We Are Water Foundation


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We Art Water Festival
2014 April 3

In the past few days many of you have contacted us with questions regarding the voting process. In today's post, we are answering all those questions.

FAQs III: Recent questions about the voting process of the We Art Water Film Festival

1. When will the finalist films be selected?

The jury appointed by the We Are Water Foundation will select up to 10 finalist films for each of the three categories, and the finalist films will be announced on May 5.

2. When will we be able to vote the finalist films?

The audience will be able to vote the finalist films from the moment the list of finalists is made public until midnight May 25, 2014.

The audience award will be for the most voted film among the finalist films.

3. How will the voting process work?

In order to vote, you must follow the following steps:

- Voting will be in Facebook’s "like" format, so if you want to vote, you must first be registered on this social network.

- Second, you must sign in to your profile on Facebook.

- Third, you should go to the Festival’s website.

- Finally, once you are on the Festival’s website, you must vote by clicking the 'Like' button that you will find below each video.


- Only the votes registered on the Festival’s website be valid. NOT those on the Facebook profiles. NOT those on other social networks.

- A user may vote as many films as he/she likes, but he/she will only be able to vote each film once.

4. When can I share my short film on the social networks?

Now. The sooner you share it the better. This way your film will have maximum visibility and when the voting period opens, you will have more people voting for it. Remember to tell your friends and family that in order to vote for your short film, they need to be registered on Facebook, and then to vote on the Festival’s website.

5. When will the names of the winners be announced?

The winners for each category and the winner of the audience award will be announced at the awards ceremony and gala, before the 25th of June.

Remember that the submission deadline is less than two days away. Upload your short film as soon as possible.

We Art Water Festival
2014 March 28

In this post we present the interview with Ned Breslin.

Interview with Ned Breslin, member of the jury of the second edition of We Art Water Film Festival


The We Are Water Foundation is honoured to have the support of Ned Breslin as a member of the jury of this edition of the We Art Water Film Festival. Ned began working in water supply and sanitation in northern Kenya in 1987, and later he worked in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. He returned to the U.S. as the director of international programs at Water For People, and he became its CEO in 2008. In 2011 he won the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, for his commitment and his work at Water For People.

The Foundation maintains a close relationship with Water For People, as both share the same goal, the same ideology, and a high degree of commitment to the people who need it; and the Foundation is very grateful to Ned for his collaboration, support, and participation in the Festival.

We invite you to enjoy the full interview with Ned Breslin below:

We asked him about the themes that the participants could explore in the short films. He comments that people usually talk about the problems, and therefore, he would like to watch videos that showcase solutions. In particular, he highlights the 'competition-for-water' theme, as he is interested in short films in which we can imagine the different parties working together instead of competing against each other (e.g. food, companies, jobs, communities, access). Narratives that show more than simple solutions, complex challenges that allow people to get water every day without exception.

The We Are Water Foundation develops sanitation infrastructures in some of the most affected areas of the planet, as well as various initiatives to raise awareness about the situation. The We Art Water Film Festival is one of those initiatives. You can also collaborate with us by raising awareness through your short film.

You only have 7 days left to submit your film! Please upload it now on the Festival's website.

2014 March 27
  • The round table discussion, organized by the We Are Water Foundation, shows the different fronts in the search for future solutions.
  • The integration of policies, the long-term vision, the monitoring of the natural world and cooperation are shown as the key aspects in order to move forward to achieve a sustainable and caring future.
  • A change in the culture of water and energy consumption and the planning of urban and industrial growth are evidently essential.
Water and energy, the challenge of efficiency

taularodonaFrom left to right: Tomàs Molina, Mariona Coll, Víctor Viñuales, Bombo N’Dir, Carolina González, Xavier Torras.

