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Living Lab in Valencia

On the 4th of March 2022, Universitat Politècnica de València organized a Living Lab in Valencia, Spain. Representatives of different sectors of groundwater users participated in the event, such as the city councils of Requena and Utiel, farmers who use the water for irrigation, an environmental NGO, a wine cellar, individual well owners, environmental technicians, fluvial police, and universities.

The Living Lab was organized as a full day event and divided in three sessions.

In the first session, a successful case study application concerning water management in agriculture in La Mancha Oriental aquifer, was presented.

The second session consisted in stimulating discussion among participants, so that a diagnosis on the management and use of water in Requena-Utiel region could be made. Problems such as the administrative slowness, lack of knowledge about the aquifer, production model based on quantity rather than quality, unfair division of water resources, were raised. In addition, although some participants referred that there was a decrease in the water level in some wells of their properties, others think this decrease is normal and that the water resource is not in a poor quantitative state.

Finally, in the third session, an attempt to identify measures that could be used to solve or mitigate the problems mentioned previously, was made. Participants addressed several measures, such as technical support to the farmer, creation of more participatory spaces for them to have an active voice, creation of more easily accessible material with summarized information on the condition of the aquifer, use of radar and satellite imagery, development of management tools that are accessible to everyone (i.e., a web page and application).

The event took place in a friendly atmosphere and great synergy among all participants.