IWA World Water Congress Daily WEDNESDAY 24

IWA World Water
Congress Daily
The need for a policy focus
on governance
overnance is key if current and
future water challenges are to be
met, according to Portugal’s Professor
Francisco Nunes Correia. He is Professor
of Environment and Water Resources at
Instituto Superior Tecnico, President of
There are further challenges – Correia
points to the administrative and political
fragmentation that exists in the realm of
water, noting that ‘this raises the question
of how we reconcile the different levels –
national, regional and river basin.’
the Portuguese Water Partnership, and
has wide expertise to back his remarks –
among other key posts, he used to be
Portugal’s Minister of Environment,
Spatial Planning and Regional
Development, during which time he
instituted a new water law and related
institutional changes.
Correia, who will be giving this
afternoon’s keynote at the Congress,
points to a number of reasons – social,
political and some that address risks
and natural resources – why governance
is increasingly important.
Financial governance is a part of this –
Portugal has gone through a difficult
financial crisis, like much of Europe.
‘This has required us to do more with
less, organisations have had to be more
effective and efficient, and structured to
achieve this and be socially acceptable at
the same time,’ Correia explains.
Despite the downturn, countries need
to invest more in water and wastewater
as well as other infrastructure such as
energy, which raises the question of
cost sharing. ‘Who pays for what?
Generations?’ he asks. ‘This is very
important – Portugal has public debt
that will last 40 years or more.’
Join the conversation
‘Flooding, drought, climate change
and increasing demand, quality,
quantity and regulation, all require
better governance,’ he adds. ‘Water
management is an animal that walks
on two legs – one is investment in infrastructure and technology and the other
is governance. If you paralyse one leg,
it will stumble and fall – you need two.’
‘If we want to move towards good
governance it is important to streamline
some principles and have some indicators so we know if we are moving towards
them or not,’ he says. ■
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Charting a way forward for
Water Safety Plans
great deal of progress has been
made with the use of Water Safety
Plans (WSPs) since the concept was
introduced by the World Health
Organisation a decade ago. Their
success means there is now a great deal
of interest in how they are taken forward,
including the extension of the concept to
Sanitation Safety Plans.
An aim of this afternoon’s WSP
workshop is therefore to chart a way
forward for WSP use, says Dominique
Gatel, chief technical officer at Veolia,
who will chair the workshop. The
development of tools in different
languages based on or evolved from
IWA’s WSP toolbox will help support
further implementation, in addition to
which the European Commission is
studying the best way to include WSPs
in its drinking water legislation, explains
Gatel. ‘The inclusion of small supplies,
which is a long-standing issue, will
[make the use of WSPs] more effective,’
he adds. ‘Water Safety Planning in
buildings will also have to be addressed
and the Sanitation Safety Planning
concept is also picking up speed.
The second of the workshop sessions
will focus on the progress that has been
made since WSPs were introduced.
Gatel explains that there were different
responses to the introduction in 2004.
‘Some countries chose to make WSPs a
legal obligation to water suppliers, which
readily adapted to this new way of thinking,’ he says. ‘Other countries preferred
to further deploy pre-existing elements of
the WSP obligation, which were already
in place. Now, ten years later, we can see
that WSPs are effective when building
on a pre-existing quality management
and / or risk management culture.
Pilot project or warm-up periods are
instrumental in elaborating national
approaches, mechanisms, tools,
auditing schemes, etc. It is striking
that no two countries adapt the WHO
approach in the same manner.’
Communication is central to the
WSP approach, he adds, defining this
as being one of the greatest achievements the use of this approach has
achieved. ‘Water Safety Planning is all
about having a more transparent and
shared approach to drinking water
quality. It improves and professionalises
the dialogue between water suppliers,
authorities and customers.’
‘Finally,’ he concludes, ‘there is the
integration of water supply into integrated
water resource management. IWRM
and WSP differ in targets and scale of
analysis, but basically speak the same
language: they naturally complement
one another, and more integration and
interfacing will take place, since WSPs
by definition have roots in safe and
protected resources.’ ■
The WSP workshop will be in room 3C.
