Wetskills Mexico 2019 – by Arturo Zavala Guzmán (UNAM) and Quirine van der Meer (WDOD) –
Today was our first day of Wetskills Mexico. After an informal meeting with some of the participants yesterday today was all about getting to know each other and learn about the cases.
We started this day at the Universidad Panamericana where we got on a bus. The bus took us to the site where we would meet one of the case owners: Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua, IMTA. The bus drive to IMTA of 2 hours gave us the opportunity to meet all the participants and learn more about the cases.
At IMTA we met the director who told us more about what IMTA does and what the challenges are for an organisation like IMTA. What inspired me the most for this Wetskills challenge was his comment saying that the technology and knowledge are there (so we don’t need new solutions) but we have to find a way to implement this in our neighborhoods.
After this presentation we visited different sites around the IMTA campus to see what they are working on. We visited two self sufficient houses that produce their energy and collect and re-use the water.
The first home was a normal looking home. With different technologies to purify and re-use the water (for instance use a bicycle to pump purified water to the crops). The second home was a round home. It was designed to use the elements (wind, sun and water) to make the home a nice place to live.
The houses are part of the research the case of IMTA comes from. So we (Sarah, Beatriz, Arturo and Quirine) are going to look at how ecosystems like this can be implemented.
After seeing the houses we visited the simulation area. In this area IMTA makes small scale models of objects to test how it will work in real-life.
After that we went to two different laboratories. The first one was for the water quality focusing on pollution caused by for instance medicines and pesticides in the water. The second lab was focused on the water quality of rainwater and the ground water it turns into (when infiltrated into the ground), and the ways of knowing if that well was being recharged.
After the presentations with the other experts we met the principal of the postgraduate school and we talked about the challenges that we had and the opportunities of studying in IMTA. The principal asked some sharp and interesting questions. So it was a good introduction to the brain hurricane we are going to have tomorrow morning.
After this amazing visit we went to “La Hacienda de Cortés” to have lunch. The place was simply astonishing. We did more team-building and had delicious food. After lunch, we did a quick tour around the place. And then it was time to head back to the university.
So our first day of Wetskills Mexico was very full of new experience and information. But it was a nice way of getting to know each other. We are looking forward to many more interesting experience in the upcoming week. And some of the teams couldn’t get enough of each other and are creating a head start for tomorrow by starting on their solution tonight.