The company Aguas de Murcia obtains ‘Next Generation’ funds for several projects aimed at reducing pollution of the Mar Menor through the boulevards
Little more than 50 kilometers separate Murcia from the Mar Menor shore, but, for pollution purposes, the interconnection between the boulevards that run through the municipality with those that flow into the lagoon has led the Ministry for Ecological Transition (Miteco) to consider that a better sanitation network in the municipality can help recover the unique ecosystem. For this reason, it has just approved the concession to the City Council of 1.5 million euros from the ‘Next Generation’ funds for renovation, monitoring and expansion projects of this system that prevents water in poor condition from reaching the lagoon through this interconnection of boulevards, especially in episodes of torrential rain.
The aid is part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Ministry and its provisional concession was announced yesterday during the second meeting of the year of the Murcia Water Administration Council (Emuasa), held at its headquarters, in the square Circular.
The general director of the entity, with 51% public participation, Inmaculada Serrano, explained in the Council, chaired by the mayor, José Antonio Serrano, that the City Council will carry out, thanks to this subsidy, actions for a new sanitation network (worth €720,000); renovation of the current one (with an investment of 610,000 euros) and monitoring of the system (for 160,000 euros).
Emuasa will apply for aid with an 8 million project to modernize water control equipment and its purification
The precautionary principle until the aid is assured, which will occur throughout the month of July, has led the Consistory to not want to advance the exact content of the projects to be carried out with these funds.
This aid is part of the 20 million euros granted by the Ministry to the municipalities affected by the contamination of the lagoon. The distribution has been made “considering criteria for the distribution of subsidies in relation to the permanent and seasonal population, the urban area, the distance to the Mar Menor and the length of the coast,” explained municipal sources.
Digitize the water cycle
The members of the Council yesterday supported the company to attend the first call for the so-called Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (Perte) of Digitization of the Water Cycle, also financed with Next Generation funds. Their ultimate goal is for water management “to be efficient and sustainable,” they added.
On this occasion Emuasa will present a project worth around 8 million euros, of which up to 2/3 could be subsidized. The action will cover almost the entire integral water cycle through the modernization of the control equipment of the Potable Water Treatment Station of Contraparada, “to increase its reliability and the amount of water that it is capable of making drinkable.”
A second step will be to implement advanced operating techniques for the three networks managed by the company: the supply network, the sanitation network and the urban irrigation network. This will allow “continuing to minimize leaks in the supply network, infiltrations in the sanitation network and improve the characteristics of the irrigation network of parks and gardens in the municipality”; and it will be possible to “optimize the use” made of the city’s subsoil water. A parallel effect is to reduce energy consumption in all three networks.
Remote reading already reaches 80,000 meters
Aguas de Murcia has already installed 80,000 new smart meters for water consumption that allow remote reading, both in domestic, commercial and industrial services and in municipal buildings (specifically, one hundred percent of the municipal schools and nursery schools, and the Parks and Gardens Service). This tool provides the data that each client needs “to control water consumption through any device with internet access, wherever and whenever you want,” explained the company. In this sense, alarms can be configured to notify users, via email, about excessive consumption or a possible water leak. “It is an innovation that allows you to control your water consumption for free, with a service available 24 hours every day of the year,” defended the Aguas de Murcia company.
In addition, and as another transversal measure, it will be possible to offer service users a greater amount of information on the use they make of water. This project will guide the city’s water management planning for the next 5 years, focusing on two key aspects of the fight against climate change: caring for water and reducing environmental damage after its use, they defended from the company.
The Council also ratified the prizes awarded for the construction of the new headquarters of Aguas de Murcia and approved the basic execution project to determine the economic and functional viability of the new building. The headquarters will be built on Miguel de Cervantes avenue and the winning project, ‘Vergelaria’, is based on technology, digitization, process improvement, optimization and redesign of spaces. Likewise, it allows the extension or reduction of the building depending on the needs, “without losing its essential characteristics”.
Transactions in up to ten languages, including Urdu, Farsi and Ukrainian
One of the novelties presented yesterday during the meeting of the Board of Directors was the new customer service model of Aguas de Murcia, ‘Contigo’. With it, it is intended that whatever the type of client “there is always a help channel for the procedures”. For groups considered vulnerable consumers, these channels will be adapted and, as an example, service has been enabled in different languages, up to ten, through the free phone.
The service is offered in English, French, German, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Chinese, Urdu, Ukrainian, Catalan, Georgian and Farsi.
“The idea is also to have this service in the office itself and in the service from the office by appointment (by phone and by video call),” they added from the company.
There will also be special attention to vulnerable groups from the economic point of view (which may be beneficiaries of the social rate or the flexibility of payments, among others); those who have a disability; or to the collective “in the digital divide”.
In the latter case, Emuasa, together with the Council’s Connected Seniors initiative, gives talks at senior centers to explain what services the company offers and how to get to them. In other workshops they explain the use of the virtual office, rates or savings on the bill.
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