Wasser Berlin International: Congress Highlights Future Challenges for the Water Industry


In the years to come the water industry will face huge challenges both at national and international level, particularly where the environment and sustainability are concerned. Leading speakers representing science and the practical sphere, water management associations, universities as well as companies from Germany and neighbouring countries will address the latest industry issues and developments at the congress of Wasser Berlin International 2017.

Once again the congress is a core element of this event and will span a bridge between the innovative technical products, solutions and systems and the need for political and administrative action.

Part of the first session, which will take place in the afternoon on the opening day of the fair, will be devoted to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development agreed upon at last year’s UN summit. Number six of the global action plan’s 17 goals pledges to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all people. Resource efficiency and the circular economy are also key to the environmental strategy of the EU, and the opening session at the congress will discuss what consequences this has for water management in member states.

At the session entitled ’Drinking water supplies – preparing, not repairing’, the focus will be on maintaining the outstanding quality of our drinking water. This is increasingly under threat due to intensive farming methods employing fertilisers and pesticides as well as factory farming. A look at developments in Denmark will show how the environmental impact can be reduced and the lessons that can be learned from this.

Another session at the congress will discuss how the protection of rivers, lakes, health and resources can in future become central elements of water management. Topics to be discussed include the level of scientific knowledge and practical experience needed in order to set up a fourth water treatment stage. Delegates from Switzerland will be relating their experiences as pioneers who introduced this technology. Other key topics will include resource-efficient and energy-efficient water treatment plants as well as sewage management.

The congress will examine the experiences gained from 15 years of the EU Water Framework Directive and the new direction that protecting Europe’s rivers and lakes has taken. In that context the future of cross-border protection of rivers and lakes after 2027 will also be discussed. The debate on Water Industry 4.0 will also address the issue of an increasingly digitised and networked industry. A discussion about electronic security strategies for the industry’s data systems is also on the agenda. The Wasser Berlin International Congress will also look at the Federal Cartel Office’s report on drinking water supplies, which among other things has reignited the debate on water prices.

In its role as a centre of the European water industry Berlin will present itself at the congress as a platform for research and innovation driving urban water management. Highlights of practical work will be presented, the result of cooperation between Technische Universität Berlin, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin and Berliner Wasserbetriebe. The industry can only achieve the high levels of excellence expected of it with properly trained and highly motivated employees, which is why the slogan of the final congress session is ’Job opportunities and careers in the water industry’. Companies and industry associations will describe their strategies and practical experiences in creating new types of water industry jobs and recruiting specialist employees.

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