The international community increasingly recognises water as one of the major risks facing the world, with water ranked by the World Economic Forum as the top global risk over the coming decade. The growing attention to water challenges provides an opportunity to shape the direction of our common water future. Water professionals have a key role in delivering the wise water management of the future, and to turn the global water crisis into a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive sustainable development at an unprecedented scale.
The water wise world satisfies the needs of human activities and ecosystems in an equitable and sustainable way.
To get there, we need to dramatically reduce the number of people with no safe access to water and sanitation.
We need to reduce the amount of untreated used water, and water wasted from dripping pipes and leaking waterways. We need to re-use water that has served its economic purpose and recycle it together with the materials and energy within it.
We need to replenish rivers, lakes and groundwater reserves to create the resilience needed to absorb the shocks from floods and droughts.
The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 will be shaping water policies, practices and research agendas for years to come.
Yet, many of us are just starting to grapple with how to translate these ambitious goals into our own work.
The 2016 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, held in Brisbane, Australia, will emphasize the sustainable development agenda and explore the linkages to the day-to-day work and future ambitions of the water sector.
The demands on water professionals to provide innovative solutions continue to grow. Water professionals, and those with a professional interest in water, need to stay current by updating and enhancing their skills, knowledge and know-how.
The World Water Congress and Exhibition is a rallying point for water professionals grappling with the challenges of delivering sustainable water management now and in the future.
Bringing together science, technology, policy and practice, the congress is a unique opportunity to learn about the latest trends in leading practices, innovative technologies and pioneering science.
It provides a unique opportunity for professional development and networking, and showcases successful examples of delivering clean water to growing populations; cleaning up polluted river systems at scale; industrial water management; public–private partnerships for service delivery; new policies and regulations in emerging economies; and benchmarking of water and wastewater service providers.
Held in Australia, where the water challenges have led to the development of an industry that is innovative and focused on results, Brisbane is a premium destination for water professionals.
This expertise is in demand internationally and Australian organisations and companies providing water management services, technologies and solutions for the water industry are renowned for their innovation, efficiency and capability.
The challenges that face the water sector are shared by all, and will require us to work together with other sectors and a much wider range of stakeholders to deliver sustainable solutions.
Only new insights in pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices can shape the major transformation in water management that is now underway.
See you in Brisbane!