Connecting Waterpeople
Print Edition Nº 1 - May 2020

The disruptive water magazine

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Content summary

The water sector, considered essential in most countries during the novel coronavirus crisis, is responding with service excellence, ensuring the water supply for domestic, health care, commercial and industrial uses during the lock down. As well, wastewater is collected and treated to be released back into the environment with high enough quality to ensure there are no negative consequences.

The pandemic has important implications for the water industry and for water security across the world. This first issue of SWM Monthly explores some of those emerging impacts, on trends like the digitalisation of water companies, but also on worldwide access to water and sanitation, as the current health crisis interacts with the ongoing climate and water crises.

In this time of change, the work of the water sector continues, unstoppable, more important than ever. These are some of their stories.


  • African citizens give a failing grade to their governments regarding water and sanitation services.

  • The We Are Water Foundation reflects on our relationship with nature in the new world emerging from the COVID-19 health crisis.

  • Scientists have found genetic material of the novel coronavirus in wastewater: we review ongoing research and perspectives for the future.


  • ACCIONA's new cloud-based platform BIONS provides insights on the service and the water network to enhance management efficiency.


  • Hassan Aboelnga and Olcay Ünver (Vice-Chair of UN-Water) propose a new approach to finance water and sanitation to achieve water security.

  • Changes brought on by the pandemic open the door to transition to a more sustainable world; Teresa Hartmann (WEF) shares her view.

  • The new EU regulation on water reuse will facilitate the use of this alternative water source, safe and reliable for irrigation purposes.


  • Amir Cahn, Executive Director of the SWAN Forum, examines the application of the DaaS approach to data management in the wastewater sector.


  • Minsait’s disruptive technologies transform the digitalization of the water sector to guarantee the competitiveness of companies.


  • The COVID-19 crisis spurs action by governments and water sector companies all over the world to ensure water and sanitation services.



Peter Herweck, Executive Vice President Industrial Automation, Member of the Executive Committee, Schneider Electric​

  • Schneider Electric is recognized around the globe as an essential business providing service continuity to critical infrastructure
  • The Schneider Electric Foundation launched the Tomorrow Rising Fund to provide response and recovery to affected communities
  • Private capital participation may increase, there is a lot of capital waiting to be deployed and water is a long-term growth market
  • Energy savings projects can help water operators save money on OpEx which can be funnelled toward infrastructure projects
  • The larger and medium sized utilities have long paved the way for usage of smarter and more digital technologies in the water space
  • Small utilities don’t have all the expertise they need, so IT /OT partners are often essential to develop digital technologies
  • Asset performance management is one of the digital tools customers can implement on their digital journey to deliver tangible ROI

David Barquet, General Manager of BARMATEC

  • Our products are custom-designed and custom-made systems, according to specifications that are based on the type of water to treat
  • Clients turn to BARMATEC either because of the confidence that stems from earlier projects or because of the company's reputation
  • Our company’s entire team is well aware that we work in an essential sector and that this implies certain responsibilities
  • The detailed engineering work carried out by BARMATEC is essential to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of a facility
  • BARMATEC designs each grid according to process needs, overcoming the limitations and restrictions of other companies

Dr John Cherry, Director, The University Consortium. Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph. Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo

  • It is my responsibility to draw attention in whatever ways I can to the dismal state of groundwater protection and management
  • To make groundwater more visible, we need to get people to ask more questions about water and groundwater in particular
  • There needs to be democratization of water knowledge with groundwater included as a key component of the freshwater cycle
  • The problem starts at university where water knowledge is fragmented into siloes that impede the overall understanding on what is important
  • Each new contaminant type found in groundwater has appeared as a surprise, shameful testimony to society’s lack of foresight
  • Polluted groundwater rarely has a bad taste or smell, which gives an unfounded but intuitive confidence in groundwater ‘purity’
  • The G360 Institute is one of the most active academic units in the world focused on field studies of groundwater contamination


  • Eric Bindler, Research Director, Bluefield Research
  • Robert C. Brears, Editor in Chief: Climate Resilient Societies & Author​
  • Richard Vestner, Board Member of the German Water Partnership and former CDO of DHI
  • Stuart White, Head of Media Relations at Thames Water
  • Gonzalo Delacámara, Head of the Department of Water Economics, IMDEA Water Institute, and water policy advisor to the European Commission, the United Nations Organisation, the OECD and the World Bank
  • Mariano Blanco. Head of International Tenders of Aqualia, Member of the Executive Committee of EurEau and Member of the General Assembly of AEAS


Schneider Electric
Almar Water Solutions
We Are Water Foundation