domingo, 21 de Setembro de 2014

Afonso Lobato Faria: "wastewater reuse is one of priority investments of Águas de Portugal"

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In 2009, Lisbon secured the organisation of world water Congress, an event which kicks off today and was "won", five years ago, at the expense of the proposals of Istanbul (Turkey), Brussels (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland) and Geneva (Switzerland).

Considered to be the most important Congress on water in the world, the event is organized by the International Water Association (IWA) and will have as its theme "Shaping the future of water". The waters of Portugal is one of the companies that actively works in the Organization of the event â€" or not perform it in Portugal â€" reason Green Savers interviewed the President of the company, Afonso Lobato Faria.

What are the main themes that expects to see discussed and clarified in Congress? The water sector is of great importance in the context of public health, the quality of the environment, climate change, innovation. These are cross-cutting themes to more technical topics of the agenda of Congress, relating to security and quality of supply, cutting-edge technologies, innovative treatment processes, contributions of science â€" and also with issues of governance, management models, economic and financial sustainability or energy efficiency.

This is the first time that this Congress takes place in Portugal, what distinguishes us but also brings a greater responsibility. I hope that participants of more than 100 countries present enjoy fully the breadth of knowledge and experience shared by the best specialists of the sector that also come from different latitudes.

That keynote speakers will not lose and why? The greatest difficulty will be choosing, because the range of possibilities is very rich and diverse. If you could highlight just one, I'd say I have special curiosity by the intervention of Sue Murphy, CEO of Water Corporation of Western Australia, which will address the issues of efficiency and sustainability of water services â€" which is one of the main challenges of our sector in Portugal.

The waters of Portugal will have a very broad set of sessions and workshops. That highlights topics on this list? We can really be proud of the participation of the waters of Portugal, since early in the active participation of EPAL in the Organization of the Congress. In all other group companies, we are involved in promotion of round tables and workshops, we have participated in more than 20 panels, we have 32 posters, we promote business forums and various other activities in an excellent shows the capabilities of our employees.

In this context, we must highlight the workshops "Management models for water utilities" and "Investments for 2020 in Portuguese speaking Countries", both powered by group companies and taking place on the first day of the Congress, day 22.

Wednesday, March 24, is a day of great prominence for the group a session dedicated to the issue of water Safety plans, in the Conference program, fully supported by employees. Also on this day, I would like to highlight the presentation of the "Handbook for the development of water Safety plans" in the booth of Águas de Portugal, in the scope of the Congress. This is a manual developed by a working group of the Águas de Portugal specialized in water Safety plans (PSA), being an adaptation of the publicaçãoWater Safety Plan Manual: step-by-step risk management for drinking-water suppliers, World Health Organization and the International Association of water, complemented with the experience of the AdP group companies, who already have implemented Water safety plans.

I can't help but also refer to the technical visits on Friday, day 26, the various water treatment infrastructures in the group, as the wastewater treatment stations de Alcântara, Lisbon, da Guia, in Cascais, and Serzedo, in Guimarães, and the water treatment plant of Asseiceira, in Tomar.

One of the reasons cited for winning Congressional organization Lisbon water world had as a backdrop to our privileged relationship with the Ibero-American and African countries. What role can have the waters of Portugal in developing good practices and innovations in these countries? It is a fact that the historical affinities and common language are conveyed in a natural way international projects conducted by Águas de Portugal, namely in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Timor-Leste. This relationship has been consolidated over almost two decades of cooperative projects, technical assistance and concessions management of water services and waste.

Is for us a great satisfaction to have all these our partners here in Lisbon at the world water Congress, especially because it is an opportunity to consolidate the projects that we have in common and share the challenges of the future that are discussed in the various conferences and technical sessions.

One of the themes that most enthusiasm is building in Congress is the reuse of residual water. What is your opinion on this subject and how this innovation can be a global reality? Águas de Portugal group also shares this enthusiasm, especially as the wastewater reuse is one of the priority areas of investment in innovation and Research Group Development and & was also listed as one of the areas to deepen under a partnership of cooperation with institutions of higher learning Polytechnic who recently concluded.

