Challenge with Agència Catalana de l'Aigua (ACA)
About this process
The SmartCatalonia Challenge with Agència Catalana de l'Aigua (ACA) sets out 4 calls related with the Catalan water ecosystem which are susceptible to be solved by innovative solutions based on ICT. Although the main target of this contest are Catalan start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs capable of offering an innovative, viable and adapted solution to one (or more) of the proposed calls, we accept proposals from everywhere.
Join the Challenge, win your reward, improve our territory with your solutions!
- Best solution award: 15.000 € + Pilot of the solution with Agència Catalana de l'Aigua (ACA).
- Second prize: 5.000 €
- Third prize: 3.000 €
What should I submit to participate?
To participate you must present a file in ppt or pdf format (about 10 slides), in which the proposal is clearly stated (technical aspects, usability, implementation, etc.) and where it is carefully described how this proposal responds to the call the participant has been worked on.
Optionally, participants may add other value points they consider appropriate for the jury evaluation (for example, a link to a video presentation or a brief summary of the business plan).
It should be remembered that the elements that are most valued in this competition are: degree of viability (it is advisable that the proposal contains elements that show the tangibility of the idea, for example a pilot), degree of innovation (creativity and originality) and degree of adaptability to the call (it is imperative that the document details how the call was approached in a personalized manner).
How to improve the efficiency of water consumption in agriculture?
The main water consumption comes from agricultural activities, mainly from irrigation systems. In Catalonia there is a very clear difference between the inland basins and the basins of Ebre. Thus, in the inland basins, 33% of consumption corresponds to irrigation, while in the Catalan basins of Ebro this percentage rises up to 93%.
Although in recent years some measures have been popularized to improve water management in this field (like irrigation modernization plans, the DARP irrigation recommendation tool, binomial pricing, etc.) it should be taken into account that much of the water used for agricultural purposes is still lost due to evaporation and traditional irrigation systems such as sprinkling and flooding. Thus, it is clear that more efficient management could lead to a large gain in the availability of water in the environment.
The aim of this call is to develop an innovative solution that facilitates better water management in the agricultural sector.
How to ensure an optimal water release into the river?
One of the main functions of ACA is to ensure that river flows are effectively measured and implemented. However, the current control and management system is still very rudimentary, as it consists on an in situ flow measurement where river conditions make it possible.
This system has the following problems: it only identifies the flow at the time the measurement is made, forces the gauging to be scheduled periodically and, as there are many sampling points, the control frequency is very low. With all this, it is currently impossible to guarantee that the flow of our rivers is the appropiate throughout the year.
The aim of this call is to develop an innovative solution which allows to improve the efficiency in the river flow control and/or provide a management tool to ensure optimal river flows at all times.
How to facilitate the identification and treatment (or reduction at source) of priority and emerging pollutants in the different water systems?
The presence and detection of so-called "emerging pollutants", either from isolated or diffuse sources, in the different water systems (rivers, aquifers, coastal waters, etc.), either in water, in sediments , or bioaccumulated, is one of the main environmental concerns regarding water management. This fact is especially relevant in areas with high entopic preassure and little available resources, where usually there is a lack of dilution of wastewater, treated and returned to the environment. However, the growing demand for recycled water for various uses calls for greater knowledge of these compounds. Human and environmental health requires adequate risk and safety analysis, and the upward presence and detection of emerging contaminants can lead to problems with the guarantee of drinking water supply, and long-term effects on the environment.
The aim of this call focuses on developing an innovative solution that facilitates the identification, traceability, and / or treatment of priority substances and emerging contaminants that are detected as a result of human activity.
How to calculate and foster the use of energy from renewable sources?
Nowadays, ACA has 522 Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in service that require high energy consumption to treat the wastewater that arrives there. Only 14% of this demand comes from their own renewable sources. The Energy Saving and Efficiency Plan that ACA is following right now aims to decarbonise sanitation (maximum possible level of energy self-consumption with renewables, energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) focusing efforts on the 137 WWTPs that consume in an aggregate manner the 93% of the total energy. The central concepts of this call are:
- Increase self-generation of renewable energy
- Maximize biogas production in installed digesters and study the viability of new digesters
- Increase the energy efficiency of sanitation through coordination and centralization in the implementation of ISO 50.001 in these 137 WWTPs.
The aim of this call is based on the development of an innovative solution able to help in the decarbonising sanitation objectives, specially in which concerns monitore and manage energy consumption, renewable generation, measurment of the resulting environmental impact and/or measurement of the associated reduction in the carbon footprint.
We remind you that the participation in different calls is not incompatible, so the same participant can provide solutions to all the calls in which they are interested as long as they offer innovative and adapted solutions to the proposed calls.