What’s unique about the initiative?
Since 1842 the water supply in Terrassa – one of the largest cities in Catalonia – was managed by a private company. The clear need for a modern service with water as a common good resulted in the creation of the Terrassa Water Observatory (OAT) and the subsequent transformation in the city’s relationship with water.
Most outstanding results
OAT’s goal is to re-municipalize in order to manage water as a common good, and to strengthen Terrassa’s citizens’ right to water and sanitation, and to a healthy environment. As part of the city council, OAT works to enable citizens to be part of decision-making in relation to water issues. Although its resources come from the town council, OAT is committed to the social solidarity economy; it works with the University of Catalonia (UPC) in Terrassa on aspects related to water quality.
OAT has promoted the Social Pact for Public Water in the city, and urged political parties standing for election to sign it and ratify it publicly. It has drawn up a Charter for Water in the City, inspired by the experience of Berlin, and promoted open debate on water management to the entire city. The observatory meets with all water stakeholders in the city, including all political parties. Work takes place at the city level through coordination with actors promoting the new water culture to bring water closer to the city as a whole.
QUOTE FROM THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE:
“The community in Terrassa didn’t think remunicipalization was enough and decided to go beyond it, starting a process that in a short time has created change. With the participation of many sectors, Terrassa has become an example for many other cities and communities that are starting to reclaim their water systems.”
– Marcela Olivera