This means that, being the Waters of Portugal group responsible for treating wastewater of about 80% of the Portuguese population, have naturally a great responsibility in deepening the viability and environmental added value, economic-financial and technical of wastewater reuse in their systems. Even in one of the sessions will be devoted to this theme, on Tuesday, a contributor to our with a speech on "Wastewater Reuse: Strategic Planning as a Viability Factor".

Currently the reuse of waste water in the washing of floors of facilities and equipment, irrigation of green spaces and in the preparation of reagents is already common to the majority of our systems at the same time they're being developed other pilot projects, such as the delivery of waste water treated to municipal uses in large urban centers, such as washing of streets and containers, watering of golf courses and even the cooling of cooling systems of commercial spaces.

The discreet charm of the suburban night clubs

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For many, the weekend brings nocturnal adventures unthinkable a week, many of them passed in clubs and eccentric buildings, they change their appearance overnight â€" in our minds, at least.

The French photographer François Prost realized in 2009, during a holiday in Burgundy, French seaside resort, that these centres of nocturnal activity change figure within hours: of postmodern entertainment palaces, at night, to architectural monsters, by day.

"It reminded me of my youthful years", explained the graphic designer of 34 years.

Prost, who has photography as a hobby, quickly undertook a project to rediscover his youth and, at the same time, expose the specific architecture of the suburban night clubs. Yes, because those are mundane urban. "They are places with too many people and there are interesting photographic point of view. There is not enough space and many are in garages, "he continued.

The suburban night clubs, for their part, have a "face". "Just looking for nightclubs that have a guy who can be the height of the cliché of nightclub," he concluded.

In recent years, Prost has photographed night clubs in France and Belgium, but the project has fallen in love so much that we're thinking of inviting him to pass through Portugal. And the reader, want to help us by sending some pictures of your favorite Portuguese nightclubs?

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sábado, 20 de Setembro de 2014

The rarest amphibians in the world

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"Looking for the Lost Amphibians" is the story of the conservationist and photographer Robin Moore and their journey in search of amphibian species lost. From Colombia to Costa Rica and from Israel to India this photographer sought the rarest species of amphibians from around the world and immortalized them through his photographic lens.

The journey started in 2010 and ran across 21 countries. If at first it was only shortly after Moore joined him 126 researchers, referred to in the Guardian. The end result is "In Search of Lost Frogs", a book dedicated to these species illustrated with photographs taken by conservationist.

Robin Moore is the founder of the Amphibian Survival Alliance and a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. The expedition and its findings are a step forward in the fight against the extinction of species and for its preservation.

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Maldives puts the island on sale for €10,6 million

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The Maldives are the country that probably has more debated and placed on media agenda the theme of climate change, and the reason is simple â€" will be one of the first to disappear with the increase of the mean sea level.

The Intergovernmental Panel on climate change reported in 2007 that if the mean sea level rise a mere 59 cm by 2100, an optimistic forecast, most of the 200 uninhabited islands would be under water â€" the Maldives have 1990 coral islands, grouped into 26 atolls chain.

One of these uninhabited islands, however, may soon change its status. According to British media, the Maldivian Government has put for sale on the island of Orivaru, a piece of land shaped like a pancake, for €10,6 million (US $ 32.2 million).

Taking into account what has been done to tackle climate change, will probably be money lying on the street for any entrepreneur or a millionaire, even though the island come with permission to build a hotel and spa.

With 14 acres and located at 45 minutes from the capital Malé, the island of Orivaru is one of 71 that belong to the archipelago of Noonu Atolls and is being sold by the Debutesq Group. "There's nothing on the island. Is completely Virgin, "explained Alan O'Connor, director-general of the group.

The Ministry of tourism will allow the construction of near 100 rooms and villas overlooking the Indian Ocean. How long do these possible constructions will be safe from water? This is another issue that's of little or nothing, probably will appeal to the persons concerned.

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A cyclist's helmet that mimics every fashion hats

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The use of helmet is essential to protect the urban cyclist of life in traffic-cars, motorbikes and trucks turn asphalt into a jungle. Still, some people avoid using the helmet for several reasons, including the aesthetics.

