Wetskills-Colombia 2018

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Wetskills-Colombia 2018

May 20, 2018 - June 1, 2018

About The Event

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Wetskills goes Latin America for the first time!!

Youngsters are our future… So why not let them come up with new innovative solutions to cope with actual water related problems?

During the 2-week pressure cooker challenge in Cartagena, nineteen students and young water professionals with different backgrounds, worked together to find integral solutions for water related challenges. The eagerness and energy from youngsters is being put to the test, to come up with the most creative and inspiring solution and pitch.

That is why on the 20 June, the Colombian and Dutch youngsters started the first ever Latin American Wetskills edition in Cartagena, Colombia. The historic port city of Cartagena is a unique location to host this event, considering the formidable water challenges it is facing the coming decades. This edition of Wetskills is being hosted by the Universidad Technologica Bolívar and the ACODAL Congress.

The participants worked on four water related cases which have been brought in by several Colombian and Dutch organizations. During these two weeks they are getting intensive training on out-of-the-box thinking, personal development and presentation skills. Their ultimate goal is to have the best solution and pitch during the ACODAL congress, where they are judged by an international jury consisting of high level experts.

Extreme Difficulty for the Jury

During the first time Wetskills Latin America, the jury was confronted with an extreme difficult task: select the Wetskills Water Challenge winner. The following criteria for the pitch and posters were the guidelines: Creativity / Innovativeness, Feasibility / Applicability (technical), Economic Attractiveness, Social / Environmental Context, Presentation of “Pitch and Poster”.

The Wetskills jury consists of:

  • Gerardo Viña Vizcaíno, President of the board of Directors, ACDOAL
  • Joris Jurriëns, Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy in Bogota
  • Laila Sukkariyyah, Director of Global Programs, Water Environment Federation
  • Katy Lackey, Research Manager, The Water Research Foundation
  • Mauro Maza, Associate Professor, Universidad Technológica de Bolívar

Whereas all of the jury members had a different top 4, resulting in various winners. After almost an hour of debate, the came to a winner… 

Wetskills Cartagena Winner

The winning team, with its team name Re-Juice, explains its idea on reducing the water footprint for a fictional fruit juice producing company in the mountains of Colombia.

As fruit juices are indispensable in the Colombian culture, it is important to assure a production line that is sustainable with future climate change in sight. Mainly weather changes that cause drought pose a challenge for fruit producing companies. The solution is to guarantee a steady water supply. This is done by catching evaporated water from the air with a mist harvesting net. This fresh water can be directly used during the production process and will be added to the juice as an ingredient, as is common in Colombia. A unique selling point is created: a juice that is 100% sustainable, with a 100% sustainable production chain. It will be sold under the brand new name “Re-Juice” – and a message on the package of the juice will spread awareness around the water footprint. To reduce the water footprint, the total water supply that is used during the production process must be monitored. This will be done by implementing low cost sensors at the input and output points during the production process. The measurements offer sufficient knowledge to provide a tailor made advice where the water use, and thus the water footprint, can be reduced during the process.

More information

For more information about Wetskills in Colombia contact either tim.van.der.staaij@wetskills.com or ralph.wesseling@wetskills.com. For Wetskills in general: johan.oost@wetskills.com.


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Practical Information

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Event: ACODAL Conference

Locations visited: Cartagena


Participants: 19

Cases: 4

Countries: 2 (Colombia and The Netherlands)

General information about Wetskills

Pictures of the Finals & Awarding

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Event Cases

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The Wetskills organization of this first Latin American edition in Colombia is looking for Case Owners; companies, knowledge institutes and organisations that formulate their case and support this Wetskills programme and formulate a case, see: Leaflet Case Sponsors Wetskills-Colombia 2018.

For more information: contact Johan Oost (johan.oost@wetskills.com).

Case 1: Recovering the wetlands of Laguna de Sonso

Case owner: Water Authority De Dommel (in cooperation with CVC)

The Laguna de Sonso is the largest remaining wetland in the Valle del Cauca department, and is recognized internationally as a RAMSAR area for its special fauna. It is however facing severe problems, of which the high sedimentation rate and accompanied reduction of water surface is the most urgent. We are looking to find the best solution(s) to maintain and recover the water surface of the lake, suited to the context of the area.

Case 2: Water conflicts over the municipal aqueduct of Supía, Caldas, Colombia due to water supply problems.

Case owner: Water Authority Rijn and IJssel (in cooperation with Corpocaldas, Manizales, Colombia)

The catchment of the municipal aqueduct of Supía measures 11 km2. The aqueduct has a considerable hydrologic flow, nevertheless, domestic and agricultural uses need a lot of water and produce wastewater, which is discharged sometimes without treatment. As a consequence, hydrologic pressure becomes prominent in times of shortage or excess. We are looking for a series of alternatives for the distribution of the hydrologic resource under conditions of hydrologic pressures and temporary drought.

Final poster and pitch

Final poster and pitch

Case 3: A climate test for climate policy performance by regional water authorities

Case owner: Dutch Water Authorities – Blue Deal office

The Blue Deal is a Dutch programme to develop better governance on regional water management worldwide. Climate (change) receives extra attention within this program. A new ‘climate test’ is aimed to clarify how the Blue Deal program could best support the attention for climate change within the partnerships with regional water authorities all around the world. How can such climate test show the national climate policy (adaptation and mitigation) and its practical elaboration of regional water management, including both opportunities and obstacles?

Case 4: Reducing the Water Footprint for Colombian’s natural juices

Case owner: Corporación Ambiental Empresarial (CAEM) of the Chamber of Commerce in Bogotá and Water Footprint Implementation

The water footprint is one of the families of environmental footprints that help us understand how our production and consumption choices are affecting natural resources. A manufacturing company for natural juices has its plantations of apple and pears in template weather, and for blackberry and tomato tree in a cold weather. Once they collect the crop, they process the fruit and made the juices on their installations. How can the water footprint be used to get and maintain a sustainable future for this company?

Final poster and pitch

Final poster and pitch

Pictures of the event

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Event Partners

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Waterschap Rijn-IJssel_

Event Blogs

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May 20, 2018
June 1, 2018
Event Category:


Cartagena, Colombia