On the Occasion of The World Water Day, MIYA launches the River Guardians Project in Santa Maria da Feria in Portugal

23 Mar 2022

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The aim of the River Guardians project is to strengthen the monitoring of rivers and streams of Santa Maria da Feira. A local MIYA team (through its Portuguese subsidiary INDAQUA Feira) will ensure a closer supervision of industrial discharges and prompt response to alerts from local inhabitants. The initiative is part of a partnership with the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira and the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA in Portuguese), with the objective of preventing the pollution of local river basins.

The beginning of the collaboration was marked on the World Water Day (March 22nd), with the symbolic signing of the partnership that also foresees the reinforcement of citizens` awareness for the depollution of the hydrographic basins of this municipality. INDAQUA Feira will strengthen the capacity of rapid response to all reports of possible cases of pollution.

Recent years have brought about an overall improvement in the quality of Santa Maria da Feira's watercourses, achieved through environmental protection actions and also through the extension of networks and infrastructures that collect, channel and treat wastewater, preventing it from contaminating the environment. However, the water bodies in this municipality continue to be subject to great pressure, mainly due to the unauthorized release of industrial and domestic wastewater.

In order to promote the detection and monitoring of unauthorized sewage discharge, as well as to dissuade other actions that pollute waterways, the project "River Guardians" was inspired by the traditional profession of the River Watcher. It will be the INDAQUA Feira team, that manages the water supply and wastewater management in the municipality, to ensure the regular and reinforced surveillance of riverside areas, identifying and acting immediately on untreated effluent discharges. The "Guardians" team will also be responsible for monitoring industrial clients, ensuring compliance with wastewater legislation. 

"The monitoring of water courses is already part of the daily work of INDAQUA Feira, in collaboration with the municipality, APA and other environmental entities, which together have identified the need to increase the number and frequency of these river control actions. With this initiative we reinforce our commitment to the protection of the municipality's waterways and the reduction of the environmental risks the municipality faces, deploying a team of specialised professionals for the job. They will be the "River Guardians", explains Daniel Cardoso, Director General of INDAQUA Feira.

This team of "River Guardians" represents the materialization, in the field of a joint and shared partnership between INDAQUA Feira, the Town Council of Santa Maria da Feira and the Portuguese Environmental Agency, which will be responsible for legal proceedings whenever unauthorized releases are reported. 
"The protection of the environment depends on everyone, and we are sure that we can count on the people of Feira to reach this goal. Not only do we want to implement environmental awareness actions on the importance of our riversides, but also we have to ensure that people know how to report any incident when they come across any cases of pollution that may be harmful to the quality of our rivers," adds Emídio Sousa, Mayor of Santa Maria da Feira.

We must remember that the municipality of Santa Maria da Feira is located on the border of two great hydrographic basins, the river Douro Basin, and the river Vouga Basin, in northern Portugal.