Several members of the SIMTWIST project participated in the European Geophysical Union (EGU21) General Assembly 2021

Several members of the SIMTWIST project participated in the European Geophysical Union General Assembly 2021, held online between April 19th and April 30th, highlighting some preliminary results for the Benidorm (spain) and Rimini (Italy) case studies.

The Spanish SIMTWIST project partners presented their work in which the topics of interest related to tourist water consumption was analyzed. These topics were identified by scientific researchers, decision-makers and stakeholders from the tourist sector applied to the Benidorm case study.

The Italian partners analyzed the features and patterns that characterize the tourist water consumption in hotels and bathing establishments in Rimini, showing the influence of category, size, opening period, and water-demanding facilities (restaurant, pool, spa, garden, etc.).

In Rimini, the number of water-meter readings declined substantially in the last years: water meters are conventional, meaning that are manually read, and they are aging. However, the municipality is testing a smart-metering approach, installing a set of smart-meters in tourist premises.

Online Mid-term Water JPI Evaluation meeting (19-20 April 2021)

On April 20th 2021, the coordinator of the SIMTWIST Project, Dr. Bas Amelung made an online presentation at the Mid-term JPI Water Evaluation Meeting. The purpose of the mid-term meeting was to present the current development of the funded projects and to provide the opportunity to the Project Coordinators and the Follow-up Group members to exchange ideas and feedback. The discussions after each session of project presentations were intended to foster coordination and future collaboration among all the projects.

Participants: Water JPI 2018 Project Coordinators and Research Team Members, Follow-up Group Experts, Water JPI Funding Organisations.

The presentation of the SIMTWIST project can be found on the link below.

SIMTWIST Mid-term_new3

Participation in the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting

 

On April 8th 2021 we participated in the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting ( in the session Urban Climate Governance II), presenting our preliminary results about the analysis of the hydrosocial cycle in Benidorm.

 

 

We have presented a new approach to analyzing power relationships between stakeholders that allow interpreting and proposing solutions to the main challenges and threats that support water systems in tourist environments.

MSc. student Flaminia Squitieri carries out the first workshop in Rimini (online)

 

MSc. student Flaminia Squitieri, with the collaboration of Dr. Maria Reyes (Wageningen University) and the Italian team from the University of Bologna, Dr. Elena Toth and Dr. Matia Neri, carried out the first workshop in the case study of Rimini. Eight of the nine-selected stakeholders attended the workshop on Monday 12th April 2021. The workshop lasted around twwo hours and a half, and was a good opportunity for all stakeholders to meet. During this meeting, all stakeholders had the opportunity to present their own conceptual maps, which were developed on the the interviews carried out online also by Flaminia, and polished afterwards with the feedback of each stakeholder. Also, Flaminia presented all the work done behind the maps, and the main interest topics that were identified in common for all stakeholders. Each stakeholder chose  what they believe is the most important interest topic and defended it. Afterwards, a votation took place to rank these interest topics, and finally, based on this ranking, each stakeholder could express their satisfaction towards this ranking. Fortunately 6 of the 8 participants felt comfortable with this prioritization, which allow us to focus on certain topics at the moment of developing the Agent -Based Model (ABM) for Rimini water supply system.

Dr. Maria Reyes carries out the first workshop in Benidorm (online)

Dr. Maria Reyes, with the collaboration of MSc. student Alejandro Basa, Dr. Matthew Hare (James Hutton Institute), Dr. Antonio Rico (University of Alicante) and Dr. Rubén Villar (University of Alicante), carried out the first workshop in the case study of Benidorm. Ten of the eleven-selected stakeholders attended the workshop on Tuesday 24th of November 2020. The workshop lasted three hours, and was a good opportunity for all stakeholders to meet. During this meeting, all stakeholders had the opportunity to present their own conceptual maps, which were developed on the the interviews of the first fieldwork, and polished afterwards with the feedback of each stakeholder. Also, Dr. Maria Reyes presented all the work done behind the maps, and the main interest topics that were identified in common for all stakeholders. Each stakeholder chose the most important interest topic and defended it. Afterwards, a votation took place to rank these interest topics, and finally, based on this ranking, each stakeholder could express their satisfaction towards this ranking. Fortunately 7 of the 10 participants felt comfortable with this prioritization, which allow us to focus on certain topics at the moment of developing the Agent -Based Model (ABM).

