August 23, 2018

News Stories: IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2018

Global water crises continue to score high on the World Economic Forum’s global risk assessment. Rather than singling out the water crisis narrative that sets our mind-set towards an inevitable phenomenon, the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, 16-21 September 2018, Tokyo, Japan puts the spotlight on the people who are working to solve our most pressing water challenges.

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition features a wide range of experts from all areas of the water sector, including from water resource management, government, science and technology, large water using industries, policy and regulation, international consultancies and financial institutions, to name just a few. It is a unique opportunity to see the promising innovations and forward-thinking approaches they are using to significantly contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Here are some of the key topics and stories you may be interested in:


Beyond the hype around Big Data and the Internet of Things, where has the digitisation of water actually gained the most traction and how is it transforming the water sector?   

The digitisation trend is reaching into every corner of our lives, and yet, water utilities still lag behind other industries in leveraging the power of ‘being smart’. Understanding of the barriers to technology adoption is critical to reinvent our current water and wastewater systems. Can the water sector leapfrog other sectors in digitisation? Join us in Tokyo to discuss the future of digital water. Some cutting-edge initiatives and fast-moving players are already showing the way:

  • Ask the experts: Rebekah Eggers, Global Water Leader, WW IoT, Energy, Environment, & Utilities Business, IBM; and Rudy de Waele, Conscious Business & Life Design Strategist, Futurist, Humanist, Keynote Speaker, Author & Curator
  • Get a hint of the new Digital Water initiative that IWA is launching at the Tokyo World Water Congress. A new position paper developed by Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director, and Will Sarni, Water Foundry Founder and CEO, will show leaders in the water sector not only what’s on the horizon but also start preparing for its impact.
  • Ask an expert on smart metering: Bert De Winter, Innovation director of De Watergroep, Belgium, and learn about Japan’s first large scale efforts on smart water meters and multi-objective network optimisation at this session.
Multipurpose infrastructure for increased resilience

Our urban water infrastructure requires extensive renewal and expansion to effectively manage water resources if we are to meet increasing demands. Whilst this is a significant challenge, it also provides an opportunity to revolutionise how urban water systems are designed, or retrofitted, to better manage our water resources. Incorporating multipurpose, green infrastructure designed to manage stormwater, demand-side management measures and decentralised wastewater treatment systems into city planning can offer increased flexibility in responding to a changing climate.

  • Ask the experts: Claudia Sadoff, Director-General, International Water Management Institute, and Lars Therkildsen, CEO, HOFOR, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Don’t miss out the launch of the Cities Alive report 2018, by Arup and IWA, and the launch of an updated IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities
Towards energy-positive, carbon-neutral urban water utilities

The urban water utilities represent an untapped potential to further reduce overall GHG emissions. If the urban water sector were to become carbon neutral, it could contribute the equivalent of 20% of the sum of committed reductions by all countries in the Paris Agreement. Pioneering utilities are instigating a change of mind-set to transition towards low-carbon urban water systems, some of which will share their experiences in Tokyo.

  • Ask the expert: Corinne Trommsdorff, IWA Programmes Manager, Cities of the Future
  • Request a sneak peek of The Roadmap for a Low-Carbon Urban Water Utility before its launch at the Congress.


The availability of groundwater determines far more than the shape of river basins

Rivers are the lifeblood of nations. Protecting basins and restoring those that are already degraded should be a priority to ensure a balanced approach to development that sustains cities and the ecosystems they rely on. In Tokyo, we’ll hear about various pathways for urban stakeholders to better connect with their watersheds, including securing the water resource, protecting water quality and preparing and responding to extreme events.

  • An Action Agenda for Basin-Connected Cities’ will be launched in Tokyo. Want to know more? Ask the expert: Katharine Cross, IWA Programmes Manager, Basins of the Future.
  • Attend the Forum Basin-Connected Cities, on Thursday, 20 September


Strengthening Water-related Disaster Resilience for Sustainable Development

The Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that swiped across Japan in 2011, or the more recent flooding caused by torrential rain in June this year are testament of the increase in frequency and severity of extreme climate events as a consequence of climate change. The organised Forum on Disaster Counter-measures and Risk Managament will provide cues to develop improved disaster management for reducing the risk.


Bridging Science to Practice

The water sector’s response to our critical water challenges is complicated by a disconnect between leading science and technology research, and water utilities, cities and river basins where it might be applied to solve the challenges facing water resource management. At the IWA Congress, visionary researchers and technology enthusiasts will shed some light on demonstrated approaches to implementing innovations successfully.