Water and energy, the subject of World Water Day this year, has been the central debate that the We Are Water Foundation organised on the 20th of March at the Roca Barcelona Gallery. Taking part in the round table discussion were Víctor Viñuales, sociologist and director of the ECODES Foundation and member of the Advisory Council of the Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation, the Greenpeace Council and the Advisory Council of the Foundation Equo, and secretary of the Executive Committee of Spainsif; Carolina González, architect, director of Ojo de Pez Arquitectura and professor at the University of Alcalá; Mariona Coll, head of coordination at the Catalan Institute of Energy (ICAE); and Bombo N’Dir, president of the Association of Sub-Saharan Women Immigrants (ADIS) and vice-president of the Catalan Association of Senegalese Residents; and Xavier Torras, director of the We Are Water Foundation. The chairperson was Tomàs Molina, meteorologist, president in Spain of the International Association of Professional Meteorology, acting president of the Climate Broadcasters Network and head of meteorology at Televisó de Catalunya.

Xavier Torras opened the debate, which he set in the activities that the We Are Water Foundation undertake every year for World Water Day and specifically referred to the spirit of the technical round table discussions that are held in the Roca Galleries in Barcelona and Madrid, made up of forums of opinion and ideas to make progress in the major problems involving access to water and sanitation in the world.

In the presentation of the debate, Tomàs Molina highlighted the importance of dealing with the twofold water-energy question from all perspectives, as each of the speakers did in their contributions.


Integration and long-term vision

The first speaker was Victor Viñuales. The sociologist praised the integrating approach of the Foundation’s initiative in the round table discussion, pointing out the disciplinary interdependence that currently exists when solving scientific problems and he explained the position of the sociologist in the challenge of the current transformation of society to achieve the construction of a new greener and more responsible economy.

Viñuales firstly dealt with the catastrophic view currently held about the evolution of the planet and justified it in light of the data that reflects the complexity of the problem: “There are more than 7 billion of us with a hyper-consumerist model of development, before which we are faced with disruptive changes to achieve sustainability. Technological solutions are necessary, but they are not enough, they must be accompanied by the adoption of new values. This is necessary so that the change is deeply-rooted and fast”.

The founder of ECODES then summed up the changes that according to his criteria had to provide the backbone of any solutions developed. Firstly he placed the integration of science with institutional approaches: “Water, energy, food… It is obvious that the problems are interrelated, so that it would be absurd to deal with solutions separately. The unilateral solutions may be good for one problem but may cause another one, as has occurred until now”.

He then stressed the importance of showing solidarity regarding distant problems, not only for those that are not close in space and time: “Acquiring long-distance empathy is an essential change for managing global problems. ‘Emit less so that tomorrow the climate will not be affected’ is a long-term way of thinking that we must acquire”.

The sociologist explained that we must advance towards a revolution in the efficiency of natural resources, of water and energy, and also a revolution in productivity that involves a cultural change: “We must be aware that the planet cannot withstand such squandering, and we must look for shared economy solutions, experimenting with the luxury of non-ownership”, at the same time, he pointed out, advocating the long-term vision in the management of problems: “We must face up to the crisis when there is no crisis, not when we are up to our neck in water, because that’s when discussion is bad and agreement worse. For example, we must solve droughts when there are no droughts”.

Nature offers the solution

Carolina González was next to speak, locating the problem of water and energy outside the infrastructures, in their natural setting and subject to natural cycles. Firstly, she showed how the processes of urbanisation and deforestation have affected the natural process of evaporation and argued for changing the way we construct cities: “We must recover the evaporation-condensation cycle broken by cities that are the veritable waterproof carpets that generate practically dry ecosystems. The oases, for example, show us how to recover the cycle and dissipate the heat outwards, towards the higher layers of the atmosphere. Then we must argue for changing the mentality of thinking indoors only; in Madrid, for example, it has been calculated that when the air-conditioning apparatus are turned on, the temperature rises two degrees”.

The architect from the University of Alcalá explained the importance of taking into account the criteria of form and localisation to achieve sustainable efficiency in the water-energy binomial. The criteria of form are spatial, enabling the natural fields of energy of water to be used and she gave the example of the water supply in the city of Venice, situated in an endorheic basin (an area in which the water does not flow into the sea) that has always had great difficulty in supplying water, and how historically it has taken advantage of this natural geometry so that the rainwater ends up filtered in drains and easily recoverable.

