Joining forces to offer sustainable solutions for wastewater treatment in the Danube River Basin

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Audience at the International Workshop on Wastewater Management in the Danube River Basin

On 28-29 November 2017, over 120 participants from around 20 countries attended the first International Workshop on Wastewater Management in the Danube River Basin at the Ramada Majestic Hotel in Bucharest, Romania. The Workshop was co-organised by the ICPDR, the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD), the World Bank and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. The event was hosted by the National Administration “Romanian Waters” and the Romanian Ministry of Waters and Forests.

This joint initiative answers a need of the Danube countries to specifically address the multi-dimensional problem of wastewater management in the Danube River Basin under the ICPDR umbrella.

The objective of the workshop was to achieve a clear concept of the roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved and to identify the necessary further steps towards sustainable management of wastewater infrastructure and service. Moreover, the workshop provided the participants with a platform to identify, share and discuss best practices and cost-efficient solutions in wastewater management.

The workshop program included keynote speeches to set the scene along with specific presentations and brainstorming sessions to identify particular issues and discuss potential solutions around the three main pillars: 

  • Investment & Financing
  • Management & Operation
  • Innovation & Technology

The main take-home messages from the workshop were that better absorbing rates are needed for funding infrastructure development, proper water-pricing and affordability is both a challenge and a must and there is still a strong need for skilled workforce at all levels: national and local administrations and also utilities. Finally, sludge management and energy-optimisation at treatment plant level, deserve closer attention, thus making wastewater a resource and no longer a problem. International organisations should assist countries to achieve these objectives, particularly in facilitating capacity-building and strengthening in the sector.  

Presentations, speakers’ biographies and a list of participants are available on the event page

A full report on discussions, outcomes and next steps will be available shortly.

Source and editorial: ICPDR
Photo credits: ICPDR