The history carried by waterWorld Water Day brings with it a presentation of a programme of activities relating to this universal, public and scarce asset, which needs to be valued and maintained. The Water Memorial 2018-2019 is a way of regaining the city’s historical memory and reflecting on how we manage this resource.
The initiative is designed as a water-related meeting place for the public, giving water the space and visibility it deserves. The programme starts off within the context of climate change and water scarcity, the city heading the challenge of pulling together to become more responsible, resilient and self-sufficient.
The City Council wants to regain historical memory relating to water and highlight heritage, the evolution of supply, quality and the water cycle over the centuries in Barcelona.
A year for remembering the past
The Water Memorial will be rolled out via a programme of activities between 2018 and part of 2019. It will have four main areas for retrieving knowledge and experiences relating to the management of water and the changes to it over time in the city. They are: the Rec Comtal waterway, supply via collectively managed water mines, the sewer network and infrastructures such as the Montcada aqueduct.
The project includes discovering the city’s subsoil, with tours around the sewers and rainwater collection tanks, itineraries to see mines, springs and fountains, as well as visits to important sites such as the Rec Comtal, the Fàbrica del Sol and the Barcelona+Sostenible map. All this while guided by experts and entities linked to historical memory in the neighbourhoods.
There will also be talks, meetings and seminars on the municipalisation of water, helping underline its importance as a common asset. This follows on from the full council meeting of November 2016 which approved the return of water management to public hands, as other municipal councils in Catalonia and Europe have already done. This change in management means a new way of governing water, with criteria based around equality, non-discrimination, universality, participation, transparency, accountability and sustainability.
World Water Day kicks off the Water Memorial, as well as inaugurating one of the most eagerly awaited activities on the programme. This is the first time the underground tunnel connecting the Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat Vella (Sant Andreu) with its counterpart in Trinitat Nova (Nou Barris) will be open to the public.
Guided tours along the tunnel are being offered as from 8 April, starting off in the machine room at the Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat Vella and ending up at the water tank in the Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat Nova. This facility supplied water for the city using this same tunnel up until 1989, when it became obsolete.
The act completes a new stage in the process by the two districts of Nou Barris and Sant Andreu to regain this heritage site.