The WATTer Skills Final Conference – “Water Efficiency and Water-Energy Nexus in Building Construction and Retrofit”, organized by ADENE on December 15, 2020, placed water in the centre of the debate and reached a general consensus on the consolidation of the appreciation of water efficiency and water-energy nexus in buildings, and the respective qualification of professional profiles for its applicability in the Portuguese and European market.
With a round table composed of multiple entities and stakeholders, crossing complementary areas (Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA), The Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority (ERSAR) or National Association for Quality in Building Installations (ANQIP)), the event was enriched by addressing the challenges faced in today’s society from the perspective of each institution.
In addition to the presentation of the two new professions under development – Water Efficiency Technician and Water Efficiency Expert -, whose benchmarks are the product of the project, the end of the WATTer Skills results was also marked as a starting point for its effective implementation in the market, to be ensured from 2021 onwards, and reinforced the commitment of all representatives of the entities present in the materialization of the project, whose relevance was highlighted.
Nelson Lage, President of ADENE, opened the Conference referring to WATTer Skills, managed by ADENE, as one of the “most ambitious projects”, that will allow “responding to the needs of updating and qualifying technicians in the sectors of construction, urban rehabilitation and building water supply, contributing so that buildings present a greater water efficiency”.
In her presentation, Filipa Newton, Head of New Systems at ADENE, highlighted the relevance of the project dedicated to water efficiency, stating that “WATTer Skills is a very important project for ADENE and for the country. The Recovery Plan for Europe is coming, with 30% of the funds reserved for the fight against climate change, the highest percentage of the European budget ever, with water efficiency playing a determinant role in this objective and also in our adaptation and resilience. It is a great opportunity to look at these professionals and improve our ability to adapt”. There was also an opportunity to highlight the AQUA+ from ADENE, strongly connected to the WATTer Skills project, and an essential tool for national water efficiency targets.
The presentation of the project results was assured by Ana Poças, WATTer Skills manager at ADENE, which addressed the four reports and intellectual outputs, including the definition of the training scheme for common qualification profiles at European level, as well as the proposed training modules, ending with the thanks and call for the continuation of the “involvement of Advisory Groups and national Stakeholders groups” in the follow-up and implementation of the project, starting in 2021.
After the event that brought together an audience of more than one hundred people, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between the entities of the WATTer Skills Strategic Partnership, partners in the project, which creates the basis for European training and mobility of the two new professional profiles and the implementation of the respective training courses, as well as their inclusion in the National Catalogue of Qualifications.
Participated as speakers at the conference:
- Nuno Lacasta, APA President;
- Miguel Nunes, Director of ERSAR‘s Direct Management Department;
- Armando Silva Afonso, ANQIP President;
- Armando Jorge Carvalho, Qualification Services Directorate of IEFP – Institute of Employment and Professional Training;
- Ana Cristina Correia, Head of Environment and Quality Division at DGRDN – General Directorate of National Defense Resources, Ministry of Defense;
- Helena Alegre, Head of Hydraulics and Environment Department at LNEC – National Civil Engineering Laboratory;
- Vanda Cruz, Executive Secretary of UGT – General Union of Workers;
- António Bento Franco, Member of the Specialization on Hydraulics and Water Resources Committee of the OEP – Order of Engineers;
- João Ribeiro e Sousa, President of the College of Mechanical Engineering of the OET – Order of Technical Engineers;
- Carlos Miranda, Technical Coordinator of the CICCOPN – Professional Training Center and Public Works Industry for the Northern Construction;
- Ana Luísa Cabrita, Vice President of APEA – Portuguese Environmental Engineering Association;
- Tânia Santo António, Financial monitoring technician for the WATTer Skills project of the Erasmus+ Agency.
Watch the Conference Video: