These are Michele and Aida. We both are participants of the Interregional Volunteer Youth initiative in Ireland.
This is Aida. I come from Priego de Córdoba, a village of south Spain, and I am 27 years old. I am agronomy engineer and a phd student in the University of Córdoba working with photovoltaic energy in the irrigation sector. I arrived in Ireland on 16th September, for a 3-months period. This is the first time I travel alone, so at first, I was scared and I didn’t feel too comfortable as I missed home. These bad feelings disappeared 4-5 days later, when I started to see this period as a great opportunity not only to take part in a cooperative activity, but also to learn, know new people, visit new places, open my mind to other cultures and gain self-confidence. Now I feel I will miss this place when I go back home!
Michele-Ciao! I’m an Italian electrical engineer, and I come from Sovere, a little village in the middle of Central Alps, in the North of Italy. I’m 25 and I have just finished my student career. Why am I in Dublin, then? I have come to Ireland to approach for the first time the real world - so to say - to try to do my best applying the knowledges I gained from university to something I care for.
But where are we? and why are we here? Let’s make a step backwards:
We are both in Trinity College, our host organization for these 3 months experience with volunteering. Trinity College is placed in Dublin, being the oldest university of Ireland. We are involved in an Interregional Project that involves Ireland and Wales regions and it is called Dwr Uisce. The main objective of this project is focused on the improving of the long-term sustainability of water supply, treatment and end-use.
In that way, the efficiency in the water and energy use is essential to reach a more sustainable system, not only in the distribution stage, but also in the consumption phase. This project involves several communities composed of few houses and, in some cases, farms, where the management of the water supply relies on the communities themselves.
The objective of our collaboration will be focused on the analysis of the water and energy consumption and also to suggest some actions to improve the efficiency in the use of both resources, as well as determine the potential of photovoltaic energy to decrease the energy dependence of their pumping stations. This collaboration between university and the communities will be a very interesting initiative in order to improve the conditions of the communities, as an optimum water and energy use will allow them to save money and improve the environmental performance of their communities.
So what are we doing right now?
We are studying how the schemes work and how they are organised in order to elaborate the best technical solution to propose them to improve their functionality. Different technologies and aspects are being considered, thanks also to the collaboration of all the people of the Dwr Uisce project whom we collaborate everyday desk to desk with. The wider the study, the more complete the improving proposal we can elaborate and greater the impact on the community's daily life.
Cooperation between different research areas and sharing of knowledge, joint to the team working is how we see an effective and winning interregional cooperation. That’s the way we are trying to establish and to follow. These months will tell us if it was the right way - if you want to know more, follow us!
Michele & Aida, Interreg Project Partners at the Trinity College