January 9, 2020 Digitalisation

First IWA Digital Water Summit

Bilbao País Vasco Euskadi 14-09-2013 La ría, la pasarela Calatrava o puente Zubizuri y las Torres Isozaki © FOTOGRAFO: MITXI

The new and unique space for water and wastewater utilities to embrace digital solutions


Bilbao, Spain, January 2020 – The International Water Association is organizing the first IWA Digital Water Summit (see website for 2023 edition). Targeting all stakeholders involved in the water sector digitalization, it is designed to bring together Water technology providers and water utilities with a focus on business and industry. Designed to be the reference in digitalisation for the global water sector, it will take place in Bilbao, Spain, 27-30 April 2020.

Enrique Cabrera, IWA Vice President and Professor at Valencia University expresses that “the idea behind the Digital Water Summit is to bring those people together in a way that experiences can be shared, solutions can be explained, and do what we do best at IWA, which is sharing content and creating networking opportunities for those attending”.

IWA has an opportunity to leverage our worldwide member expertise, to guide a new generation of water and wastewater utilities during their uptake of digital technologies and integration into water services. This Summit is part of a wider initiative to provide a platform that helps utilities recognize emerging digital technologies and solutions, how they can be integrated across the utility value chain, help them learn from it, and help them adapt and embrace change to create value.

The engagement and commitment of incumbents, start-ups and entrants from other sectors is part of the success of digital water technology adoption. Water professionals often lack information technology skill sets and the perspective to appreciate what is possible, while technology entrepreneurs may not understand the nuances of complex water systems affected by multiple factors. Engaging beyond the water sector to maximize the potential of digital tools is crucial, as emphasized by Dragan Savic, CEO of KWR, who is leading the Digital Water Summit programme committee: “Collaboration between sectors will mean more effective application of new technologies for better management within and beyond our cities”.

There is the necessity of water utilities to embrace digital solutions – smart and resilient water systems across the water value chain. This extends from ‘upstream’ supply – including basins, aquifers, potable reuse, desalination, or moisture capture – to ‘downstream’ utility operations and customers.

“Thanks to digital technologies and a growing global consciousness about sustainability, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to solve the world’s water challenges. The IWA Digital Water Summit – the inaugural IWA conference to focus solely on the topic – will be a big step forward in further embedding digital at the core of the water profession” – says Randolf Webb from Xylem, Director, Global Branding and Partnerships.


About the IWA Digital Water Summit

The Digital Water Summit Programme Committee gathers world renowned experts in charge of developing a leading edge programme with plenary sessions, interactive discussions, side events, exhibition, technical visits, and social events. Co-organized by the International Water Association, Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia water utility and AEAS, the IWA Governing Member in Spain, the first IWA Digital Water Summit will be held in Bilbao, Spain, 27-30 April 2020.


About the IWA Digital Water Programme

The IWA Digital Water Programme aims to act as a catalyst for innovation, knowledge and best practices around digitalisation for the water sector, provide a platform to share experiences and promote leadership in transitioning to digital water solutions, and consolidate lessons to guide the natural evolution from the ‘business as usual’ to achieving a digital water utility.


About the International Water Association

The International Water Association (IWA) is a network and an international global knowledge hub open to all water professionals and anyone committed to the future of water. With its legacy of over seventy years, it connects water professionals around the world to find solutions to global water challenges as part of a broader sustainability agenda. As a non-profit organization and with membership in more than 140 countries, the IWA connects scientists with professionals and communities so that pioneering research offers sustainable solutions. In addition, the association promotes and supports technological innovation and best practices through international frameworks and standards.


For more information please contact:

Joao Grilo, Joao.Grilo@iwahq.org

Katharine Cross, Katharine.Cross@iwahq.org

Rui Veras, Rui.Veras@iwahq.org