The MOOC Tourism and Climate Change starts February 16th 2021

On February 16th, the MOOC Tourism and Climate Change dictated by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and offered by the EdX platform will start. The registration to the course is open through the following link:

https://www.edx.org/course/tourism-and-climate-change

This MOOC explores the mutual impacts of tourism stakeholders and the climate. The course aims to understand how tourism and climate change are inextricably connected, Among the key lecturers of the course it is worth highlighting two members of the SIMTWIST project: Dr. Bas Amelung (WUR) and Dr. Sandra Ricart from the University of Alicante. This course is a good opportunity to take on the challenge of reimagining the tourism industry toward low-carbon, sustainable development.

MSc. student Flaminia Squitieri (WUR) carries out the first phase of the fieldwork of the SIMTWIST Project for the Italian case study (Rimini)

Flaminia Squitieri, MSc. student form the Department of Environmental Systems Analysis of the University of Wageningen, carried out online interviews to 7 stakeholders related to water system in Rimini. These interviews were originally planned to be carried out in person in the month of March 2020. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the fieldwork was modified, and the interviews were carried out online between April and October 2020 with the collaboration of Dr. Elena Toth and Dr. Mattia Neri.  Each of the interviews was divided into two sections: the first part consisted of a conceptual map regarding the perception of what a robust integrated water system requires, while the second part consisted of a questionnaire on governance and the capacity to reach agreements on key issues of the water system. The analysis of each stakeholder’s conceptual model is an essential part of the project’s WP3, which focuses on participatory modelling of the water system. On the other hand, the questionnaire is a fundamental component of WP4, which deals with the hydro-social cycle of the city of Rimini.

Interview with Stefania Valente (Water Service Tariff Regulation Responsible), Benedetta Casadei (Water Service Technical REgulation and Planning Office) and Mauro Polloni (Water Service Head of Staff Service) from ATERSIR (Agenzia Territoriale Emilia-Romagna Servizi Idrici e Rifuti).
Interview with Emanuele Galloni (Water Manager Engineer), Simona Olivi (Water Manager) and Maurizia Brunetti (Responsible Aqueduct Technical Coordination) from Urban Water Utility Hera SpA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Patrizia Rinaldis (President) and Alessandro La Lampa (Administrative Board) of AIA (Associazione Italiana Albergatori) of Rimini.
Interview with Anna Montini (Municipal Councillor for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Blue Economy) of the Municipality of Rimini.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Tonino Bernabé (President) and Marco Martelli (Engineer) of Public-owned company Romagna Acque- Societá delle Fonti SpA
Interview with Mauro Vanini (President) and Andrea Albini (Director) of Rimini South Beach Operators Cooperative (Cooperativa Operatori di Spiagga Rimini Sud)

 

First annual-progress meeting SIMTWIST Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June 16th and 17th 2020, the annual progress meeting was carried out online. Originally, this meeting was planned in Alicante. The online meeting that lasted two days, was an opportunity for all the members to present their different contributions to the WPs of the project. Each partner presented their progress of the different WPs that they are coordinating and involved. The meeting was also an opportunity to align objectives, activities, and plan for the following year, taking into account all the modifications needed due to the pandemic regarding travel restrictions, etc. Also, the mid-term report was discussed and structured.

Sandra Ricart (UA) visits Wageningen University & Research (WUR) to deepen on Hydrosocial Cycle analysis (WP4 of the SIMTWIST Project)

Dr. Sandra Ricart, researcher at the Interuniversity Institute of Geography of the University of Alicante, travelled to Wageningen from February 17th until March 13th, in order to carry out together with the team of the University of Wageningen (Dr. Bas Amelung and Dr. Maria Reyes), at the Environmental Systems Analysis research group), tasks related to the WP4 (Hydrosocial Cycle Analysis) of the SIMTWIST project.  As visiting researcher granted by the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK) research program through a fellowship grant, Dr. Ricart carried out research, teaching and dissemination activities in order to go deeper into the Hydrosocial Cycle analysis and approach to be applied in Benidorm and Rimini case studies.

