As President of the Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation (AEAS) is my pleasure to introduce this event.Spain is among the European countries that suffer a higher water stress. Perhaps that is why Spanish people are in the group of citizens who consume resources in a more responsible way, in terms of per capita consumption. Currently, the average household consumption is 135 liters per day, which is 10% less than 2012. Spain is a country with a significant water culture. Despite this high degree of public awareness, our country also faces important challenges in water management: first, renewing infrastructure, afflicting several lean years in government investment.
Another challenge is the one that refers to the adequacy of tariffs, that currently do not cover all the costs of the service and, therefore, do not guarantee the future sustainability of the system; and the need to address certain legislative changes that endow the homogenization and greater transparency sector are good examples of the importance of what remains to be done.
One of the most interesting tools that the sector of water management has at its disposal to maintain the excellence of the services is international cooperation. It is precisely at this point where events such as the IWA Leading Edge Conference can serve as change to stimulate a culture of continuous improvement. Scientists, experts, governments, companies and organizations of all kinds will find in Jerez an interesting forum for exchanging ideas and opinions.
When, after the Congress each participant returns to his birthplace, they will do it with a valuable store of knowledge and experience with which to successfully undertake the challenges that we daily encountered in the management of our most vital resource: Water