Bertil Hawerman
President: 1976-1980


Bertil Hawerman

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Bertil Hawerman (1920–2006) was one of the foreground figures among water professionals in Sweden. In 1960 he was appointed manager for water activities at the National Board for Roads and Water systems. In this position he was instrumental in providing financial funding for new wastewater treatment systems in Sweden.

Bertil had a lot of responsibilities related to water and wastewater on the national level and was deeply engaged in the environmental debates in the 1960s. His struggle to invest in treatment plants instead of letting “the solution of pollution be the dilution” cannot be overestimated. Bertil became the General Director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

Bertil was heavily involved in international activities and was the Swedish representative in the OECD plenary group for research on water and wastewater. He became the first manager of VAV, the Swedish Water and Wastewater Treatment Association in 1973. In this role he was instrumental in bringing forward research and development and generously supporting researchers. (I was one of them that enjoyed his encouragement from the very beginning).

Major contributions to IWA

Bertil had a lot of international contacts, for example in the Helsinki commission, supporting African countries. Bertil became a true connector between Sweden and IAWPR. He was elected President of IAWPR 1976-1980. He fully supported that the 1977 ICA Specialist Conference in London reconvened in Stockholm. He managed to get the 1978 IAWPR Congress located to Stockholm. Bertil retired in 1986 but continued to work for improving the financing of research in water and wastewater.

Authors: Gustaf Olsson in consultation with Bjorn Rosen