 

The main activities carried out by Dr. Ricart are detailed below:

 

Research activities:

  1. Sandra initiated discussions about how to better understand Benidorm’s tourism-dominated urban water system by integrating hydrology (water supply) and social behavior (water demand). On March 10th she met with Prof. Rutgerd Boelens of the Water Resources Management group (WRM) to talk about new challenges for Hydrosocial Cycle (HSC) analysis and to discuss insights from Political Ecology that can be usefully connected to SIMTWIST’s HSC analysis.

 

  1. Sandra deepened her knowledge of the HSC approach and explored tools to combine the HSC approach with Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) techniques as part of the SIMTWIST project. She reviewed and tested new tools for synthetizing and characterizing qualitative data from the stakeholder interviews carried out in Benidorm. Maria Reyes and Sandra discussed about the potential use of new qualitative software called VUE© (Visual Understanding Environment) to visualize stakeholders’ relationships. Maria will now apply the VUE© software to develop conceptual maps from interview material. Sandra has improved mastery of approach and tools will greatly help when carrying out the Benidorm and Rimini SIMTWIST cases studies.

 

                   Lumen building at WUR.

 

Teaching activities:

  1. On February 21st morning Sandra participated in an expert meeting to discuss the new EdX Online Course entitled Sustainable Tourism: Climate Change Emergencies, developed by Arjaan Pellis, Edward Huijbens, Machiel Lamers and Bas Amelung. Sandra provided feedback on the course scripts, shared her experiences as the coordinator of a MOOC on natural risk analysis at the University of Alicante, and attended the afternoon seminar about tourism and climate change. In addition, she was video-interviewed about the future of tourism under climate change. The video recordings will be used as visual content in the EdX course.
    Video-interview os Dr. Sandra Ricart for EdX course.

     

    2. On March 3rd, Sandra delivered a full course day in the course “Tourism Systems Analysis” (ESA-23806), coordinated by Bas Amelung. Sandra’s contribution, entitled “The Hydrosocial Cycle Analysis: Approach and application”, included a lecture, an interactive workshop and a brief exam (overall around 4 hours of teaching). Teaching activities took place at Breda University of Applied Sciences and were well received by the 27 students that were present. The Tourism Systems Analysis course is a second-year course in the Bachelor of Science Tourism program, a joint degree between Wageningen University and Breda University of Applied Sciences.

    Dr. Sandra Ricart with students of the Tourism Systems Analysis course.

    3. Sandra supported Bas Amelung in the supervision of MSc students who are writing their MSc theses in relation to the SIMTWIST project. She conducted regular meetings on February 20th and 25th with Claudia Espejo, whose thesis focuses on water-energy saving measures for climate change adaptation, and meetings on February 20th, and March 2nd and 10th with Tamina Reinecke, whose thesis focuses on climate services and tourism development. Both MSc theses focus on the Spanish tourism destination of Benidorm, a city that Sandra and their colleagues from the University of Alicante have been studying for many years regarding similar research topics.

María Reyes (WUR) visits the University of Alicante to carry out the first phase of the Spanish case study (Benidorm) of the SIMTWIST project

Dr. María Reyes, researcher of the Department of Environmental Systems Analysis of the University of Wageningen, travelled to Alicante from January 11th until February 5th, in order to carry out together with the team of the University of Alicante (Dr. Antonio Rico, Dr. Sandra Ricart and Dr. Rubén Villar), the first phase of the fieldwork related to the Spanish case study (Benidorm) of the SIMTWIST project. The fieldwork consisted of interviews – previously scheduled – with each of the 11 actors that make up the management model of the Benidorm hydro-social cycle in relation to the tourism-water nexus. Each of the interviews was divided into two sections: the first part consisted of a conceptual map regarding the perception of what a robust integrated water system requires, while the second part consisted of a questionnaire on governance and the capacity to reach agreements on key issues of the water system. The analysis of each stakeholder’s conceptual model is an essential part of the project’s WP3, which focuses on participatory modelling of the water system. On the other hand, the questionnaire is a fundamental component of WP4, which deals with the hydro-social cycle of the city of Benidorm.