3 important learnings from IWA

Monday, September 19, 2022

Future-proof water management: 3 important learnings from the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition

This week, the International Water Association's IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition was held in Copenhagen. At this global event, professionals from different backgrounds and companies come together to share their vision for the future of water management: experts in water industry, agriculture and finance, to IT professionals, architects, urban planners and sociologists.

With the worst drought in 500 years in Europe this summer and heavy rainfall shortly after, the need to redesign our water system has once again become painfully clear. We must see water as a precious, vital and scarce resource worldwide. But how do we do that? And how can we bring all the expertise together to find water solutions to all problems, now and in the future? 

Wavin attended the conference to both inspire and be inspired by our peers. Here are 3 key conclusions that we took away from the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition.

1. Water is going digital

Smart water management is booming: many companies exhibited their new digital and smart water solutions. From monitoring drinking water to detect and prevent leakage and waste, to sensors in sewers, forecasting models and real-time insight into the entire water chain. All using big data, AI, new coding and smart software. This data gives us valuable insights, which will make us increasingly efficient at managing water.

2. Wastewater as a major resource

Every year, around 144 million Olympic-sized pools full of wastewater are produced worldwide. 48% of this is not being reused. Because of the global water shortage and the prediction that it will increase in the future (by 40% by 2050), it becomes crucial that we reuse as much wastewater as possible. This poses a big challenge for the water industry. During the IWA, experts presented promising technologies to remove substances and chemicals from wastewater. Such as Aquaporin A/S: a technique based on the proteins in living cells that are responsible for transporting and purifying water. These cells work more efficiently and selectively than any human-developed water filter.

3. Blue-green roofs as a crucial part of circular water management

 The installation of blue-green roofs in cities has many benefits: greening, cooling the city, attracting and preserving biodiversity, and harvesting rainwater. In cities, this rainwater is often disposed of as quickly as possible. With blue-green roofs it is possible to develop a circular approach on water. Within this cycle, we can capture, store and reuse rainwater, making cities more resilient times of drought and heavy rainfall.

At Wavin, we focus on creating positive change in the world and our passion is building healthy, sustainable environments. We believe that every drop counts. That’s why we work with city leaders, engineers, contractors and installers to make cities future-proof and water efficient. At IWA, we gave a presentation to inspire colleagues about smarter water use through blue-green roofs. We look forward to incorporating the lessons learned at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition into our future operations.