Icatalist presenting at the YWP Spain 2019 Congress

Addressing the emerging challenges of the water sector. The Young Water Professionals Spanish Chapter (YWP Spain), one of the chapters promoted by the International Water Agency (IWA) across Europe to give voice to young professionals of the water sector, celebrated their annual congress in Madrid last 12-15th of November.

Young Water Professionals Annual Congress in Madrid

The YWP2019 Congress gathered above 250 young professionals from all parts of Spain and some internationals to present the last innovations and findings to “Address the emerging water challenges”.

Icatalist was present through our colleague Beatriz Mayor, who is also an active member of the chapter within the International Relationships area. Beatriz presented our work on Business Models for Nature Based Solution developed within the frame of the H2020 NAIAD project. She presented our Natural Assurance Schemes canvas (NAS canvas) to identify the elements required to build a feasible business model for the implementation and funding of a nature based solution or strategy aimed at reducing risk and impacts from water related extreme events such as floods and droughts.

This is, what we call a natural assurance scheme. The canvas allows to identify the elements (activities, resources,…), actors and mechanisms required to capture the full value generated by these nature based solutions, and turn it into an investable business that builds on evidence of the attainable environmental, economic and social impacts. The canvas is applied to the case of a crop change and abstractions control strategy in Medina del Campo Aquifer aimed at reducing vulnerability to droughts and stopping overexploitation of the aquifer.

The canvas applied to this NAIAD demo reveals the importance to engage Groundwater User Associations and farmers in implementing the strategies, but also the provision of proper incentive and compensation schemes to offset the transaction and opportunity cost of undertaking the investment. Cooperation and information among stakeholders are also identified as critical for the strategy to be successful and effective.

The presentation was part of the Water Governance and Financing session and raised considerable interest as shown by the questions received. At Icatalist we were proud to contribute to this outstanding initiative from young Spanish water professionals to give visibility to a gender balanced representation of the near-future generation of water leaders.

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