Global water community meets in Copenhagen to progress options for smart liveable cities
Leading figures in the global water community are gathered in Copenhagen Denmark, 11-15 September 2022, at the International Water Association’s World Water Congress & Exhibition.
The event brings together many thousands of influential participants to share insights, network, and do business. The latest edition of IWA’s flagship represents its largest and most comprehensive to date.
The world faces multiple challenges relating to water. These include the need for urgent action on adaptation and mitigation measures in response to climate change. The importance of this theme was highlighted by the inspirational presentation given during the opening of the Congress by Professor Jason Box, a prominent scientist researching the Greenland ice sheet. The challenges also include the need for far greater action if the world is to meet the global aims set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, of securing water and sanitation for all by 2030.
As the leading global network of water sector professionals, IWA’s World Water Congress & Exhibition brings together a diverse mix of actors who can all contribute to water solutions. Five days of critical discussions are now underway. The thousands of experts, innovators, companies, regulators, government representatives, and others, have come together to discuss the latest global trends, emerging technologies, and developments in pioneering science all connected to water and wastewater management.
The IWA Congress & Exhibition takes place every few years in different countries around the world. They provide an opportunity to focus on topical issues and new trends, and they reflect the strengths of the host location. The 2022 edition is framed around the theme of ‘Water for Smart Liveable Cities’. It is featuring inspirational stories from Denmark and from the wider Nordic region, as well as from around the world.
Features of the coming week include a High-Level Summit, forums on utility management, groundwater, and industrial water, and the launch of further programmes and initiatives, all alongside a comprehensive offering of technical papers, workshops, poster presentations, business forums and exhibits.
IWA Executive Director Kala Vairavamoorthy commented: “The week in Copenhagen got under way with a fantastic Opening Ceremony featuring eminent scientist Professor Jason Box. This has set the stage for what is the largest edition of our Congress to date. Themes such as the circular economy and resource recovery, emerging technologies for sanitation and non-sewered systems, digitalisation, and the opportunities for climate-smart utilities, mean what we are discussing is hugely relevant to the water challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Anders Bækgaard (DANVA), Congress President, added: “What particularly characterises this edition of the Congress is the close-knit collaboration between the Nordic countries, an innovative region that is a true advocate of sustainable living. Additionally, it is a great pleasure for me to announce that in the 2022 Congress, special attention has been placed on young water professionals and students.”
The Congress is the occasion at which IWA reveals the winners of its prestigious awards programme. The outstanding winners announced during the opening ceremony were:
- Global Water Award: Nisha Mandani, Our Aim Foundation, USA
- Gender Diversity and Water Award: Annabell Waititu, Big Five Africa, Kenya
- Young Leadership Award: Céline Vaneeckhaute, Université Laval, Canada
- Water & Development Award for Research: Professor Damir Brdjanovic, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, the Netherlands
- Water & Development Award for Practice: Africa Sand Dam Foundation, Kenya
Other important announcements made during the opening ceremony included two relating to young water professionals: the creation of an endowment fund for young water leaders, supported by founding donors Patty and Glen Daigger; and the announcement of funding for young water professionals to participate in next year’s meeting review progress of the UN SDGs, supported by Grundfos.
Announcements on further developments will be made during the coming week.