This year's world water congress of the International Water Association brought over 5,000 water professionals from 97 countries together in Lisbon, Portugal from 21 - 26 September.

The congress addressed the global water demands in the future, with the programme including many technical sessions, poster presentations, six leaders forums, daily key notes and an exhibition.

Some key issues debated were new governance arrangements, modern asset management, high-quality utility services, industrial water stewardship, water resource strategies and waste water resource recovery.

The next IWA world water congress will be held in Brisbane, Australia from 25-30 September 2016.

Some of the highlights of this year's edition captured in pictures:

More mobile phones than toilets
“If mobile phones can spread as quickly as they have, why can’t sanitation?" director Ger Bergkamp of IWA asked during the opening plenary. "It’s not only governments who need to agree and then do it, we need a societal push from people to say: We won’t accept this. This is no longer the world we want to live in.”

Less children, more washing machines
dws-iwa2014-photo-rosling-babies-770px"The water sector should no longer focus on the quantity of water supply, but on the quality", Swedish public health professor Hans Rosling said. In his captivating key note speech he pointed out that worldwide parents are choosing for small families with only one or two children. This enables them to concentrate more on the quality of life. "They dream of washing machines", Rosling said.

Well-attended network reception Netherlands pavilion
Traditionally on the first day of the IWA world water congress was the well-attended network reception at the Netherlands Water Pavilion. This time jointly hosted by the Netherlands Water Partnership, represented by Aleid Diepeveen, and the Dutch Embassy in Lisbon, represented by Mariek Monroy-Winter.
The Netherlands Water Pavilion was the home arena of 11 water technology firms and international and national water related organisations.

Old skool water quiz by KWR
Hans Ruijgers (left) as quiz master at the booth of Watershare/KWR watercycle research institute. Three finalists, Ria Doedel of Dutch water company WML (right),  Paul Stephens of Agilent Technologies (second right) and  Maria das Dores Martins of Águas do Noroeste (third right) show their red and green cards to answer the questions. It was Paul Stephens who won the water quiz.

Utilities leaders forum - battle for talent
dws-iwa2014-photo-utilities-veerman-770pxCees Veerman, chair of the association of drinking water companies in the Netherlands (Vewin) opened the Utility Leaders Forum. Veerman called upon the attending utility leaders to secure sufficient professionalism. "We have a beautiful sector", he said, "but we shall have to battle for talent." According to Veerman water utilities mainly operates behind the scenes. "So how do we interest young people?"
The next Utilities Leaders Forum will take place in Amsterdam in November 2015.

Water & industry forum - ideas for sustainable water management
dws-iwa2014-photo-industry-forum-hoeijmakers-770pxRene Hoeijmakers, market sector leader industrial water Europe for Arcadis reporting back on a round table discussion during the Water & Industry forum. The participants of the forum were asked to debate potential ideas for three industrial sectors - oil & gas, mining and food & beverages, to become beacons in sustainable water management by 2030. On behalf of his table Hoeijmakers suggested the introduction of financial incentives for water efficiency measures.

Steadily growing number of Nereda plants
dws-iwa2014-photo-nereda-giesen-770pxAndreas Giesen of Royal HaskoningDHV presenting his company's most recent achievements with its energy efficient Nereda waste water treatment technology. Giesen was one of the speakers at the session on aerobic granular sludge reactors. "Nereda is proving that sequence batch reactors can be cost effective. We now operate 6,000 m3 tanks and we can closely monitor the treatment in the tanks. This way we can optimize the processes."

Production of proteins from waste water
dws-iwa2014-photo-verstraete-recovery-770pxBelgian emeritus professor Willy Verstraete called for a rethinking of waste water treatment and to fully focus on resource recovery. Verstraete announced the start of EU research programme 'Power to Protein' to produce proteins from residual waste streams that include phosphorous, ammonia, CO2 and H2. He will lead a Belgian/Dutch consortium to develop this concept.

Global water poll at Arcadis booth
dws-iwa2014-photo-arcadis-booth-770pxWhat will be the single biggest water issue our planet will face in 2050? This was the question of the global poll organised by consultancy firm Arcadis. Some 800 votes were registered on the special website The top 3 being: water scarcity (348x), climate change (173x) and water quality (157x).

Announcement of Amsterdam international water week 2015
dws-iwa2014-photo-kruize-aiww-770pxDuring the network reception in the Netherlands pavilion, director Roelof Kruize of Waternet, officially announced the next Amsterdam International Water Week will take place from 2 - 6 November 2015. "Last year we had a very successful second edition, so we keep our programme focused on the three issues of water cycle management, urban resilience and climate adaptation and sustainable industrial water",  Kruize revealed.
The theme of the water week is 'Integrated solutions for a circular economy and resilient cities'.

Also read on this website 
IWA Lisbon 2014: Dutch pavilion shows two ways for water utilities to learn about their performance, 25 September 2014
● IWA Lisbon 2014: First day on impacts of prosperity and growing industrial water demands, 23 September 2014
● IWA Lisbon 2014: Signing ceremony for CTM Centre Tecnològic to join Watershare platform, 22 September 2014
● IWA Lisbon 2014: Practitioners address resource recovery at world water congress, 16 September 2014
● IWA Lisbon 2014: Strong Dutch participation in IWA World water congress on shaping our water future, 12 September 2014 
● Meet the Dutch water sector at IWA Lisbon

More information 
IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, Lisbon 2014