In the global celebration of the #WorldWaterDay, the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability (UNESCOSOST) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, shares the principal achievements of the Terrassa Water Observatory
Terrassa, Barcelona, march 22
The governance of water is a matter of social construction that is achieved through the active participation of the community with values of sustainability in the use of the vital liquid. In this sense, the Terrassa Water Observatory is an innovative project "whose main objective is to establish a social control over the management of the resource, create a new culture of water for citizens, prepare proposals into the political level and participate in the governance "says Juan Martínez, President of the Observatory and professor-collaborator of the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability.
The Observatory was created by the public administration as a result of the process of remunicipalization of water after 75 years of being managed by the private company. The organization is composed of thirty people distributed among the representatives of the government of the city of Terrassa, political groups, economic actors and citizens. However, "under the engine scheme", according to Martínez, there are working groups that promote the objectives of the Observatory and they are linked freely and openly into the project. Within them, there is the Taula Recerca composed of academics, researchers and workers, who collaborate to generate local knowledge and skills. In the same way, there are other engines of the project such as the Taula Educació and the Taula del Aigua de Terrassa, created by the citizenship.
In addition, the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, get involved into the Observatory through the vice-president position, Beatriz Escribano, who also works as a professor at the University. "The reference of the values of sustainability is the added value that UNESCOSOST brings to the Observatory," says Beatriz. Her vision from the perspective of gender, gives participation to the Observatory from women, science and technology.
Actually, the Observatory presents the legal documents to be register into the local authority constitution. The members work on the organizational structure and in the presentation of the budget. In addition, the actors involved are landing the mechanism for the generation of products for decision-making, such as indicators and information management and methodology for social control and promotion of water culture around the project objectives.
In short, one of the most important achievements of the Terrassa Water Observatory, is to work around democratic values as a fundamental axis for water governance.