WEX Global 2022, one of the world’s leading forums for water professionals, is scheduled to take place from June 27-29. The theme this year is “Unlocking the power of the circular economy”. Idrica is sponsoring the event, which is once again being held in the Spanish city of Valencia, where the multinational is headquartered. The meeting is set to bring together leading speakers from over 40 countries for three action-packed days of conferences, round tables, meetings and networking.
In this interview, Idrica’s CEO, Jaime Barba, details how Idrica, the leading company in digital transformation for the water sector, has moved forward since the last WEX meeting, held before the pandemic. He also explains the current situation of the sector and how technology is a major ally in tackling water challenges.
WEX Global was hosted by Idrica in 2020, just after the company was launched. Since then, how has Idrica moved forward and how is it making an impact in the water sector?
The last two years have been a huge challenge, but full of opportunities. As a result of the pandemic, utilities have decided to move towards digital transformation. At Idrica we specialize in boosting efficiency in utilities through technology. We identify their pain points and work with our clients to solve the challenges they are facing.
Helping utilities transform their processes through our GoAigua solution has enabled us to grow fast and upscale quickly. Today we operate in 14 countries, including five tier-one cities. We are proud of this achievement. Our turnover is doubling year on year and the team is also increasing rapidly. There are currently 250 of us in Idrica. Two years ago, the team was only half that number. Our customer list is also growing steadily.
Is digital transformation a must for utilities?
The uncertainty the pandemic has brought has underscored the importance of sound water management and has highlighted how innovation can help utilities adapt to this new reality. Our responsibility is to ensure that future generations have access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For this to happen, utilities will need to digitally transform water cycle management over the next few years.
In fact, the growing concern about the environmental impact of processes is already encouraging the uptake of new technologies that reduce our water, carbon and energy footprints. The most innovative utilities have seen the value of digital transformation, especially when it is aligned with a solid business vision that turns data into information for decision-making. Digital transformation is the only way to go.
Sustainability and the circular economy are two of the main topics to be discussed at WEX Global 2022. How can technology help to protect our planet from climate change?
In the face of climate change, building a more sustainable world is a priority. This includes more efficient, fairer and more environmentally friendly use of water. Water scarcity is a challenge that needs to be addressed urgently, and utilities are already optimizing management thanks to technologies such as AMI, intelligent asset management, digital twins, GIS and artificial intelligence.
For example, agriculture uses 70% of the water consumed around the planet, and our challenge is to reduce this figure. We can achieve this by using smart irrigation and advanced algorithms to calculate the frequency and amount of water required by crops, as a first step to automatically adjust irrigation programs.
Technology can also protect people from the impact of climate change. For instance, our GoAigua solution can build early warning systems for extreme events, such as floods, based on weather forecasts and other parameters. This improves flood risk management and reduces response times to these episodes. For example, we have recently helped to alert several cities about different incidents before they happened. These are just some examples of how technology can help us to safeguard people’s lives.
About WEX Global 2022
WEX, Water and Energy Exchange Global 2022, plays a key role in finding intelligent solutions and building a better world together. Utility decision-makers from all over the world will be coming to the meeting to learn about new ways of solving problems, optimizing resources and sourcing intelligent technology.