After a two-years hiatus caused by the pandemic, WEX Global was held in person again, becoming a meeting point for international experts, who came together to share their experiences and know-how on water technology and management.
The event, entitled "Unlocking the power of the smart circular economy," brought together over 200 specialists from around the world to learn first-hand about best practices in water management and sustainability.
Over three days, and with Idrica and Global Omnium co-hosting the event, Valencia (Spain) was the location chosen to hold this vitally important meeting, given the current economic and social situation. As Chema Nebot, Idrica's Business Development Director, pointed out: "We live in a highly complex environment in which it is essential to find ways to work together. And WEX is the perfect forum for this, as it means we can openly share points of view and exchange ideas on the numerous challenges facing our sector."
After the enforced hiatus caused by the pandemic, numbers attending WEX Global this year were up on previous events, with figures that make it one of the most important international events in the sector in its own right: over 200 delegates, 111 speakers, and 36 events scheduled over three days, for participants to learn first-hand how to reduce the water footprint and manage a limited resource such as water more efficiently. In the words of Pablo Calabuig, CEO of GoAigua US, "in a circular economy, water is a finite resource and must be returned to the ecosystem as it is, as a source of life."
The importance of digital transformation
Undoubtedly, one of the key aspects of the forum was digital transformation, one of the backbones of the discussions held at WEX. According to Dionisio García Comín, CEO of Global Omnium, digital transformation is a "fundamental tool to improve water management and combat climate change." However, García Comín also pointed out the importance of "showing consumers, both governments and end users, the value of these solutions which bring greater control, together with information on consumption and possible leaks, thus helping to tackle climate change."
The conference attendees also visited the facilities where Global Omnium's digital twin is located. Pilar Conejos, Idrica's Digital Twin Manager, pointed out that, thanks to the digital twin, "different use cases can be drawn up, such as reducing energy consumption and its related costs. We can calculate the hours required to optimize these costs and make water management more efficient.”
Though digital transformation was not the only subject on the agenda. Marketing, climate change, innovation, desalination, water reuse and biotechnology were just a few of the other topics discussed in the various panels held during the forum. Mark Barker, CEO of WEX, highlighted “the interest of participants in the one-to-one meetings to discuss avenues for cooperation, which is one of the central aspects of the event”. The conference culminated in a gala dinner and the presentation of the WEX Global 2022 awards, held in the stunning setting of Valencia's Oceanogràfic aquarium.