On November 15, a SENTINEL European Networking Event took place in Barcelona, at iWater 2018, the exhibition about the integrated water circle. The fair is an international meeting point for all the actors that will define the evolution of the water sector, offering innovative and technological solutions that effectively respond to challenges such as the efficient management of resources and infrastructures, the increase in the demand for water in a context of water stress or new models of public-private collaboration.

The event was hosted by Catalan Water Partnership, and all the project partners – CENFIM, OOE Energiesparverband and Fondazione Torino Wireless – discussed some of the next steps of the project such as preparing internationalization trips in order to expand the markets of the companies associated to the partner clusters. After the Steering Committee, the delegaton moved to Girona for meetings about case studies and opportuniites.

On November 16, the delegation made a trip to visit the Samba hotel, where they were able to learn about an interesting case study. Samba hotel is a large building with 441 rooms and a large pool. It is located in one of the most touristic areas of Catalonia, Lloret de Mar, which in turn, is close to the cities of Girona and Barcelona. Besides, it is next of one of the most visited beaches of the area. For that reason, the location of the hotel gives access to an extensive area which provides a broad range of leisure and cultural activities. The hotel receives large amounts of visitors, especially during the summer period. For those reasons Hotel Samba is representative of the hospitality sector in the Catalan Shore.

Hotel Samba is the demo site of the DemEAUmed project. The solution found in the hotel integrates innovative water treatment technologies, ICTs and water management tools. Different proven water treatment technologies at pre-marketable level are being properly combined to treat and adapt the different water flows to the necessities of the different areas in the resort, while saving fresh water consumption and reducing environmental and socio-economic impact in a safe way.

The visit was organized and directed by Gianluigi Buttiglieri, researcher in the area of Technologies and Evaluation of the Catalan Institute of Water (ICRA) and specialized in the study of the processes of reuse, treatment and revaluation of water, in different uses. The objective of the seminar was to inform the implementation of new technologies that was carried out at the Samba hotel thanks to the research carried out within the framework of the DemEAUmed project.

One of the technologies presented is called vertECO. It treats waste/greywater within a vertically constructed plant-based wetland. The underlying principle is the employment of specific plant species in a special sequence to encourage the cleansing of polluted water through microbiological activity occurring in the root-zone.