aiwwbanner-uitgelichtLast November the call for papers for the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) was announced. This unique event will take place in the Amsterdam RAI from 2nd to 6th of November, 2015. The overall theme of the International Water Week will be ‘integrated solutions for a circular economy and resilient cities’. One of the sub-themes being sustainable industrial production. Menno Holterman, board member of the Netherlands Water Partnership, CEO at Nijhuis industries and member of the Management Board of AIWW is partly responsible for that part of the programme. In his blog he appeals to the water sector to come forward with inspiring papers!

‘I am very much looking forward to the forthcoming Amsterdam International Water Week.  We have the ambition to reach a wide spectrum of target groups. We would very much like them to come to Amsterdam to inspire us, support our views on integrated solutions and show us what they’ve got. Not only to paint the future outlines, but also to illuminate the clever steps we can take on the short term to contribute to the circular economy and solid, future resistant cities fully prepared for the consequences of climate change.


Menno Holterman speaking at the
Industrial Leaders Forum at the
Amsterdam International Water Week 2013

Sustainability is here to stay
I am involved in track 3 which is called: Sustainable Production & Industrial Response: Reduce, Reuse and Recover. As far as I am concerned, these three words define the very heart of the matter. And it is more than just ambitious: that industry has made large steps by seriously reducing the water and energy usage within production processes. Sustainability is here to stay. In fact there is no such thing as wastewater, that is the most important realization. We succeed in transferring costs into benefits thanks to innovation and the development, implementation and combination of new technologies together with an integrated approach within the water chain.

During the first edition of the Amsterdam International Water Week in 2011 lots of energy was devoted to sustainability. Two years later, in 2013, it was ascertained that many large companies and industrial water users have taken their responsibility and have taken action at all levels to reduce their water-energy footprint. And becoming increasingly successful, thanks to the re-use of (waste) water and nutrient and valuable raw material recovery. The awareness that sustainable re-use leads to substantial cost reduction received a lot of attention in 2013. In 2015 we want to raise the awareness of visitors of the International Water Week of the fact that re-use of valuable raw materials and energy should be a tough condition in any important decision regarding investments.

Cooperation with adjacent sectors is necessary
Thus, we still have a long way to go, the challenges we are facing are huge and comprehensive. Thorough cooperation (meaning: an integral approach, together with public and private stakeholders, universities and social organisations) will be necessary to face the most complex challenges of the future. Actually: to be better prepared, resilient and better resistant in facing calamities, instead of, time and again, have calamities surprise us.

As an entrepreneur in the global water (technology) sector I am privileged to see what’s cooking in this field. Practice has shown me that it is important to join people who have similar goals but different backgrounds, educational levels and experience. To really hand them the possibility to exchange their experiences together.

During the International Water Week of 2013 we succeeded in reaching new audiences. City planners and architects as well as large water users and end-users, consultants, accountants, banks and private financers. It is of high importance that we keep on investing in these new audiences in 2015, besides investing in the ‘usual suspects’, and keep on interesting new target groups to contribute to the discussions in an active way.

In my opinion the addition of knowledge and experience from adjacent sectors is priceless and necessary when we, together with all parties concerned, are aiming to find an appropriate, sustainable and payable solution to the complex challenges the world wide water sector faces.

Amsterdam International Water Week 2015
As a result of this integrated vision Amsterdam International Water Week has developed into one of the most leading events in the world.

We will continue our efforts in 2015 wholeheartedly, in optimum cooperation with Waternet, IWA, RAI and NWP. A high appeal comes naturally to Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Connecting that to the maximal use of our networks and contacts, especially also internationally, can once more make AIWW 2015 to a large success, both content-related as well as concerning the participants and visitors.

I sincerely hope to receive papers that fill in the design as outlined above in an appealing way. Firstly of course for my trade of business, but as well for the promotion of the other subthemes. I am addressing the Dutch sector, but I would also like to call out to foreign relations to send in their inspiring papers. Together we can paint a complex but at the same time interesting and extremely challenging future. And who would not want to be part of the future!

Come on and inspire us with your papers! You can find more information here

More information
 (call for papers)
International Water Association (IWA)
Joao Grilo, Programmes Officer