Regarding the criteria of localisation, she used the example of Spain, where we continue to maintain enormous hydraulic infrastructures that in their time enabled us to become an exporting country of agricultural produce, but that today this agricultural potential is well below what it once represented in the GDP, but we continue investing in disproportionate infrastructures. She also gave as example the adoption of foreign countries: “We invest in water for golf courses and gardens that represent a landscape exported by countries such as England and which here are totally inappropriate”. González argued for following the signs of nature to design green spaces: “We must recover the geometry of the land, such as the torrent lines that form the original basins and place the urban parks in these lines to avoid pumping and artificial irrigation. It involves observing the naturalness of things and accepting the reality of the landscape itself”.


Decreasing consumption, the first step before investing in infrastructures

Mariona Coll firstly explained the experience of the Catalan Institute of Energy on creating the energy audit programmes and the rational use of water to help industries. Coll charted the evolution of the interest of companies according to the costs of water and energy, and how recently the work of the experts in energy efficiency has become profitable: “Today the investments in energy efficiency are returnable in two years thanks to the savings. The formula that an energy services company invests in efficient machinery in an industry and which the company pays later with the energy saved is being promoted greatly”.

The director of the ICAE emphasised the potential of energy saving that is closely linked to saving in water: “Water has the small advantage compared to energy in that it can be accumulated more and in a better way, whereas with energy the question of the batteries is yet to be adequately resolved”. She then went through the relationship between water and energy in the different economic sectors and how any saving in water is associated with energy saving: from saving hot water in homes, to the evolution of drip irrigation systems, and to the return to agriculture of conservation. In the case of industry, she placed special emphasis on the convenience of adopting dry cleaning systems, using purely mechanical systems, before those of cleaning with water.

Coll also pointed out the importance of the treatment of effluents in energy consumption. In processes such as purification, energy saving is very important in treatment plants or purifiers, procedures in which technology has enabled us to recover energy from the effluent itself, with the attainment of biogas from the sludge resulting from purification.

She also highlighted the priority of promoting saving in consumption regarding the increase of infrastructures in order to respond to the growing demand: “If investing in supplying water increases consumption, neither the energy nor the water are economical. It is better to reduce consumption. It is the case of some states in the USA which even pressurise the companies to reduce consumption and even organise public opinion against them if they resist”. She gave the example of the diversion of the Ródano planned in Catalonia during the last drought period: “Fortunately it was not carried out, there was a lot of work in reducing demand and this was seen to be most appropriate”.


Cooperating for obtaining a fundamental right

Finally, Bombo N’Dir focused her intervention on the importance of water management in the eradication of poverty, and gave the example of the sub-Saharan river Senegal, in which water abounds naturally but its inhabitants cannot benefit from it due to the lack of suitable management of hydric resources, operations that the government has subjugated to the interests of third parties: “The government favours the multinationals over the needs of the riverside towns. For example, water is taken to irrigate the fields of a sugar company that are a long distance away and forget those that we have been using for time immemorial. The problem also arises of the drainage and vegetation that has grown on the riverside stopping access to the river of the local people, and the population is divided by bursting banks. The riversides are not cleaned and women do not have access to water”.

The Senegalese co-operator pointed out some of the absurdities resulting from the unsuitable management of water: “What the sugar company does is distribute water with a tanker every 15 days, when before we didn’t have the need since we went to the river for it and it could be used for seasonal agriculture”.

N’Dir defended having a long-term view of the problem of water: “This phenomenon also happens here: there is a lack of awareness about the water we have and we look for it far away paying when we could have it without paying”. She also argued for the need for cooperation at all levels and, above all, to clearly and openly demand the right to water: “It is better working together with the government and companies, not just thinking about the short-term economic benefit. Water is a right and does not only have to benefit the companies that have the means and money to do so. Water is a right and this should be clearly explained, that is my job”.

About the We Are Water Foundation

The We Are Water Foundation, promoted by the Roca company, has as objectives, on the one hand, to raise awareness amongst the general public and the administrations about the need to promote a new culture of water and, on the other hand, relieve the negative effects related to the lack of hydric resources, through the development of cooperation and aid programmes alongside diverse organisations such as Education without Frontiers, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Intermón Oxfam and UNICEF.

