Water, a strategic priority on the EU agenda, at the centre of the event for a sustainable future
On 6, 7 and 8 October BolognaFiere is holding, in an in-person format, the fifteenth edition of H2O, the International Water Exhibition. The event involves discussions about technologies, distribution and sustainability in a sector that is assuming an increasing importance and at which the companies present provide undisputed excellence in terms of innovation, which is essential for overcoming certain (now historical) problems.
The sector is currently the subject of profound reflection, elicited also by the growing attention towards environmental issues that the pandemic emergency has highlighted within the context of a more general reassessment of our industrial models and lifestyles.
Since the spring of 2020 the pandemic has prevented the regular hosting of exhibition activities, which were only able to resume as of June 15. The dialogue between BolognaFiere and operators at H2O, however, has never ceased, and the goal is to create an event “for the recovery” that contains even more interesting content and exhibition proposals.
“We feel a responsibility to contribute to such an important topic as water,” announced Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere, “which is fundamental due to the importance of the resource and its infinite uses, all of which should be viewed from a perspective of sustainability and respect for the environment. The contribution of technological innovation is essential and H2O 2021 will offer an extensive showcase for this, proposing, alongside the exhibition of innovations that characterize the market, a programme of in-depth conferences to host discussions between experts, professionals, operators and institutions.”
Digitalization, sustainability and new business models are key areas for the water sector, which are also at the centre of the EU agenda due to their importance, and H2O 2021 will be giving ample visibility to these.
In spite of the difficulties of the recent period, the water sector has continued to pursue a challenging pathway, implementing processes and investments that are set to have an impact from 2021. The Recovery Fund resources, obtained based on tangible projects, are set to give a further boost to the sector.
This trend was also highlighted by the CRESME-H2O OBSERVATORY, which analyses tenders and the awarding of contracts concerning water projects in the public sector, updated on July 2021 (available online at www.accadueo.com).
The water market, examined through the number of contracts awarded worth more than €1 million, has been growing since 2018. This number, in fact, rose from 210, amounting to a total of €997 million in 2018 to 342 amounting to approximately €2.4 billion in 2020. The number of contracts increased by 63% and the amount by 141%. This growth trend has also been confirmed in the first six months of 2021, but the sector’s prominence in the overall market for public works has declined. In the first six months of 2021, the number of maintenance and management contracts and integrated design and construction contracts increased, while the number of works-only contracts decreased and PPPs remained stable in number and increased in value.
From a perspective of geographical distribution, the growth of the water market in the first half of 2021 was sustained mainly by regions in the north and south. The decline was most notable on the islands’, occurring at twice the speed of the central regions.
As is customary, H2O will offer, on one hand, an overview of the most innovative proposals by the exhibiting companies and, in parallel, thanks to the rich schedule of conferences, opportunities for discussions between protagonists in the sector, the leading national and international experts and representatives of the relevant institutions.
H2O 2021: EVENT PATRONS
H2O 2021 is an event organised by BolognaFiere with the support of the MINISTRY FOR THE ECOLOGICAL TRAN-SITION and: A.I.C.C. • AIS • ANBI • ANIE AUTOMAZIONE • ANIPLA • ANISGEA • APCE • ASPI • ASSOCIAZIONE IDROTECNICA ITALIANA • C.C.I.A.A. BOLOGNA • CENTRO INOX • CNI – CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DEGLI INGEGNERI • COMMISSIONE EUROPEA • CONFINDUSTRIA EMILIA-ROMAGNA • CONFSERVIZI CISPEL LOMBARDIA • ENEA • FAST • FEDERAZIONE NAZIONALE DEGLI ORDINI DEI CHIMICI E DEI FISICI • GBC ITALIA • GISI • GRUPPO ITALIANO DI IDRAULICA • IATT • ISA • ISLE • ISPRA • ISTITUTO ITALIANO DELLA SALDATURA • MINISTERO DELLA TRANSI-ZIONE ECOLOGICA • LABELAB • OICE • ORDINE INTERPROVINCIALE DEI CHIMICI E DEI FISICI DELL’EMILIA RO-MAGNA • PVC FORUM ITALIA • REGIONE EMILIA-ROMAGNA • UNI – ENTE ITALIANO DI NORMAZIONE.
H20 2021: NEW BUSINESS-SIZED SERVICES
Over this last year digital facilities have been further integrated and developed, an example is the B2Match platform that BolognaFiere has activated to facilitate meetings between operators and exhibitors also for other trade fairs.
“Water+Energy Digital Session” is the platform created for H2O 2021 (in the run up to the event from September 27 to October 5) and created in collaboration with ICE Italia. A new initiative created to facilitate B2B meetings between exhibitors and professionals from the sector, a digital preview of the H2O exhibition in Bologna and a unique opportunity to create an important business network at a time when the effects of the pandemic are still affecting people’s habits and movements.
The Digital Session aims to serve as an integrated digital platform concerning all aspects of water, gas and energy services.
INNOVATION TAKES CENTRE STAGE WITH THE “INNOVATION AWARD” AND THE “H2O AWARD”
The focus on innovation has always been at the heart of H2O and will once again be among the main areas of interest at the 2021 edition. There are two particular initiatives focused on this theme: the “Innovation Award” and the “H2O Award” which will acknowledge innovations in the sectors of water, gas and other areas of the industry.
Available to operators also at this edition is the Guide to the new innovations which illustrates the new products and services that will be showcased at H2O 2021; the two categories of the 2021 edition can be consulted online: INNOVATIONS (basic and functional), in the case of innovations covered by regular patents or products that improve a pre-existing product and NEW in the case of products that enhance the product range. The products of the shortlisted exhibitors participating in the selection will be considered for the “Innovation Award.”