  • Ask the experts: Sudhir Murthy, CEO, NEWhub, USA, Mark van Loosdrecht, Chair professor in Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, Dr. Hong Li, IWA Science, Technology and Specialist Groups Manager, and Shinichiro Ohgaki, President Japan Water Research Center (JWRC)
  • Attend the Forum Science to Practice, on Wednesday, 19 September.


Governance: Aiming at better policies and innovation

Available and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all relies upon the collective action of interdependent stakeholders, playing their role effectively and efficiently. Transitioning to such a water-wise world starts with people –people that informs and implements the right enabling environment.



Media are invited to attend the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, 16-21 September 2018, at Tokyo Big Sight. Please register online before 14th September 2018.

Please contact us if you would like to book an interview with any of the specialists below.

The IWA Congress has the pleasure to announce the following 10 world-renowned keynote speakers:

  • Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, Japan
  • Toshio Koike, Director, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Tsukuba, Japan
  • Shinichiro Ohgaki, President Japan Water Research Center (JWRC), Tokyo, Japan
  • Rebekah Eggers, Global Water Leader, WW IoT, Energy, Environment, & Utilities Business, IBM, Los Angeles, US
  • Sudhir Murthy, CEO, NEWhub, Washington DC, USA
  • Mark van Loosdrecht, Chair professor in Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Silver Musgisha, Chief Executive Officer, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala, Uganda
  • Claudia Sadoff, Director-General, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Lars Therkildsen, CEO, HOFOR, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Rudy de Waele, Conscious Business & Life Design Strategist, Futurist, Humanist, Keynote Speaker, Author & Curator, Cambridge, United Kingdom

The IWA Congress & Exhibition will have the honour to be the stage to the high dignitaries:

  • Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Minister for Environment and Food Denmark
  • Rauff Hakeem,  Minister of City Planning & Water Supply Sri Lanka
  • Joseph M. Mwanamvekha, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development  Malawi
  • Ronald Kibuule, State Minister for Water , Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda
  • Chien-Hsin Lai, Director-General, Water Resources Agency (WRA), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)  Chinese Taipei
  • Dato’ Dr. Tan Yew Chong, Secretary General of the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources  Malaysia

Interviews and insight talks can be conducted with IWA High-level experts and representatives:

  • Diane D’Arras, IWA President
  • Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director
  • Corinne Trommsdorff, IWA Programme Manager – Cities of the Future
  • Katharine Cross, IWA Programme Manager – Basins of the Future
  • Carolina Latorre, IWA Water Policy and Regulation
  • Jurg Keller, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Shaun Cox, Inxure Strategy Group, The University of Queenland, Australia
  • Heidi Snyman, Golder Associates, South Africa
  • Wolfgang Rauch, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • Reynald Bonnard, CIRSEE/Suez Environment, France
  • Jörg E. Drewes, TU Munich, Germany
  • Trevor Bishop, UK Environment Agency
  • Eveline Volcke, University of Gent, Belgium
  • Shane Snyder, University of Arizona, USA
  • Maria Benoliel, EPAL, Portugal
  • Joan Rose, Michigan State University, USA
  • Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Technical University of Denmark
  • Satoshi Takizawa, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Mari Asami, National Institute of Public Health, Japan
  • Xia Huang, Tsinghua University, China
  • Apichart Anukularmphai, Thailand Water Resources Association, Thailand
  • Aaron Burton, Waterwise, UK
  • Peter VanRolleghem, Université Laval, Canada
  • Sylvain Usher, African Water Association, Ivory Coast

For fresh ideas and perspectives, speak with IWA Young Water Professionals:

  • Abby Crisostomo, KLH Sustainability, United Kingdom
  • Arlinda Ibrahimllari, UKKO, Albania
  • Miharu Hirano, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Rianna Gonzales, Water Resources Agency, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Takahiro Seki, Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC, Japan
  • Trine Stausgaard Munk, Ramboll, Denmark

Our IWA media team will be happy to facilitate introductions, interviews with experts, filming or photography.

Rui Veras Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 22.55.18 DSC_0124Ulrike Kelm cheikh Fall 2
Rui Veras
Marketing and Communications Director (Interim)
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Marta Jimenez
Communications Officer
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Ulrike Kelm
Communications Manager
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Cheikh Tidiane FALL
Coordinator West & Central Africa sub-region
IWA, Spanish)