How about drinking water in Madrid? I think most of people in Spain have to buy it in bottles. Do you have an idea how to increase this system?
In Madrid the quality of the water is not a problem, Spanish people don’t have to buy bottles and they can drink it directly from the tap.
Have you thought of any water storage system?
Yes, we thought to place rainwater tanks on the roof of our houses in order to use it to maintain gardens, for toilet flushing or for the laundry.
How will you change the mentality of people to change their habits?
We think that people will change their mentality if these solutions mean saving money and respecting the place where they live.
You said that people are not taking this threat into account. Do you think a striking advertising campaign of the fight against smoking, putting shocking pictures on cigarettes?
I think it could be an interesting idea to make people aware of the water shortage. It’s very important if we expect people wants to do the initial inversion. We have to make this idea that an opportunity of save money with an intelligent use of the water.
Do you think that can work well? Do you really believe in the power of community in terms of auto-regulation?
It’s not exactly an auto-regulation. We are thinking in a containers of water rain to use better the water, to manage better but it’s an aid an extra water with this we are going to save money.
How will it be organized? Election of someone who will be the responsible of many discussion between everybody?
I think that the collaboration should be together all the measures should be discussed but we could have a leader group who has more responsibility or implication in the process. This leader group will be changing democratly.
Could you imagine making a system, which can be realized all over the world? For example Italy and Ghana are quite different.

No. As it is already mentioned each area has other challenges and other problems with water (lack of water or floods). The system is specified for all the countries which have enough rain during one time of the year and have lack of water during the other time of the year. So the solution will be to store the water in any way.
Have you thought about imposing fines on those who spend more water then what they need?
Yes, they could be paying higher taxes that could be used for the future water management.

Why is money relevant? Real solutions don’t come from economy, they come from physical, real objects and actions.
We think that money is relevant. Usually, the more we pay for goods the more we value them. If an average person gets something free, it is most likely to happen he will not appreciate it as much as he would if he paid for it.
Why is it only a seasonal problem? For example, there are many years when a serious drought comes, but it may happen that the serious drought does not appear for a long period of time. Isn’t it a long term problem?
We are definitely addressing a long term issue. Due to the small capacity of rainfalls in Mediterranean climate, the droughts become a cyclical feature. We have to face the problem of not only preserving water to supply in a year of drought, but also think about long term plans for the intelligent use of water and considering the prevention of future problems regarding
Where are you going to collect and save the water from the rain?
The water from the rain will be collected by elements placed on the roof of the houses and pipes will transport the rainwater to the rainwater tank. A rainwater tank is a water tank used to collect and store rain water runoff, typically from rooftops via rain gutters. Rainwater tanks are devices for collecting and maintaining harvested rain.
Rainwater tanks are installed to make use of rain water for later use, reduce mains water use for economic or environmental reasons, and aid self-sufficiency. Stored water may be used for watering gardens, flushing toilets, in washing machines, washing cars, and also for drinking, when other water supplies are unavailable, or of poor quality, and that adequate care is taken that the water is not contaminated or the water is adequately filtered.

Is the system connected to the flood waters system?
No it is not. Madrid does not get flooded.

Can small communities challenge the problem on their own?
This is more of a moral problem than an infrastructure problem. This means that it is more important to concern people about the problem, because their behavior regarding water use during the everyday cycle is crucial. Building a tank and a pipe system is not a great problem, but closing the tap while brushing the teeth depends on each person. It is also important to concern everybody of the importance of the problem. The communities may create some kind of a working grid that will lead to a bigger communication unity within the area.

Do you think that an advertising campaign will raise people’s awareness?
In our small community, the government cannot take part, so adverts on commercial tv are rejected, unless it is a local television and the campaign made by local initiative. It could be interesting to put posters around the community to force people remember their role in this problem.

Eva Cabrera Escribano