EPAL guarantees water supply in the Lisbon area during World Day

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EPAL assured today that it will comply with the increased volume of supply in the Lisbon area during the World Youth Day (WYD), ensuring that the water will reach the Tagus Park in “quantity and quality”.

Speaking to the Lusa Agency, the director of Asset Management of EPAL – Empresa Portuguesa de Águas Livres, Nuno Medeiros, explained that the company’s work for WYD began in 2019, when the announcement of the choice of Lisbon as the event’s organizer was made.

Since there was a “big time gap” because WYD was postponed due to covid-19, the official explained that the company took the opportunity to work “deeply” to the present day in order to ensure a proper water supply during WYD.

Nuno Medeiros recalled that the company has also had events with large dimensions, such as May 13 in Fátima, or music festivals, but he stressed that WYD is of “an exceptional dimension”, leading the company to take “another look” and prepare itself even more.

In this sense, the director said he has worked “very closely with the entities that are organizing the event,” stressing that the company “looked at the space that was going to be occupied” in search of the best solutions, having “drunk” from the experience of previous Journey organizations to learn from “past mistakes.

“There was no major investment, there were optimizations. Basically, what we tried to do was simulate the amount of people here in this area of Parque Tejo and in other areas where the event will also occur (…) there was a greater preparation and, more than a real simulacrum, we did a test, a ‘stress test’, to see if we could supply this area of the city in the quantity and quality that we were given, with the normal volumes for this type of event, “he explained.

According to Nuno Medeiros, EPAL “successfully achieved” this goal, stressing to be “calm and confident” without, however, ceasing to “be alert” taking into account the “exceptionality of the event”.

The responsible person expects an “increase of about 30%” in the supply, considering that there is “a flood of people and participants”, but that it also happens in the month of August, when many people go on vacation, although he admits that the volume of people that will leave the city is smaller than the one that will enter.

“In the Tagus Park area is where we will have more flooding in two days, or day and a half so to speak, we are in an order of increasing about 350 to 400 cubic meters/hour. It’s a lot of water during that hourly period, but we have to think that yes, we are confident and the ‘stress test’ [has shown] that we will be able to supply and with quality,” he stressed.

Nuno Medeiros also told of the existence of a protocol between EPAL and the Lisbon City Hall for the installation of 200 drinking fountains in the city, whose priority is that they are installed until the end of the month, with the placement of more fountains in areas where “small events” of the Jornada will take place, such as Martim Moniz and the stadium 1º de Maio.

In Parque Tejo, the water supply stations available for the participants were decided by the organization, and it is only EPAL’s responsibility to guarantee that “water will be supplied in the desired pressure, flow and quality” for that number of stations and for the probable number of participants, he explained.

“I think the population can be confident. The participants can be calm and confident, because EPAL did its job and did it in a preventive way,” assured the responsible.

Nuno Medeiros also reiterated a request, not only for the time of the WYD, but for the remaining 365 days of the year: “that [people] be more efficient because every drop they save will be another drop for someone else and will be water that becomes available for someone else.

Lisbon was the city chosen by Pope Francis for the next edition of WYD, which will take place between August 1 and 6, with the main ceremonies taking place in Parque Eduardo VII and Parque Tejo, north of Parque das Nações, on the banks of the Tagus, in the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures. Around 1.5 million people are expected in this 15th edition.

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