An open meeting of the Water Safety
Planning Specialist Group will take place
today in room 3C at 12:15-13:00.
IWA / ISME BioCluster launch
Tomorrow morning in room 5A the IWA / ISME BioCluster will be launched in a workshop on biotechnology and its applications. Professor Dr Hans-Curt Flemming of the
Univeristy of Duisburg-Essen, who will co-chair the session, says that they ‘want to
make the BioCluster a little more prominent, because what is obvious is that people
from different societies, from different “tribes”, have started to talk to one another and
the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) has a lot of knowledge about
how microorganisms function, how they interact, and how they can be used and manipulated, and this is exactly what people from IWA need in order to engineer microorganisms or keep them at bay.’ The winners of the first BioCluster awards will also give
presentations at the workshop: Bruce Rittmann who has won the lifetime achievement
award, and Mari Winkler who is a ‘rising star’, says Flemming.
Principal sponsor
Platinum sponsors
Institutional sponsors
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Utility performance
Supporting a shift to
stakeholder engagement
Power plant cooling towers.
The power sector is a major
stakeholder in the water sector
hxdyl / shutterstock.com
ater utilities understand that there
is a need for sustainable solutions.
What is increasingly being recognised is
that these are not just technical options
that utilities choose – they are solutions
that are identified, developed and
implemented with stakeholders.
‘In order to meet expectations and
Sharing experiences of interacting
with stakeholders is therefore valuable
for utilities, and this is exactly what a
workshop this afternoon will allow.
‘In order to find sustainable solutions, it
is essential to make stakeholder engagement an active and collaborating process
where we together find better solutions,’
find better solutions to new (and old)
problems, it is necessary to think outside
of the engineer box, and interact with our
stakeholders – our users, our customers,
different organizations, NGOs, industry,
etc.,’ comments Kari Elisabeth Fagernæs,
chief customer officer at Oslo Water.
continues Fagernæs, who will chair the
workshop sessions. ‘We also wish to
raise awareness and interest for what
we do. ■
The stakeholder workshop will be in room
1.07 this afternoon and tomorrow morning.
Helping utilities take the first steps
towards better performance
owadays, with the constant pressure
to do better with less, one issue
shared by all water utilities worldwide,
whatever their circumstances, is the
challenge of how to improve performance,’ comments Nuno Brôco, director of
engineering at Aguas de Portugal (AdP).
‘In recent years, benchmarking has
emerged as a tool and framework to
achieve this and is therefore of significance for all those responsible for
providing water and wastewater services,’
he continues. ‘This makes it relevant to
the utilities themselves, but also to those
charged with managing the sector, like
holding companies, regulators and others
with a global vision of the sector.’
It is because of this fundamental
importance that a workshop is taking
place this morning aimed specifically
at those who are new to performance
assessment and benchmarking, to
explain the benchmarking process,
methodology and key outcomes.
One question for the workshop will be
how to develop guidelines for developing
countries. This needs to take account of
the fact that disruptions leading to partial
or total loss of data can mean information
is incomplete, explains Brôco.
‘Performance indicators should be
specifically designed for each reality,’ he
adds, explaining that there is no need to
benchmark mains rehabilitation, which
is a common performance indicator in
developing countries, in a developing
country where the infrastructure is only
just being built.
Brôco will be bringing to the workshop
extensive experience from AdP’s work in
Portugal’s water, wastewater and waste
management sector, where it operates
over 200 water treatment plants and
over 1000 wastewater treatment plants
through 20 regional companies. ‘You can
imagine how useful it can be to have a
good benchmarking and performance
assessment amongst all of the group’s
companies,’ he says.
Each of the speakers will bring their
own experiences of benchmarking and
performance assessment, he adds, with
discussion around questions such as:
‘What is the added value of benchmarking for your business?’ ‘What are the
critical factors that must co-exist in any
model?’ ‘What is the critical size for
benchmarking?’ and ‘What changes are
needed in benchmarking models to
increase efficiency?’