The H2O Award, however, is the award assigned at H2O 2021 for the product innovations, or innovations of processes and services, developed by innovative companies from the worlds of science and utilities. The “call for proposals” for the award was open to technologies and patents, but also to new organizational, work or business models that contribute to the innovation and sustainability of network services.
A special Technical-Scientific commission will select the winners based on evaluation criteria that will take into account the originality of the proposal and its potential for development and replication.
The three days will be filled with appointments for the international operators who will be in Bologna for H2O 2021. Three days to plan with the utmost attention also in relation to the important conferences and seminars that will feature experts, institutions, trade associations and organizations. Here follows a preview of what is in store.
The H2O 2021 programme will open with an event dedicated to the European Directive on drinking water 2020/2184 organized by FNCFF (the National Federation of the Order of Chemists and Physicists). An appointment of great importance because the Directive in question has introduced a new risk-based approach to water safety that concerns the entire supply chain (extraction from the water table, treatment, storage, distribution, point of delivery to users), ensuring compliance with the tabulated values established to protect public health.
Another important focus of the conferences at H2O 2021 will be the market and analyses of its development prospects with the involvement of trade associations that represent the producers of systems and services. The meeting Future and Market will provide space for organizations involved at the forefront of key issues like the environment in the strategic sector of water. An area in which the role of Associations and their members is fundamental; for this reason H2O 2021 has planned a seminar about the efforts and commitments of the Associations and has invited the supporting associations to take part.
Investing in water: disparities, digital and the green transition will be the theme of the conference organized by REF Research. The meeting will provide an overview of progress based on indicators of technical quality, investments and the more relevant tariff components that will be discussed at a round table where service operators will debate industrial development, good practices and features that support and inhibit the journey towards greater environmental sustainability and the circular economy.
The topic of water is essential for the world of construction and H2O 2021 will dedicate an interesting in-depth session GREEN BUILDING: strategies and solutions for sustainable construction, organized by GBG Green Building Council Italy.
A lack of drinking water is one of the most important challenges that the world has to face. Construction can play a fundamental role and contribute pre-emptively to safeguarding, and the efficient management of, water. The conference aims to analyse the topic of urban water saving, examining in detail the strategies for the sustainable development of the water networks and the contribution of buildings to saving water, through the presentation of case studies.
The Emilia-Romagna Region has played a pioneering role in the regulation of water services, and the results of its journey are at the centre of the conference The regulation of local public services in Emilia-Romagna: a shared assessment 10 years on from the creation of ATTERSIR.
In 2011 Emilia-Romagna began a reform of the Provincial Authorities (AATO) with the creation of a single regional regulation agency responsible for both local public environmental services: the integrated water service and the waste management service. This reform was then emulated by other Italian Regions. These ten years
of experience offer a substantial amount of information and data useful for the evaluation of this service provision concept that has generally proved to be successful.
The association ANIE Automazione will organize a conference on the use of remote control in the water sector, which will illustrate how remote control could be the best tool to respond to new requirements and is a technology fundamental for modern public utilities for achieving targets of quality and efficiency required by the market and the Authority.
The world of academia and the excellent work of universities will have opportunities for visibility and expression during the schedule of meetings planned for H2O thanks to the work of CSSI and CSDI, which will also award training credits to engineers. The debate will focus, at this edition, on the water pipe network and urban drainage systems, involving in discussions technicians from the water industry and researchers in the sector. A broad range of topics will be examined, including: the modelling of numbers of complex networks for the purpose of planning and managing new models for designing water pipes; the problems connected to maintaining concentrations of chlorine in the pipes of a distribution network; the variations in consumption in urban centres in the time of Covid-19; energy recovery in large pumping plants and hydroelectric power plants through an integrated system in the aqueduct network.
At this edition, CSDU will place at centre stage the more recent intervention strategies for the management of storm water and waste in urban areas, including the planning criteria and suitable equipment. Also in the spotlight will be a monitoring tool for drainage systems, sustainable and resilient urban drainage technologies, calculation tools for designing and modelling the various components of drainage systems.
Friday at the Fair will involve an international debate: international service managers are constantly striving to reduce the volume of unbilled water and to improve operational efficiency as they face up to an aging infrastructure, variations in demand for water, rigorous environmental goals and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements.
The meeting will see the presentation and discussion of the latest developments, strategies, techniques and applications of certain international best practices in the innovative management of water networks. Italian and international experts will introduce case studies and will develop some of the more pertinent issues for the water service managers, such as: smart water networks, data-driven technologies and systems to support decision making, strategies and technologies for monitoring and reducing water leakages, Asset management, network performance analysis, benchmarking and collaboration between managers and regulators as well as automatic meter reading.
Information and detailed schedules at www.accadueo.com
H2O – the International Water Exhibition; CH4 – the specialist event for gas technologies and distribution systems; HESE – Hydrogen Energy Summit&Expo the national event dedicated to technologies for the production, transport and storage of hydrogen; ConferenceGNL- the international event dedicated to the promotion of the Liquefied Natural Gas industry; Fuels Mobility – the national event for technologies for service stations and sustainable mobility and Dronitaly – the national event dedicated to the professional uses of drones, are the events that form the BolognaFiere Water&Energy exhibition platform – a joint venture created by BolognaFiere (75%) and Mirumir (25%). Operational from 2022, the event will be the Italian forum where public and private organisations can meet and discuss, at national and international level, how water, energy and technological applications can affect the socio-economic development of our country and beyond. The platform will provide tangible and innovative support on the pathway that Italy is pursuing towards the ecological transition.
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