Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

ICRA participates in the Conference organized by Campus de l’Igua-UdG and Girona City Council to commemorate World Water Day


The UdG and Girona City Council will raise awareness about plastic pollution on World Water Day

The Water Campus of the University of Girona and Girona City Council are teaming up to commemorate World Water Day, on March 22, with informative workshops and a round table to raise public awareness of the problems caused due to the presence of plastics in the environment.

In 30 years, there will be more plastics than fish in the sea. This is the forecast of the United Nations if the current trend in which plastic already represents 90% of the garbage in the oceans is not stopped. Faced with this situation, the University of Girona (UdG) and Girona City Council are teaming up this World Water Day, Friday 22 March, to help raise awareness of this serious problem.

World Water Day aims to inform and sensitize the population about this and other problems related to the use and management of water. Plastic pollution is the focus of this year’s day, which is added to the slogan proposed by the United Nations “Nobody left behind”, to make visible the difficulties faced by billions of people around the world in accessing drinking water.

Informative workshops and debate in Girona
In the city of Girona, the Water Campus of the UdG and the City Council have joined forces to organize a day of informative scientific workshops aimed at the family public and a debate open to everyone, from 4 in the afternoon until 8 of the evening The headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Plaça Pompeu Fabra, 1) will host activities to learn about the native fish species of Catalonia, to discover the operation of a sewage treatment plant and taste the different tastes that water can have. The workshops will be led by researchers from UdG research groups such as LEQUIA, GRECO and Geocamb. The cooperative of environmental projects and activities La Copa and the Associació Sorellona will also collaborate on the day with informative and storytelling workshops.

At six in the afternoon, a round table will begin with the participation of experts from different areas related to water and waste with the aim of debating the effects and main problems that the presence of plastics in the environment entails and in our lives. The conversation will be moderated by the researcher of the Geography Department of the UdG, Margarida Castañer. The table will feature the opinions of the researchers from the Catalan Water Research Institute (ICRA) Wolfgang Gernjak and Anna Freixa , the researcher from the University of Barcelona (UB) Anna Sànchez and the Environment technician from the Unit of UdG Social Commitment, Pep Juandó.

0.007% available water
Only 3% of all water on Earth is fresh. Of this, less than 2% is in the form of ice in glaciers and polar caps. If we subtract the atmospheric water, which is part of living beings and that which makes up the soil, there is only 0.007% of water available for human beings. The presence of plastics and their derivatives, especially microparticles and nanoparticles, has a great impact on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, beyond the damage caused by the simple presence of these elements in the natural environment.

Campus Water
The Water campus is a strategic commitment by the UdG to proactively facilitate the relationship between companies, institutions and the university in the field of water. It brings together 30 research groups; the research institutes Catalan Water Research Institute and Blanes Center for Advanced Studies of the CSIC; a hundred companies and entities with a territorial, national and also international reach, and is advised by a council formed by personalities of recognized prestige in the sector.

Its mission is to connect the University of Girona with the territory, promoting and maintaining a continuous relationship through a personalized dialogue, and fostering the transfer of technology and knowledge. Its areas of focus are the management and quality of water resources and the natural environment, the development of technologies to improve the integral water cycle, and the design of tools for the management and optimization of processes.