‘The aim of this workshop is not the
comparison between the methodologies
used by the different invited entities,
but to find common aspects and
common difficulties and, I hope,
share experiences,’ he concludes. ■
The workshop on benchmarking is being
held in Auditorium 4 this morning.
Resource recovery
Research provides the key to the future
of the water sector
esource recovery from wastewater
and sludge will be key to the future
development of the water and wastewater
industry,’ says Professor Banu Örmeci
of Carleton University in Canada. ‘There
are many issues in sludge treatment
and reuse that require smart solutions
and this is truly an exciting field to be in.’
Developments are taking place in
areas such as recovering fuel from
wastewater sludge, microbial communities, removal of substances such as
heavy metals, and new techniques for
enhancing sludge treatment, all of which
will be covered in technical sessions
taking place on biosolids treatment
and beneficial reuse today.
‘We have finally come to a point that
sludge is not seen as a waste but regarded as a valuable resource,’ adds Örmeci.
‘New technologies are focusing on the
IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition Lisbon 2014
recovery of energy, nutrients, heavy
metals, bioplastics and other bioproducts, while achieving treatment goals.’
Örmeci says that the technical
sessions are important for allowing
discussion of the growing global
challenge of sludge treatment and
Current areas of development and
research include harvesting the energy
value in sludge through anaerobic
digestion and thermal processes, pretreatment of sludge and co-digestion with
other materials to increase biogas and
revenues, conversion to energy products
such as biofuels, nutrient and resource
recovery, sludge minimisation technologies, and sustainable and green technologies that do not increase the carbon
footprint of the plant. ■
The wastewater sludge / biosolids technical
session takes place in room 5C.
Resource Recovery Cluster
An open meeting of the just-launched
Resource Recovery Cluster will take
place today in Room 0.08 and will run from
Cross-sector lessons on regulation
he first International Water Regulators
Forum, which has taken place at the
Congress, has provided a significant new
platform to share the sector’s challenges
and opportunities and also enhance
cross-sector regulatory communication.
‘[A cross-sector regulatory platform] is
challenging because the problems are
different, but an opportunity because we
can learn from the different experiences.
These are areas we can develop together.
This first Water Regulator’s Forum is an
opportunity to move forward, learning
from each other and sharing experiences
and knowledge,’ says Turkey’s Alparslan
Bayraktar, of ERRA, the Energy Regional
Regulators Association.
He also stressed the need for all
stakeholders to understand that they
have a part to play in dealing with sector
issues. ‘The regulators’ role as policymakers takes willingness and commitment and is crucial in dealing with
climate change, and water and energy
security. But all stakeholders to a degree
have responsibility – if we can’t include
them in the whole picture we can’t be
Manuel Alvarinho of Mozambican
regulator ESWAS agreed with a general
consensus that the Forum should be kept
alive and should take place again in two
years’ time. He noted: ‘The job of being
a regulator is very risky, and in Africa it
is the worst, because the concept of
independent regulation depends very
much on the context of where the regula-
tor operates. There is often a feeling of
isolation. In Africa, regulation is a strange
animal – we need to put the strange
animals together.’ ■
Water at the heart of
cleantech opportunities
ater is not the only resource under
growing pressure around the world
– many others are too. This, and the fact
that water is central to many sectors,
such as agriculture and energy, places
water at the heart of future cleantech
‘As both capital and resources continue to be constrained, there are strong
drivers to do more with less,’ comments
Paul O’Callaghan, of O2 Environmental.
‘The industrial sector will embrace this as
it reduces costs and thereby helps drive
profit to the bottom line.’
The original renewables focus of
cleantech has been set back by the 2008
financial crisis and by the growth of
unconventional fossil fuels, explains
O’Callaghan. ‘Since then, the cleantech
area has since been reinventing itself to
focus more on efficiency gains, lowering
energy use, deriving value from waste
and also from wastewater and water
O’Callaghan, who is moderating this
morning’s cleantech plenary discussion,
says that ‘the silos are being broken down
between waste and water, creating new
opportunities for innovative business
models, value propositions and technologies. There is a fusion of organic waste
management and wastewater treatment,
deriving value from by-products.’ He
adds that he would like to see discussions taking place at the cleantech forum
on water avoidance and how to provide
water services without using water. ‘The
world is addicted to freshwater,’ he
concludes. ‘But we can flush toilets with
seawater and wash our hands with
sanitizer.’ ■
Africa: a catalyst of change
he rapid urbanisation taking place in
Africa requires the development and
implementation of solutions to meet the
unique needs of populations across the
continent. Because of this, the region
represents a catalyst for change.
