EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008 - Water Tribune





“Water for the Recovery of the Climate – A New Water Paradigm”

23rd August, 10.00 – 13.00  Water Tribune pavilion  (Auditorio)






Michal Kravčík & Juraj Kohutiar

[ Zaragoza_KRAVCIK.pps]



Ján Pokorný

[ Zaragoza_Pokorny.pps ]




Martin KOVAČ

[ Kovac_Zaragoza_August2008.pps ]



Alessandro Mazzotta







Charlie Paton

[ Zaragoza_PATON.pps ]



Marco Schmidt








Human draining of land and water cycle distortion

Michal Kravcik, NGO People and Water, Slovakia


Overlooked relation: water cycle and energy flows

Jan Pokorny – ENKI, Czech Republic


The role of evaporation in urban and global climate change

Marco Schmidt, Technical University of Berlin, Germany


Possibility of groundwater reserves re-charge

Jean-Marc Hauth, Les Biefs du Pilat, France


Sahara forest project

Charlie Paton, Seawater Greenhouse, Ltd., United Kingdom


The sustainable stormwater management as instrument for urban landscape design

Alessandro Mazzotta, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy


Application of the New Water Paradigm on local and national level

Martin Kovac, Association of Towns and Municipalities, Slovakia






by Michal Kravcik,

NGO People and Water, Slovakia



Humanity, through deforestation, agriculture and urbanization accelerates the runoff of rainwater and drains the land. In Europe we sluice away into sewage about 20 billion m3 of rainwater each year. “Hot plates” we create so cause breakdowns in the stable water cycle, rise in climatic extremes, more frequent flooding, longer droughts, extreme heats, forest fires, drop in groundwater reserves, decrease in soil fertility and biodiversity. However, the impact can go in both directions. The part of climatic change, which is the result of human draining of a land, can be stopped and renewal of a healthy water cycle achieved by comprehensive program of rainwater harvesting, conservation, infiltration and evaporation.





by Jan Pokorny,

ENKI, Czech Republic




Vegetation well saturated with water evaporates several litres of water on a sunny day per m2, while each litre transfers 0.7kWh solar energy into latent heat of evaporation. Water vapour then condensates in cool places and latent heat is released, which moderates temperature differences. If there is insufficient water on land, immense flows of solar energy are instead changed into sensible heat. Growing temperature gradients distort water cycle, trigger extremes of weather and contribute to climate change. Daily series of distribution of solar energy in vegetation and drained surfaces are shown. Examples of thermo-vision and satellite pictures showing role of plants and water in air-conditioning of landscape are given.





by Marco Schmidt,

Technical Univ. of Berlin, Germany



The amount of evaporation is reduced significantly due to the loss of forests worldwide, the increase in urbanization and reduction of agricultural land. This causes the urban heat island effect and the global warming. High amount of energy transfer consumed in water evaporation (680 kWh/m³) is used in the project “Adlershof Physik” in combining elements of decentralized water management with reduced energy consumption for cooling and ventilation. Rainwater is stored and used for the irrigation of the facade greening system and evaporative cooling systems for air conditioning. Some of the roof surfaces are also extensively greened to assist in retaining and detaining stormwater runoff.





by Jean-Marc Hauth,

Les Biefs du Pilat, France





The decreasing of the recharge and the over-pumping of underground reserves of water have direct effects on CO2 increasing and level of warming effect. The Global Water Resources Management is a concept of repartition of water which allows the runoff water to be catched and re-infiltrated in the underground spaces by the way of a network of level canals complementary to the natural streams and rivers network. This concept of global harvesting may be an important tool to recover the climate but it is also renewable energy and supplying system of water.






by Charlie Patton,

Seawater Greenhouse, Ltd.,

United Kingdom



The Sahara Forest Project is a scheme to provide fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot, arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of desert. The scheme combines two established technologies – the Seawater Greenhouse and Concentrated Solar Power – to achieve highly efficient synergies. The Seawater Greenhouse has demonstrated the potential to create surplus freshwater from seawater and provide ideal growing conditions in arid regions. Concentrated Solar Power is one of the most promising forms of renewable energy, producing electricity from sunlight. By combining these technologies there is huge commercial potential to create a sustainable source of energy, food and water.






by Alessandro Mazzotta,

Polytechnic of Turin, Italy




The conventional treatment of stormwater in urban development in the past has been driven by the aptitude “out of sight, out of mind.” Now the trend could be: “in the sight, in the mind.” The principle of integrating sustainable water management solutions in the open spaces of the site involves a multidisciplinary approach based on the integration between architecture, engineering, biology. It is evident that the best opportunities to reduce urban runoff occurs during the planning. Sustainable water management could be an instrument for urban open-space landscape design and could be also a strategy to spread the idea of the environmental issue as an opportunity for quality of human habitat rather than a “trouble”.




by Martin Kovac,

Assoc. of Towns and Villages,





The Association of Towns and Communities of Slovakia presented in May 2008 document “Principles of integrated water resources management in municipalities and their river basins”, which promotes qualitative and quantitative improvements of water resources and prevention of deterioration and depletion of available water resources. It is based on the expertise of new water paradigm. The “principles” cover areas like: rainwater protection and utilization; planning processes and reassessment of land changes; economical sustainability aspects and local water policy applications. The association organises own significant research of the stage of water resources and its management in the territories, develops special information system and supports training in the field.   





Dipl. Ing. Michal Kravčík, CSc.,

 founder of the NGO People and Water, a holder of the Goldman Environmental Prize. His focus is on a small water cycle recovery.


RNDr. Jan Pokorný, CSc.,

 director of the beneficial society ENKI, a scientific staffer at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He deals with interrelation of vegetation - solar energy - water cycle.


Dipl. Ing. Marco Schmidt

 works at the Technical University of Berlin on water balance modifications in urban areas, esp. on evaporative cooling systems.


Ing. Jean-Marc Hauth

 experiments with the level canals concept. He founded NGO ”Biefs du Pilat” awarded with Vivendi and N. Hulot Foundations prizes.


Charlie Paton

 elaborated the concept for the Seawater Greenhouse. Starting with an experimental pilot in Tenerife, he has designed and built two further Seawater Greenhouses in Abu Dhabi and Oman.


Arch. Alessandro Mazzotta,

 a researcher at the Polytechnic of Turin. His activities are focused on the integration of the stormwater management solutions in the landscape design.


Dipl.Ing. Martin Kováč

 works as specialist for anti-flood prevention at the Association of Cities and Municipalities of Slovakia.


(Moderator) Prof. Larbi Bouguerra

 is in charge of “the Water Program” of the NGO Agter, as well as the head of similar program of the French-Swiss La fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le progrès de l'homme.



Press release: 23.8.08   World Water Expo Zaragoza, Water Tribune Pavilion

The conference “Water for the recovery of the climate” took place on 23rd of August at the Water Tribune of the World Expo Zaragoza 2008.


The international conference, attended by experts from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia, was organized by the Slovak environmental organisation “People and Water” and the “Association of Cities and Municipalities of Slovakia”. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the impact of human activities on the water cycle on the land, and the consequent impact on climate change. Speakers from the academic, commercial, local government and NGO sectors submitted a mosaic of solutions for the utilization, renewal and protection of water resources. The Director General of the Water Tribune, Mr. Eduardo Mestre congratulated the organizers for the innovative solutions towards solving the world problems of water resources. The conference, financed primarily by non-governmental organisations, was attended by representatives from local and regional water management institutions and visitors from several European countries.





NGO People and Water