Barcelona City Council, via the municipal company Barcelona Cicle de l’Aigua SA (BCASA), has joined the European Association of Public Water Operators, Aqua Publica Europea. The association is the main European network of cities which publicly manage water. The network includes cities such as Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Strasbourg, Dublin, Naples, Milan, Edinburgh and Geneva.
The move is another step forward in the process of public water management and builds on the exchange of experiences with other cities which have opted for the same model. The step to join Aqua Publica Europea (APE) was announced on Wednesday, 15 March, at the board meeting by the municipal company Barcelona Cicle de l’Aigua SA (BCASA). The move must be ratified in the meeting of the APE executive board on 21 March, when the municipal entity will be represented by its president, the Councillor for Presidency, Water and Energy, Eloi Badia.
The inclusion of BCASA in the European network forms part of the City Council’s strategy to boost collaboration between shared work between other cities and social, ecologist and academic organisations, unions and water treatment and supply operators who favour a public model for water management.
As part of World Water Day on 22 March, and as a result of the agreement signed in September between the Mayors of Barcelona and Paris, Ada Colau and Anne Hidalgo respectively, which included cooperation between the two cities on matters relating to water, a technical meeting is planned. The meeting should familiarise Barcelona with the municipalisation process carried out in Paris.
The City Council is organising a series of activities on the same day as part of a work and cooperation strategy based around water management. One of the main proposals for World Water Day is the meeting ‘Aigua, bé comú: Reptes i futur’[Water, common asset: challenges and future], organised by the municipal government and the Aiga és Vida platform. The meeting is on at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site on 21 March, from 9 am to 8 pm. Admission is free and the meeting is open to everyone. The aim is for it to be forum for the exchange of ideas on how to administer water in the 21st century.
The day concludes with a round table on the municipalisation of water management, a growing trend in recent years in Europe, with numerous successful cases. To speak about the challenges faced by the cities which have recently given their backing to public water management, the guests will be: the Councillor for Presidency, Water and Energy at Barcelona City Council, Eloi Badia; the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel; the Deputy Mayor of Montpellier, René Revol: the Deputy Mayor of Valladolid, María Sánchez, and the Deputy Mayor of Terrassa, Alfredo Vega.