2014 March 19
  • On World Water Day the We Are Water Foundation is making an international calling to action and social awareness, within the setting of the Post 2015 Agenda and the SDG.
  • On the 20th of March the Roca Barcelona Gallery is holding a round table discussion with the title “Water and Energy, the challenge of efficiency”, about the subject designated by the United nations for this year, 2014.
  • The Foundation backs diverse callings for action and awareness in 12 countries.
Water and Energy, an indivisible pairing


Within the setting of World Water Day (22nd of March), the We Are Water Foundation, in line with its philosophy since it was  founded, is this year supporting diverse callings to social actions and awareness of the population at an international level. 

On the 20th of March in the Roca Barcelona Gallery it is organising a round table discussion, Water and Energy, the challenge of efficiency, which is fully within the remit of the subject matter designated by the United Nations for 2014. 

Water and Energy, the challenge of efficiency takes the form of a constructive and participative debate, and looks into this indivisible pairing from a technological, scientific, educational and caring perspective.  

With the aim of taking on these challenges in seeking new solutions from the cooperative perspective of the Water-Energy nexus, taking part in this event will be specialists from the scientific and technical sphere and representatives of the educational and solidarity sector in order to explain and share information and ideas and attempt to form specific proposals.

 A major objective of this round table discussion is to achieve an exchange of know-how, create synergies of communication and plan inter-sectorial strategies that help us face up to this challenge and join forces for greater socioeconomic growth. 

The debate is framed within the context of the exhibition titled Water, the right to a decent life by the We Are Water Foundation, which can be visited at the Roca Barcelona Gallery until the 19th of April.  


The We Are Water Foundation is also supporting, within the setting of World Water Day, solidarity and awareness actions at an international level. The activities are being undertaken with the aim of raising funds for the Foundation’s simultaneously in 12 countries: Bulgaria, Portugal, United Kingdom, Brazil, Dubai, France, Poland, China, Russia, the Czech Republic and Argentina.

Follow us on World Water Day

Without energy there is no water and without water there is no energy: information for reflection 

The United Nations plans to introduce the subject of water and energy as one of the priority points in the Post-2015 development agenda and in the conceptualisation of the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

Recent data provided by UN Water shows clearly the intrinsic relation that exists between water and energy and warns of the problems that await us in the immediate future. At the last 2014 Annual Conference of UN Water that was held from the 13-16th of January in Zaragoza, the intrinsic and close relationship between both resources and the magnitude of the problem to be solved was left patently clear. 

In 2010, 15% of all freshwater extractions were used for energy production. This figure is only surpassed by agriculture and is the equivalent of 580 million cubic metres. Put another way: the energy sector absorbs water at approximately the same speed as the flow of the Ganges or the Mississippi, two of the largest rivers in the world. Most of this water is used not only for hydroelectric production but also for the cooling of the power stations. On the other hand, energy is essential for the supply of water and necessary for the systems that collect, transport, distribute and treat it. 

Additionally, in 2050 the demand for water could surpass by 44% the annually available resources, whereas the demand for energy could increase by 50% between now and then. Furthermore, water and energy suffer limitations in many regions as a consequence of economic and demographic growth and of climate change, which will enlarge its reciprocal vulnerability. 

Added to this, today 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity and more than 850 million do not have access to an improved source of water. And what is even more disconcerting: 2 billion more people will need access to water and energy between now and 2050. 


This is why UN Water has presented the close relationship between these two elements as one of the key factors to take into account in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and in the conceptualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): the water and energy sectors must go hand in hand, and we cannot contemplate a world in which both concepts advance independently and this is a vital factor to ensure that we can continue providing services in a not too distant future. 

The conclusions of the Conference will stress that there is not a general solution applicable to any situation, which is why alliances at a local level are so important. Local know-how is essential when dealing with the problems that are posed and is one of the critical factors of success. 

These conclusions will serve as the basis for producing the key messages of cooperation that the World Water Day campaign will use this year and will be the first lines that will draw, step by step, the panorama on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

About the We Are Water Foundation

The We Are Water Foundation, promoted by the Roca company, has as objectives, on the one hand, to raise awareness amongst the general public and the administrations about the need to promote a new culture of water and, on the other hand, relieve the negative effects related to the lack of hydric resources, through the development of cooperation and aid programmes alongside diverse organisations such as Education without Frontiers, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Intermón Oxfam and UNICEF.

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