Is thinking about the safety of these cyclists that Bandbox idealized a helmet that looks like a normal hat. "[We want to] offer to cyclists helmet choices that will meet the fashion trends and that allow these to express your personal style without compromising security," explained the company, cited at least one car.

The idea started from transport security expert engineer Cheryl Allen-Munley, founder of Brandbox. "I don't wear a helmet is not a smart choice. In more than 95% of accidents, cyclists are not using protection, "he explains. Despite the helmets save lives, Allen-Munley don't think "cute" and considers that this is one of the reasons why so many people don't use.

The Bandbox helmets are made with various materials such as felt and straw, there are colors that are appropriate for various shades of hair and there are models from the typical format of cowboy hat until berets and caps. The base is A normal helmet and the model that covers the helmet can be changed at any time.

"I drew them in such a way as to imitate the shape of the human head, more specifically my" said, adding that the material with which they are made is sturdier than the traditional.

The hats are available in the online store of the brand from the €45 ($ 136). Being the District of Aveiro is known for textiles and passion for the bike, how does any company still thought a product which is identical? Or already have done?

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How nature is to swallow the abandoned quarry of Alvito

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Urban developments have not been favourable to Alvito, Lisbon, an ancient quarry and, later, industrial zone which is today used as a loading zone of rubble and garbage. The Algarve photographer John Gago, of 27 years, wandered by this space in ruins to find "a temporal experiment in which we can observe the passage of time" â€" and how this modifies the space.

"For more harm than the man do to nature, she can always win," explained the photographer to Green Savers. "Here we can see how the flora of this space is starting to swallow the human wreckage in a kind of biological recycling".

A degree in photography and Visual culture from the Instituto de Artes Visuais, Design e Marketing (IADE) in Lisbon, John the Stutterer has collaborated with newspapers and Public Destak and discovered the passion for photography among the Media Sciences studies.

As lovers of abandoned infrastructure, as has repeatedly announced, we cannot fail to commend the photographic session of John the Stutterer. Is the rediscovery of urban horrors that are halfway to the recovery of assets and better urban planning â€" and the area of Alvito deserves a new strategy.

Photos: John The Stutterer

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sexta-feira, 19 de Setembro de 2014

Investment in green titles already exceeds the €15,4 billion

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There are two reasons why the Zurich Insurance Group, one of the world's largest financial companies, is investing about € 1,5 billion in green bonds, or green titles. The first are the environmental benefits of investing in projects that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and stop global warming. The second â€" and quite important for investors â€" is the profitability of green bonds.

"If there are opportunities that provide market returns as well as tangible and measurable environmental impacts, I consider them as a great investment opportunities," says the Director of Zurich's investment, Cecilia Reyes.

It is now clearer than ever for investors that the green bonds, which provide capital to finance renewable energy projects and cleaned with the promise of return on investment, are a good deal. The purchase of such assets is increasing at breakneck pace and more than €15,4 billion have already been issued in 2014 in the form of green bonds. The Climate Bond Initiative, a non-profit investor group, expects this market reaches the €30,9 billion at the end of the year. This means that the whole of that money will go straight to renewable energies.

The Zurich has risen to double investment in green bonds during the summer. In the spring, Unilever and Toyota issued the first titles of the genre. Even Warren Buffett is investing in green bonds, writes the Guardian.

And why decided now big investors start betting on clean economy? The answer is simple: the green bonds are a financial product that provides nice returns, between 4% to 5%, with a minimum risk. And clean energy projects, aided by cheaper renewable, are environmentally and financially more attractive.

And why are they so important the green bonds in the fight against climate change? Halting climate change will require trillions of euros of additional investment in renewable energy and other clean energy projects and the titles are a fundamental life force to finance these projects.

In fact, the total investment in clean energies should continue to increase, reaching €385,6 billion in 2020 and €771 billion in 2030. Just reaching these values is that there is the likelihood that we can prevent global temperatures increase by more than two degrees Celsius. But the current investment levels, emissions and global temperatures are on the way that should do increase temperatures between four to five degrees Celsius â€" a scenario that will be catastrophic for the economy and the environment.

Foto: Oooah! / Creative Commons

 
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