Water scarcity a key focus of upcoming conference


Wednesday, 13 July, 2016

The International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition 2016 will be held from 9–14 October in Brisbane. The event is set to attract over 5500 water, environment and related professionals from more than 100 countries, offering new insights into how science, innovation and leading practices shape the major transformation in water management that is underway.

During four days, the critical debates shaping our water future will take place in six leadership forums, eight plenary sessions, 38 workshops, 86 technical sessions, 344 presentations and over 500 posters. The program will provide the opportunity to network with water sector leaders and to share knowledge on the latest trends.

As part of the event, the IWA and the Australian Water Partnership will convene government and business leaders, NGOs, scientists and international organisations to the global Water Scarcity and Drought Summit. The summit follows the recent release of a report which pegs the number of people affected by water scarcity at four billion, with the World Economic Forum ranking the ‘water crises’ as the top risk facing societies and business over the next decade.

“Cities, industries, agriculture and the environment are seriously impaired by water scarcity. Cities around the world have literally run out of water this year, resulting in major havoc and costs for citizens, business and government,” said IWA Executive Director Dr Ger Bergkamp. “The world needs decisive action, a modern-day Marshall Plan for global water scarcity. We need all stakeholders to agree [to] a clear agenda and begin to manage water more wisely.”

The summit will focus on:

  • creating climate preparedness and resilience;
  • establishing portfolios of water supply and demand management;
  • strengthening mechanisms to measure and exchange on water scarcity and drought;
  • mobilising public and private investments in water management.

The IWA will seek governmental-level participation from the most impacted countries: Australia, Botswana, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa and the USA. The private sector will be represented by water technology leaders and companies affected by water scarcity and droughts. Dr Bergkamp said the Brisbane summit will be “the first step in a planned multiyear and multistakeholder agenda-setting program”.

The event will also focus on topics such as how we deliver the water-centred cities of the future; resource and energy recovery; water quality, safety and human health; water and wastewater treatment and processes; and enabling good governance and sustainable finance. For more information and to register, visit http://www.iwa-network.org/event/world-water-congress-exhibition-2016/.

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