Water utilities (WU) have to deal with different challenges including ageing infrastructures, demand variability, climate change and increased societal expectations. This paper aims at outlining potential synergies between communication promotion and the implementation of a structured approach to enhance water loss and energy management in WU. The use of a structured approach in the decision-making process leverages knowledge production from various stakeholders, enabling them to propose solutions for the challenges faced by the WU. Collaboration is essential to achieve improvements in the long-term by breaking down information silos and boundaries resulting from functional specialism. In the scope of the iPerdas 2014 project, 17 Portuguese WU followed a joint training and capacity-building approach to work strategically with water loss and energy efficiency issues. The benefits of implementing a comprehensive communication framework are presented, highlighting the interconnected nature of barriers to energy and water efficiency and the need to address these barriers in a holistic manner. The paper concludes with the presentation of some lessons learned regarding the promotion of communication in collaborative projects.
The role of communication in the deployment of water loss and energy management strategies: the experience of collaborative research with water utilities
R. Ribeiro, H. Alegre, D. Loureiro, A. Mamade; The role of communication in the deployment of water loss and energy management strategies: the experience of collaborative research with water utilities. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 1 July 2017; 17 (4): 1035–1042. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2016.198
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