EHTTA's President talks about "Valuing Water" on World Water Day 2021

All the thermal towns of our Association, our Cultural Route, are built around water sources. Our towns all exist because people in the past valued the water enough to build beautiful structures around thermal springs, and find ways to share the healing water with people near and far…. we have always found ways for people to “take the waters” so that they can improve their wellbeing and benefit from this unique source of health.

For me, the thermal waters of my town and region represent hope for the future. Hope that we can help to heal the troubles of the last year with our thermal waters, that people can find the space in our towns to relax, recover, recharge their batteries and reconnect with springs that have been a source of wellbeing for so long.

I hope that on World Water Day this year, you find time to tell us how you value and celebrate water, especially thermal water, a true force of nature!

2020 World Water Day - EHTTA President, Manuel Baltar

In 2020 the theme of World Water Day was “Water and Climate Change” and how the two are inextricably linked. The United Nations, which organises World Water Day tells us that  “adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. That using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases. And that we cannot afford to wait.  Everyone has a role to play.”
One of the themes this year is about “taking good care of water” – something that we already care about in our thermal towns: We protect our sources from pollution, by maintaining a clean environment around our towns, and they are even more healthy places to visit as a result. We measure and monitor our water sources, making sure they are safe for our customers to use, and that they maintain the unique balances of minerals and salts that give them their particular qualities. We instinctively know that some of our hotter waters can be used to lower carbon emissions  by  using them to heat buildings.  In this way we can contribute to the “carbon-smart urbanisation” that the UN also encourages.

Our model of tourism is inextricably linked to water, the life-sustaining element that we all have a duty to protect.  We are dedicated to health, to physical and mental wellness, and to protecting the natural environment that surrounds our towns.  We encourage our visitors to explore “slow” and less environmentally-damaging tourism, with an emphasis on locally-sourced food and drink, and travel by rail, for example.  We encourage them to  take time out, to relax,  walk in parks and gardens and surrounding countryside, and focus on their health and well-being, in ways that no other form of tourism does.  We know that this model is good for people, and good for the environment.