With customers expecting continually better water and sanitation services, authorities imposing stricter regulations, and investors seeking strong returns on infrastructure investments, the pressure is on urban water and wastewater professionals to adapt and deliver. The International Water Association (IWA)’s Efficient 2023 Conference aimed to arm water professionals with the insights and inspiration to do just that.
Bringing together scientists, researchers, technology companies, and water and wastewater utilities from around the world, the 11th biennial event featured three days of sessions focused on the planning, implementation, and best management practices of water efficiency programs, stormwater, non-revenue water, water security, and more.
The opening keynote by Graham Alabaster of UN-Habitat, which works to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities, focused on the growing need – and opportunity – for water professionals to influence the development and integration of smart water management practices in urban areas.
Amane Partner Mathieu de Kervenoael attended the session, saying, “As the world continues to urbanize, water will be an increasingly harbinger of a city’s ability to thrive and remain resilient in the face of significant changes. Efficient 2023 was a reminder of how water professionals can help steer the future health and prosperity of cities through effective and efficient water management.”
de Kervenoael also served as moderator for a panel on ‘Water recycling and reuse to reduce urban water demand’, which featured insights and examples from Jessica Ianes, Dr Elisabeth Kvarnström, Burcu Yazici, and Dr Pascal Ginistry.
“It was fascinating to learn from the panelists about interesting examples and emerging opportunities in water reuse – from reactivating historic infrastructure like canals for modern solutions, such as collecting stormwater for treatment and reuse, to leveraging residential greywater as a resource for urban development.”
“It was also interesting to learn more about how leaders are encouraging public awareness and acceptance of water reuse in order to accelerate its adoption.”
The conference was held in Bordeaux, France, in conjunction with the IWA’s General Meeting. During the meeting, the IWA elected Professor Hamanth Kasan, of South Africa, to be its next President. He will succeed outgoing President Tom Mollenkopf following the World Water Congress in Toronto next August.
The next major IWA event will take be the Water and Development Congress, which will take place December 10 to 14 in Kigali, Rwanda.