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Manel Poch Espallargas et al.
Decisions on urban water systems: some support

Most of us would certainly agree with this fine sounding phrase. But developing it and putting it into practice is not easy. Firstly, because we are already having problems identifying the meaning or interpretation we give to some words. For example, water as a resource. Water is not just a natural resource, it is the basis of the industrial sector, a generator of cultural heritage and a linchpin of society. And we sometimes use the term scarce when referring to a problem of distribution or overexploitation. In any case, this means that water management is very complex. This is because there are different agents involved and all of them have different interests; these interests are often contradictory and can lead to conflict. Everyone understands the concept of efficient management differently. Efficient: why and for whom? At the same time, we have to make decisions. Decisions that involve a way of managing the resource. For example, authorising (or not) a withdrawal from a water course, building (and how) a treatment plant or defining (what and in which range) the quality parameters guaranteeing its drinkability... These examples, and many more that we could cite, are some of the aspects on which a group of people are responsible for acting, deciding and getting the decisions implemented. The hypothesis presented in this book is that to achieve this efficient management there are no simple formulas or universal solutions. However, this does not mean that all solutions are equally correct. Experience shows us that some are better than others. Achieving effective water management affects us all. But to reflect on and assess the decisions made is a task that must be delimited so it can be dealt with in a book such as the one the reader has in their hands. In this context, the authors have already made two decisions. The first makes reference to the size. In this book, we are not going to discuss the whole water cycle, just the part that relates to urban water system. This is understood as the set of decisions concerning the collection of wastewater, transporting it, treating it and returning it to the environment or reusing it. Bearing in mind that there are already excellent manuals available providing design and calculation criteria for plants, this book wants to go a step further. Its aim is to analyse the decisions that have to be made at every stage. And to be able to do it in a comprehensive way so as to identify the questions that need to be asked in each case. Which decisions need to be made and what impact can they have. Nor is the aim to give a comprehensive view of each case; that would take a whole encyclopedia. In any case, we hope to interest the reader enough so that they go to the references indicated at the end of the book to obtain a more exhaustive analysis of each of the cases presented. The second decision is to make it clear that the book offers its own point of view. This is our view and our proposal obtained from almost twenty years of experience. That is why an intimate style has been used throughout. We discuss cases we have experienced, some of which have already been implemented with success, some are under development, others remain a possibility, others are sleeping like a baby but all the cases relate to real problems with all their constraints and possibilities. From an initial analysis of the findings, we are going to discuss the ones that are, in our opinion, the problems that must be addressed for urban water management and how this leads to different decision levels. In each of them, we will try to discuss, giving practical examples, a way to overcome these problems. It is not necessarily the only way or the best way. But we hope the reader can draw their own conclusions. For all these reasons this book is for people who are, in some way, involved in water management and treatment, and who are involved in making decisions about this. People who are already making decisions and want to know the thoughts of others working in this field. People who are not currently working in this field, but are interested in it and want to know what type of decisions that they will have to face and analyse proposals made by people already working in the field. And finally, people affected by the issue and wanting to broaden their knowledge. We do not want to end this introduction without thanking all the people and institutions involved in the development of some of the systems presented in this book for their help. THANK YOU to all of them. We can only hope that the work presented here will be helpful to the reader. We can guarantee though, that the experience of contributing to better management of the water resource is absolutely fascinating. Water is a scarce resource and its management has to be as effective as possible

Girona: Universitat de Girona. Servei de Publicacions, 2012 Monografia 0 p. 0 x 0 cm Libro en otro formato (pdf. 94,7 Mb) ISBN 978-84-8458-401-8 10 angls

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