‘Africa’s water sector is unique as a
result of unique challenges,’ explains
Sarah Tibatemwa, director of the IWA’s
regional office there.
‘[Although] the challenges in Africa’s
water sector are very similar to those
found in other developing regions...
cities may grow in a different way to
other regions in the world,’ she adds.
‘Suddenly, African leaders are realising
that there is a need for holistic water
resource management to ensure
With all this in mind, today’s Africa
Forum will look at: the future of African
cities; policy, regulation and investment;
and cooperation with research institutions to build capacity, in three separate
‘Africa is struggling to meet the MDGs
on water sanitation, with less than a year
to go, mainly as a result of climate
change,’ says Tibatemwa. Water source
pollution and protection is the main
challenge to be faced, she explains,
followed by fragmented water resources
management ‘that leaves a lot to be
desired in most countries’. For water
utilities, ageing networks and infrastructure, serving unplanned settlements,
managing non-revenue water and dealing
with the impacts of climate change on
water sources are all significant issues.
However, she adds that these challenges
can be seen an opportunity for the
Africa’s water professionals to get
involved and work on home-grown
solutions, supported by the international
The Forum will provide African water
professionals with a platform to present
case studies and share knowledge
between researchers and practitioners. ‘I
will also encourage participants in
positions of authority in their institutions /
government to commit to implementing
some practical recommendations as a
way forward,’ concludes Tibatemwa. ■
Today’s Africa Forum is in room 1.08
Kibera slums, Nairobi, Kenya
Aleksandar Todorovic / shutterstock.com
Further success for Watershare
Leading Greek technology and engineering university National Technical University of
Athens (NTUA) yesterday became a strategic, platinum partner of the Watershare
initiative of KWR of The Netherlands, with a signing taking place at the Congress.
‘This is a milestone for our water research and development strategy,’ said NTUA’s
Christos Makropoulos, who presented the university’s work and potential role within
Watershare at the Congress. ‘We have been doing excellent research over the years, but
have always struggled with getting our tools known and adopted by the water industry
– both in Greece and abroad. We think Watershare is the way forward for us.’
Watershare is a global network in which selected knowledge institutes from all over
the world share their expert water-related R&D tools. Wim van Vierssen, CEO of KWR,
commented: ‘We had great expectations when we conceptualized and started to
implement Watershare. But sometimes theory and practice don’t match. We are therefore extremely pleased to see how it really gets momentum now.’
IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition Lisbon 2014
Water resources
Priority needs of groundwater - the hidden resource
roundwater is crucial to human
needs, but overuse and continuing
contamination mean there is a need for
better protection and management, as
well as technical solutions.
‘Groundwater contamination should
remain a key issue worldwide,’ says
Dr Klaasjan Raat, senior scientific
researcher – geohydrology at KWR
Watercycle Research Institute. He
illustrates this with reference to The
Netherlands, which has ‘extensive
European and national legislation
protecting its groundwater and surface
waters, yet still water quality is negatively
impacted in various ways.’
Contamination can come from obvious
activities such as the application of
wet season and store it in the subsurface
for use later on,’ says Raat. ‘Apply clever
water well management to prevent
upconing of saltwater to freshwater wells.
Seawater desalination is often a too easy
answer to salinity problems; there are
better, more cost and energy efficient
solutions. As for the more “classical”
groundwater contaminations like
leachates from agriculture, landfills, and
industrial sites: we have come a long way,
thanks to increased awareness, legislation, remediation, monitoring, and
understating of our groundwater systems.
However, we need to think now how to
deal with new activities in the subsurface,
like aquifer thermal energy storage.’
