BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues 2023: Advancing Circular Water Economy Worldwide

The BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues witnessed record-breaking participation on November 8, 2023. With an impressive turnout of over 800 registrations from more than 70 countries, the conference explored the theme of "Closing the Loop – Circular Water Economy," demonstrating a steadfast commitment to sustainability in the global water landscape.
BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues 2023: Advancing Circular Water Economy Worldwide

(Image source: German Water Partnership e.V.)

Since its inception in 2011, BLUE PLANET is a well-known event series, fostering dynamic exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences to enhance the global water situation. The event, which shifted to digital formats in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020/2021, has evolved into a crucial digital exchange platform for water management professionals, expanding its global reach. Supported by the Export Initiative for Environmental Protection − GreenTech "Made in Germany" of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises (SenWEB), BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues continues to evolve as a global hub for showcasing water sector innovation.

The conference opened with welcoming addresses from Boris Greifeneder, Managing Director of GWP, and Prof. Dr. Martin Jekel, CEO of KWB, setting the tone for a day of insightful discussions. Dr. Severin Fischer, State Secretary in the Senate Department for Economics, Energy, and Public Enterprises, Berlin, emphasized Berlin's pivotal role in addressing global water challenges and advocated for tackling disparities on a global scale.

Featuring inspiring keynotes, project presentations, a dynamic panel discussion, and topical break-out sessions, the event delved into crucial topics such as achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), circular economy principles, water stress, technology partnerships, nutrient recovery, and heat recovery from wastewater.

Key Highlights:
• Anna Delgado (The World Bank) presented the “Water in Circular Economy and Resilience” (WICER) document, focusing on diversifying water sources, resource recovery, and optimizing resource use.
• Dr.-Ing. Anne Kleyböcker (KWB) addressed the critical issue of water scarcity, introducing the Water Europe Marketplace as a solution.
• Dr. Christian Kabbe (EasyMining Germany) discussed cross-sector partnerships for large-scale water circular economy implementation.
• Timo Paul (Vattenfall Wärme Berlin) and Heinrich Gürtler (Berliner Wasserbetriebe) showcased the potential of recovering heat from wastewater through the InfraLab Berlin project.
• Samuela Guida (International Water Association IWA) presented the IWA and its latest activities.
• The concluding panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Christian Remy (KWB), explored the interplay between "Economic Viability & Sustainability," emphasizing the need for clear definitions and standards, with a focus on regulatory roles as a driving factor.

In summary, BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues 2023 highlighted the pivotal role of circular water economy in addressing global challenges, with a focus on the urgent need for sustainable water management. The event's diverse presentations and discussions provided a comprehensive perspective on current developments and future challenges in this vital sector.

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