The Assessment of the Water-Energy Nexus in the Alentejo Region (Portugal), based on the Quantitative Story Telling (QST) methodology, carried out in the framework of the EERES4WATER Project, was presented at the ENERTECH – FEIRA DAS TECNOLOGIAS PARA A ENERGIA on November 12th, 2021.
This methodological approach, that included information from 14 interviews to stakeholders, allowed the identification of challenges in the different phases of the urban water cycle, namely:
The Gaps between water demands and availability, related with the High energy consumption for long-distance water distribution in the Alqueva-Pedrogão system and the Increase in energy consumption for groundwater abstraction due to lower levels of the aquifers in the region;
The Leakages in the distribution networks;
The Energy demands to improve wastewater treatment due to the lack of WWTPs with advanced treatment processes, the energy consumption increase in the wastewaters subsector and to the reduced use of reclaimed water in the region.
These WE challenges are perceived as fundamental for the environmental and financial sustainability of the Alentejo region, especially given the climate change scenarios and their evolution is recognized as highly dynamic and in need of constant technological upgrade, among which the renewable energies integration stands out. Furthermore, governance aspects should also be considered, such as the reduction of the bureaucracy involved in these processes and the promotion of institutional cooperation, of information sharing and dissemination activities to foster public participation and contribute to change the citizens mindset and the way the water is valued and perceived.
The EERES4WATER project is co-financed by the INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).