Manel Poch: “The UdG has to be strategic with regard to knowledge of tourism and water”

In an interview granted to the Diari de Girona newspaper the scientific coordinator of the Euro-Mediterranean Tourism and Water Campus at the UdG, Manel Poch, reflected on the relationship of the University of Girona with the Campus of International Excellence for Tourism and Water and on the challenges that these two areas bring to the institution.

In an interview published by the Diari de Girona newspaper on the 15 April, Manel Poch said, at the request of the journalist, that before undertaking water conveyances, it is necessary to “analyse whether we are making a good use of the water we have”. In addition, he claims that “we must return to a culture of saving, because only if one has saved they have the moral authority to ask others to lend you water, which is not free”.

That was a real statement of intentions, coming from a scientist who has extensive experience both in research and development and application of decision support processes, especially in the field of waste water management. Manel Poch (Barcelona, 1955) is a full professor at the University of Girona, lecturer of chemical engineering and director of the LEQUIA Research Group (Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering). He has accepted the task of coordinating the Campus of International Excellence for Tourism and Water, the E-MTA, from Girona.The Campus is promoted by the University of Girona, the UIB and the CSIC, in order to generate knowledge about tourism and water in a country, like ours, where water is scarce and which receives as many tourists as twice the amount of people it has, something that obviously causes many tensions. The only way to get the knowledge that will improve the relation between these two issues is research, but as Poch told the journalist when asked about the economic resources from the Government that the Campus will receive for this, “there will be no financial donation, but this is a strategic project for the University of Girona, which outlines what it aims to be by 2020, that is the leading Catalan university in tourism and water research”.

Moreover, with his replies Poch described the alliances which are being established to strengthen the E-MTA, such as the agreement recently signed between the University of Girona and the Catalan Water Partnership (CWP), or the various projects which are starting right now, like the one which will study the extent of the water footprint, something important for sectors such as tourism, to which the Campus, “can give directions to ensure that it saves water, since the sector is very interested in doing so”.

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