International  Congress

19th - 20th



Intro 00

The time of seemingly limitless water is coming to an end. Changes in rainfall patterns, high temperatures and the irruption of water in quantities that are difficult to manage, force us to rethink our collection, distribution and consumption systems. The subsoil of our cities contains resources that can help us fight overheating. Rainfall, the level of permeability of our soils and new retention systems can help to mitigate the effects of disproportionate water.

This meeting on water aims to share traditional systems and innovations that can help our cities adapt to a new climate situation. Without large investments, recycling what already exists and fragmenting solutions into projects that can be assumed by all. Allowing that, from the smallest scale, we are able to use water optimally and always in our favor.

The responsive city: 
between flood and drought

Research line 01 Awareness

Variations in the global climate have different effects depending on the geographical location. In Europe, rainfall regimes are changing. The rain disappears for long periods of drought, and bursts in again at the end of the summer in torrential torrents. More and more frequently.

This requires, on the one hand, the generation of new evacuation systems that free the built spaces of water concentrations. On the other hand, water becomes a long-awaited resource for months that, upon arrival, we have no possibility of retaining.

There is a possibility to consider flooding as an opportunity. That of solving both problems with a single strategy, evacuation coupled with retention. Systems capable of eliminating the problem of flooding with large evacuation capacity, and fragmented storage capacity that creates emergency water supply systems in times of drought close to the points of consumption.   

Water suply and natural cooling

Reseach line 02 Innovation

Beneath our cities, a profuse network of historical and contemporary pipes and tanks deliver water to neighborhoods and buildings. The thermal inertia of the earth, and the presence of moving water, generate temperatures with much smaller variations than those that occur at the surface.  Far from heat islands and with the possibility of generating air flows, cisterns and pipes can play an important role in natural cooling systems.

Water heritage

Research line 03 Heritage

Throughout history, waterways have been engines of the economy, a place of concentration of industries. Architectures of a wide variety have been developed around water and its collection, conduction and distribution. From the drains of the Etruscans in the valleys of arable land, to the qanats that carried water to the desert. Water engineering has allowed urban civilizations, such as the Roman or Islamic, to flourish.

The study of heritage, in which water moves thanks to inventiveness and the force of gravity, can help us to create systems that are sustainable over time. And to free them from dependence on energy systems.


20 th june/2024

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