Entrepreneurial approaches to increase water security in peri-urban areas: a workshop report

The workshop “Entrepreneurial approaches to increase water security in peri-urban areas” organized by the Young Water Professionals (YWP) in co-coordination with the Water Youth Network (WYN) during the IWA Water, Energy and Climate Conference in Mexico City (21 May, 2014) was a successful event, with almost 40 participants.

The theme was selected because the water security is becoming one of the largest problems in urban areas worldwide. In this session, five YWPs talked about their experiences about different solutions for peri-urban areas including water scarcity, health related to water, desalination, etc.

The workshop started with an introduction about the IWA ́s YWP programme  by Iván Moreno (UNAM, Mexico).After, Luca Di Mario (University of Cambridge, UK) spoke about Engineering for Sustainable Development focusing in the necessities of peri-urban areas. David Vargas (Isla Urbana, Mexico) talked about his experience on the use of rainwater for its reuse in rural and urban areas. Alejandra Fonseca (UNAM, Mexico) spoke about the presence of potential pathogens in water sources linked to wastewater reuse for irrigation and unplanned aquifer recharge, focusing in the case of study of the Mezquital Valley in Mexico. Afterwards, Mónica López (UNAM, Mexico) showed the design of a low cost prototype of a Passive solar system for desalination in coastal areas. Finally, Daniel Nolasco (Nolasco Associates & Board member of IWA) made a summary of the expositions and invited to the YWP to maintain working on innovative solutions to solve the problems associated with the water sector.

The floor was open to discussion and the main conclusion was there is a growing necessity to develop and implement solutions for problems in peri-urban areas, which are not only related to scarcity but water quality and public health. A further goal is to propose adequate management and the correct implementation of technology in the future.