Van Walt Environmental Connect Issue Two

Catalan Water Partnership - CWP

Soil and water research are increasingly becoming sort of multidisciplinary sciences that involve different branches of study: from historical inputs about the past from a site, to biological processes running in a remediation project. This has developed further than pure geological, agricultural or chemical backgrounds. Most of the teams involved in these projects have professionals coming from several different fields of knowledge and expertise and we have learnt: no one is able to be a specialist in absolutely everything. In our position, as research equipment suppliers, we are privileged to see a large element of this process. Our suppliers, all of them carefully selected as manufacturers of the best equipment for soil and water research, manage very important developments, often in contact and collaboration with the most reputed research centres, to develop market leading equipment. Our customers, from the smallest to the biggest, aim to do their best to progress and advance in their sector and field. Because of the different disciplines involved in environmental research, learning is one of the main issues for all of us. We are honoured to acquire information from our many diverse customers about very interesting explanations from history and archaeology – our geology contacts; or dealing with radionuclides as a part of their biological research. Also, our colleagues, with backgrounds ranging from hydraulic systems to electronics, chemistry to physics; it is always fascinating to open our ears and listen to complement and improve our own knowledge. Van Walt has always intended to be something more than an equipment supplier. We work hard to be able to offer advice and guidance to inform both parties, our customers and our suppliers, about the needs of their counterpart. That is why we regularly audit our suppliers, including the freight forwarders, to ensure that we will continue to offer top products, which arrive at our customers free from undesired contaminants, on

time and in budget. Our involvement into our suppliers’ activity includes the training of our technical and sales staff in their equipment and applications, as a way of collaborating with them and increasing support to our customers with field trainings, onsite support, technical conferences, etc. On the other side we are committed to offer to our customers not only today’s needs in terms of equipment but also their future needs. Many of them have heard us talking about new sampling techniques or monitoring solutions that may be upgraded in the future and we ensure any customer who visits our offices are not only offered a cup of coffee but are invited to talk about their needs, see the equipment we stock, watch it working and try it out for themselves in our labs. After more than 30 years in this business, sometimes it is even more exciting - this information exchange - than our main purpose: the sale. What we do know is that sales are often the conclusion after these advising activities. This is the reason why we felt very happy when a couple of our customers independently proposed that Van Walt join a very interesting initiative: the Catalan Water Partnership (www.cwp.cat). According to their website: “The Catalan Water Partnership” (CWP) is the Catalan Cluster of the sustainable use of water, located in the North East of Spain. Its headquarters is in Barcelona. CWP was launched in 2008, as a non-profit strategic business association formed of companies, organisations and research centres that work in the sector of sustainable water use, whose mission is to improve the competitiveness of its members. Members of the CWP include consultancies, centres of knowledge, equipment manufacturers and other

entities involved in the water cycle and in solutions for sustainable use of water. The CWP promotes projects and multilevel collaborations for developing innovative and sustainable solutions to global water needs, in every part of the world. The CWP works with an innovative approach and international vision by continuously looking to establish strategic alliances with companies and centres of knowledge from many parts of the world, in order to identify opportunities that bring us together towards a worldwide advanced position in the global market. In other words: we have the same objectives! We are proud to be innovative in our day to day work, in our relations with suppliers and customers, in our environmental policy and in our business development. In addition, as we are based in three countries (Spain, United Kingdom and New Zealand), with suppliers from all over the world and customers from five continents, our international focus is more than evident. We intend that alliances with our partners go beyond the strict business relations: we involve ourselves in product development with our most reputed suppliers and forward this knowledge to our customers, in a transparent way to improve performance across the

board: suppliers, customers and the Van Walt Group. The contribution that our new partners from CWP can bring to our knowledge base will be huge: nowadays societies are conscious that water quantity and quality must be well managed (and for sure it is!), but it becomes more evident day by day that, although we put our biggest efforts in its management, the pressure we are putting on this valuable resource is increasing because of our growing global needs. The past, present and future of water must be well studied, measured and monitored to fulfil the needs of future generations. Water management faces very important challenges all around the world and can only be made from a wide perspective. Maintaining its quality in acceptable levels, making it affordable to everybody and being ready for the effect of climate change are only a small part of the big issues we all will have to deal with. A proper analysis requires an approach from many different points of view and we are sure that together with our new partners we will be able to reach a

The future of water level logging LevelSCOUT

deeper knowledge and find solutions that will meet our customers’ requirements.

Ramon Quiles, Van Walt Ltd

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