IWW/Aquatech: In-depth discussions and best practices at conference on future urban water management
Urban water management seems to have reached a cross road. Continue business as usual within the silo of the water sector itself and find new ways to improve the urban water supply and waste water treatment as it is today. Or the water sector breaks out of the silo and fully engage in a new way of thinking about self-supporting cities with a maximum reuse of water, energy and materials. Two ways of thinking, two different worlds.
Both worlds met at the IWW conference on Integrated water solutions for a green economy that took place in Amsterdam on 5 and 6 November.
The conference was one of the major events of the International Water Week Amsterdam. It was attended by more than 1000 experts from 130 different countries.
The conference revealed lots of new ideas, new trends and best practices, including a adaptive options to handle excessive rainwater presented by Luis Roberto Silva Vara (top photo) of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH).
Impressions of the conference
Mariska Ronteltap, lecturer on sanitary engineering at Unesco-IHE in a discussion on the possibilities to recover materials from waste water. Recovery technologies are piloted all over the world but it proves difficult to sell the recovered products for a good price.
Delta programme commissioner Wim Kuijken of the Dutch government showed a map of areas in the world with severe flooding problems. He explained the complicated hydrological situation in low-lying densely populated river deltas. Climate change brings uncertainty and he advised to develop a long term strategy but only to take - no-regret - measures that are urgently needed.
Over 200 poster presentations were sent fin rom all over the world and many were shown in Amsterdam during the conference, as was the poster from Stefanie Wolter (right on photo) of the German Association for water, waste water and waste (DWA), drawing attention to the Intelligent and multifunctional infrastructure systems for sustainable water supply and waste water disposal (INIS).
Deputy director Puah Aik Num of the Singapore national water agency PUB gave a keynote speech to start the second day of the conference. He told about the recent changes in the Singapore water supply and the many water technology innovations that have been realized. Singapore now uses multiple water resources for its fresh water, including rainwater catchment, desalination, waste water re-use.
How come that only 4 billion people have a descent toilet, whereas 6 billion people have a cell phone? Apparently people rather spent their money on a cell phone then on sanitation. This amazing observation was heard in many discussions when it came down to water issues in developing countries. Many participants, as Sylvia Machimana of the South African Inkomati Catchment Management Agency (ICMA), asked about a more flexible payment system for water services. She referred to the 'pay and go' for South African television channels. It is important according to Machimana for people to have options to choose from.
The conference was closed with the announcement of the new young IWW-conference ambassador. Sarah Dickin (left) told she wants to finish here study and introduced her successor Marie Sagen (right) from Norway. Marie Sagen could not have said it better to end the conference with its sometimes overwhelming water issues, than assuring the audience that we cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
About International Water Week Amsterdam
The International Water Week Amsterdam is organized every two years and focuses on integrated water solutions for sustainable and resilient cities and delta areas. This in the context of urban growth, climate change and the scarcity and re-use of water, energy and raw materials.
Three major events of the International Water Week are the international conference, the Aquatech trade fair on water technology and the Industrial Leaders Forum.
The IWW is organized by RAI Amsterdam, International Water Association, International Water Conferences and the Netherlands Water Partnership.
(all photos by NWP/Rob Kamminga)
Read more on IWW/Aquatech on this site
• Meet the Dutch water sector in Amsterdam!
• IWW/Aquatech: Sanergy wins 50.000 euro Sarphati award for establishing sanitation business in Nairobi, 6 November 2013
• IWW/Aquatech: Collective call for integrated water solutions at opening ceremony, 5 November 2013
• IWW/Aquatech: Pitch battle for entrepreneurs with highly innovative water technology solutions, 4 November 2013
• IWW/Aquatech Amsterdam 2013: Captains of industry to debate water use in the full product cycle, 22 October 2013
• Aquatech Amsterdam 2013 trade exhibition unveils nominees Innovation Awards, 9 October 2013
• New UNSGAB Chair Prince El Hassan Bin Talal keynote speaker at International Water Week, the Netherlands, 16 Augustus 2013
• International Water Week Amsterdam 2013 seeks inspiring water solutions for a green economy, 14 May 2013