PORTO, Portugal – Portuguese water utility Águas de Portugal is undertaking pilot projects to irrigate public gardens and agricultural land using reclaimed water, as well as for cooling water purposes.
João Nuno Mendes, CEO of the Águas de Portugal Group also said that the water industry “faces an energy challenge”.
Speaking at the 4th EIP Water conference held in conjunction with the wider Porto Water Innovation Week, he said that the company plans to increase the amount of renewables to help improve energy efficiency.
The timing of the event was apt – the Associated Press reported in mid-September that more than 80 percent of Portugal is officially classified as enduring “severe” or “extreme” drought – the worst conditions for more than 20 years.
Punctuated by the River Douro, the city may be known for its famous alcoholic beverage of port, with 103 million bottles exported in 2016, yet the topic of water innovation was the focus for the week.
Minister for the environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes noted the importance of “Industry 4.0” during his welcome remarks to delegates, as well as highlighting how far the country has come in recent decades.
In the early 90s, as little as 15 percent of Portugal’s population was connected to the wastewater network. Fast forward to 2017 and the nation is working to transform its wastewater treatment centres into resources centres. Furthermore, 320 of the nation’s beaches have been awarded the blue flag status, he said.
Above you can watch our video recap from the event.