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News | 22 November 2018

Blog AIWW Summit: Mission accomplished!

Waternet signs an MoU with the water utility of Paris
Together, as a global water community with a common agenda, working on concrete solutions for the water challenges facing the world. This was the central theme at the AIWW Summit on 15 November in Rotterdam. Roelof Kruize, member of the AIWW Management Board and CEO of Waternet, the public water cycle organisation of the Amsterdam region, concludes in his blog that the AIWW Summit in Rotterdam showed a clear sense of urgency and a shared passion for resolving the water challenges together: ‘Mission accomplished!’

Setting the agenda for international events

Roelof Kruize: "With the AIWW Summit we certainly succeeded in our objectives: to set the agenda for international water and climate adaptation events, starting with COP24 in Katowice Poland in December and the Amsterdam International Water Week Conference 4-8 November next year. We prepared earlier editions of the AIWW with the International Programme Advisory Committee. This time we strengthened and extended the preparation thanks to high-level speakers and 200 delegates from 25 countries working together on water-related challenges, and we connected with adjacent areas such as energy and urban planning."

"We discussed all the important themes, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water and sanitation. We determined the current state of the SDG’s, looked at what we have achieved, what the challenges are, and how we can share all of this in an effective and interactive way at the AIWW, but also throughout the year. We want to further develop our global water community, where stakeholders not only meet each other during the big conferences, but also keep in touch between meetings and continue to work on the main themes."

"We meet each other at a series of big water conferences worldwide. The most important ones are the Singapore International Water Week, the World Water Week in Stockholm, the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition (this year in Tokyo), and of course our own Amsterdam International Water Week, 4-8 November 2019. We each have our own themes, our own colouring, but we have expressed the intention to coordinate the programming and set a Global Water Agenda. And of course it also supports the formation and strengthening of our international community. We have to do it together, and not ad hoc but permanently. A good example of this International cooperation was this week. The president of Singapore Ms Yacob was here for a state visit and took the opportunity to visit Prodock (innovative hub of the Amsterdam Harbor) in presence of our King, Minister Kaag and Minister Masagos Zulkifli who emphasized the importance of the collaboration between the water events in Amsterdam and Singapore."

Amsterdam Agreement water utilities

"The Amsterdam Agreements signed during the AIWW in 2017 have proven themselves to be a truly valuable tool. The agreements expressed the intention of many leading companies, institutes, and authorities in the water sector to jointly collaborate on a wide range of challenging issues on the global water agenda. The interim evaluation in Rotterdam shows that we have made progress on all agreements, halfway through the period to the next AIWW. But not just that: new ideas and plans are emerging that can lead to new agreements or to the expansion and strengthening of existing agreements."

"As Waternet, we implemented the agreement we signed with Berliner Wasserbetriebe. We are both utilities that operate in an urban environment, and we cooperate on three specific topics: how to abate contaminants of emerging concern (pharmaceuticals, plant protection products, industrial contaminants, personal care products) in the watercycle; how to cope with extreme weather events due to climate change in an urban environment; and how to cooperate in an international context in international and European research programmes like Life and Horizon2020. We have learned a lot from each other already. But there’s no longer just the two of us; SIAAP, the Paris waste water utility, has joined us. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding for this in Rotterdam last week. An important next step, because as metropolitan utilities we all face the same challenges and it is important to exchange knowledge and experience, for instance, about keeping our assets in good condition, and about recovering raw materials and producing energy on our way to climate-neutral operations. We want to broaden the base even further. For that we are in close contact with fellow utilities in New York and Copenhagen."

"All in all, the AIWW Summit was an extremely valuable milestone. We could not have wished for a better preparation of the AIWW 2019. And it was great to bring all of that together in Rotterdam."

About the AIWW

AIWW Summit 2018, part of the Amsterdam International Water Week initiative, is organised by International Water Conferences and Netherlands Water Partnership in close collaboration with the Dutch Government (Partners for Water Programme) and supported by sponsors and partners. More news of the AIWW Summit in Rotterdam can be found on amsterdamiww.com.