Groundwater research is evolving, says
Huguette Roe /
fertiliser to agricultural land, as well as
less obvious ones. ‘What unknown
organics (including metabolites!) are
leaching from our landfills?’ asks Raat,
who is chairing a technical session on
groundwater contamination this afternoon. Naturally-occurring substances
such as arsenic can be of concern, as
well as the intrusion of salt water.
There are a range of options that can
contribute to integrated solutions.
‘Harvest the rainwater in cities during the
Raat, with his own research work being
‘focused more and more on how we can
actually use the subsurface, both for
storage and treatment of water.’
‘Opening up the subsurface for other
activities is not without risks for water
quality,’ he points out. ‘What are the
risks, and how are we going to deal with
them, also in terms of legislation and
regulation? There is no reason to take it
easy: our groundwater resources deserve
protection for generations to come.’ ■
IWA World Water Congress Daily prepared by:
Editorial team
Keith Hayward - kh[email protected]
Catherine Fitzpatrick, Lis Stedman
Paul Bell (IWA) - [email protected]
Published in partnership with:
IWA Head Office
Alliance House, 12 Caxton Street,
London SW1H 0QS, UK.
T: +44 (0)20 7654 5500
E: [email protected]
W: www.iwa-network.org
Printed by: IDG, Lisbon
© 2014 International Water Association
The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of
IWA or its Governing Assembly.
IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition Lisbon 2014
Book offer of the day
Today’s IWA Publishing special online discount is for
‘Water Communication’ by Celine Herve-Bazin – available
to purchase online today only for just £50 / €67.50.
Through different examples, and based on research
and contributions, this book presents an original first
overview of what communication on water means, who
communicates and on what topics. Email [email protected] quoting ‘IWAPLisbon’ to claim your discount!
Human capacity
Human capacity launches today
oday at 12:30 on the IWA stand
(booth 221) the conclusions of IWA’s
study into human resource capacity gaps
will be released, called ‘An Avoidable
Crisis: WASH Human Resource Capacity
Gaps in 15 Developing Economies’.
Kate Medlicott, Technical Officer –
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health,
at WHO and IWA’s Cheikh Tidiane Fall,
Coordinator of the West & Central Africa
sub-region, will be commenting on the
capacity gaps report.
‘The human resources capacity gap
study was initiated in 2008 under the
funding of DFID,’ explains Kirsten de
Vette, IWA Programmes Officer. ‘An
international reference group developed
assessment methods to assess human
resource capacity gaps at the national
level. This was tested and piloted in five
countries and the revised methodology
was applied in another ten countries. So
the synthesis report we will present brings
everything together into one place.’
The latest edition of ‘A World of
Opportunities – Working in the
International Water Sector’ will also be
launched. Eleanor Allen, Global Director
Water at Arcadis, will be at the stand to
discuss this. Alongside her, Tobias
Barnard, Chair of the Young Water
Professionals Committee, and Norhayati
Binti Abdullah, past chair, will comment
on what they think the career opportunities are in the sector and how more
people can be attracted. ‘In line with
this we are also touching on a new IWA
project on women professionals in the
urban water sector, so Norhayati will be
explaining why it is so important to
attract more women into the sector,’ adds
de Vette. ■
The human capacity publications will be
launched today at 12:30
Exhibition highlights
Italmatch Chemicals (Booth 102), a Belgian manufacturer of specialist chemicals, is
exhibiting its range of additives for water management systems. Its Dequest offerings
include phosphonates for antiscalants, dispersants, corrosion inhibitors and chelants for
various applications and P acrylic / maleic-based (co-) polymers.
Spanish company Kamstrup (Booth140) supplies metering, collection and management of
energy and water consumption data equipment for heat, cooling, electricity and water.
Solutions include smart grid applications, intelligent energy and water meters, communication infrastructure for smart metering and data management systems.
Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. (Booth 298), a Japanese manufacturer, offers PTFE hollow
fibre micro / ultrafiltration membranes with what it says is excellent mechanical strength,
heat / chemical resistance. The membrane can offer a simple and cost effective solution to
treat oil contaminated wastewater without any pre-treatment, says Sumitomo.