Jochen Scheerer from the company ASEPMA.
In the elevator session, Barbara Hartenstein-Bernston (UVOX) explained how the combination of ultraviolet light and oxidizing effect of ozone can treat water in an efficient and sustainable way; Pau Arqués (La Gota S.L.) presented wastewater treatments based on wetland systems; Jochen Scheerer (ASEPMA) reported his experiences on the installation of on-site sanitation systems for isolated communities; and Heinz Gattringer (Alchemia Nova) showed examples of greywater purification systems through indoor plant-based constructed wetlands in a vertical cascading set-up. A jury composed by Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda (LEQUIA-UdG/ICRA), Eduard Coloma (hotel Samba) and Francisca Pereira (camping Lloret Blau) assessed the technologies positively and asked for a more detailed analysis of costs and benefits in order to speed up their implementation.
A workshop inspired by project REUCITY
The workshop was an excellent opportunity for disseminating the outcome of project REUCITY and discussing its further development with relevant stakeholders. Funded by ACCIÓ TECNIOSPRING programme (a EU FP7 Marie Curie COFUND action), REUCITY (Innovative technologies for resource efficient cities) has delivered new tools, knowledge and technologies for decentralized and efficient management of water in close relation to food and energy, and has tested them in a real environment: hotel Samba in Lloret de Mar. Dr Natasa Atanasova, with an extensive background on decentralised sanitation systems and environmental decision support systems in the water field, was the principal investigator; and Dr Manel Poch, her senior supervisor. Main findings have been published in a book that can be downloaded from LEQUIA website.