IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition: Danube, sanitation and climate
ICPDR Danube Watch: Work resumes on Bystroe Canal
IWA World Water Congress and
Danube, sanitation and climate
The International Water Association highlights the Danube River Basin at the premier global event for water professionals, held in Vienna.
The Danube Basin and ICPDR were one of the highlights of the congress. The ICPDR organised workshops on the need to form effective partnerships with diverse stakeholders, to manage potential conflicts and to secure the political will of governments, as well as presentations on integrated water resource management and on catchment management in large basins.
The danube basin and IcPdR were one of the highlights at the 2008 Iwa world water congress and Exhibition, this time held in vienna between september 7–12. The congress attracted over 4500 visitors from 94 different countries and covered the cross-cutting themes of sanitation, cities of the Future, climate change, water and Energy, water Reuse and desalination and Frontiers of science and Technology. human Resources were also discussed with a special focus on attracting more women and youth to become water professionals. The congress included the presentation of over 1000 papers, 30 workshops and ten keynote speeches including that of IcPdR Executive secretary Philip weller.
Focus on the Danube. On September 10, the ICPDR organised a workshop entitled ‘Managing the Danube: Lessons from the most international river basin in the world’ moderated by the European Commission’s Joachim D’Eugenio. The lessons included the need to form effective partnerships with the basin’s diverse stakeholders, to manage potential conflicts and to secure the political will of governments. Management requires a clear legal framework, institutional arrangements such as a commission, roles and responsibilities for involved countries, an organised monitoring system and a river basin management plan. The basin’s ecological services must be highly valued while measures for climate change adaptation are needed. Also, more awareness raising is required to show how the EU Water Framework Directive serves as an excellent tool to achieve water management objectives and transparency.
Philip Weller made a keynote presentation about integrated water resource management and catchment management in large basins. This was followed by an ICPDR press conference launching the results of the 2007 river expedition – the Joint Danube Survey 2 (see page 24 for story). During the entire congress, the ICPDR also had an exhibition stand with Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Hellenic focusing on their Green Danube Partnership.
The congress President, Walter Kling (from the Vienna
Water Works), stated, “Whilst the
congress brings together water professionals
from all over the world, the regional
aspect is crucial not only in terms of
being good hosts, but more importantly
to mobilise forces to combat the challenges
we face in the Danube catchment. We
were very encouraged by the quantity
and quality of delegates, discussions and
activities from, about and for the Danube
that came out of the congress. I believe
the impact on the region will continue to
grow significantly and am very pleased
with the results so far.”
The Congress attracted over 4,500 visitors from 94 different countries and covered the cross-cutting themes of Sanitation, Cities of the Future, Climate Change, Water and Energy, Water Reuse and Desalination and Frontiers of Science and Technology.
About the Congress and IWA. The biennial IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition is the premier global event for water professionals. Hosted by the International Water Association (IWA), it brings together experts from all disciplines across the water sector – science and research, utilities, consultants, technology providers, industrial water users and regulators – to advance their common goal of sustainable water management. The Congress provides a unique opportunity for delegates to gain a picture of the global water issues faced by humankind, and to discover existing solutions or generate new answers.
IWA’s core purpose is to unite water professionals in achieving sustainable water management on a local, national and international level. It is a non-profit, selfgoverning organization comprising over 10,000 members across 130 countries from the scientific, utility, consultant, regulatory, industrial and technology communities. IWA’s work covers all fields of the water cycle, from supply, industrial water use and sanitation in both developing and developed countries.
The 2010 IWA World Water Congress will be held in Montreal, Canada.
“whilst the congress brings together water professionals from all over the world, the regional aspect is crucial not only in terms of being good hosts, but more importantly to mobilise forces to combat the challenges we face in the danube catchment”, said congress President walter kling.
Global sanitation crisis. The Vienna Congress placed special attention on the problem of sanitation and water supply in developing countries. IWA released a paper during the Congress outlining the scale and nature of the crisis and recommending several steps that should be taken to achieve the internationally agreed-upon Millennium Development Goals.
Data released at the gathering stated that over 80% of infectious diseases in developing countries are caused by insufficient sanitation or clean drinking water. Furthermore, it is estimated that about 60 countries, most of them developing countries in the Middle East, North Africa, the sub-Sahara region and South and Central Asia, will face a shortage of water supply until 2050.
Linking the weather with development. At the Congress, Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, called for weather forecasts to play a greater role in planning for economic development and poverty reduction because of the impact climate change has on water resources. Jarraud stated that the agricultural, energy, tourism and health sectors are among those most affected by the impact of climate change due to drought, deterioration in water quality, increased run-off and an increase in the salinisation of groundwater as a result of rising sea levels.