Blog28 February 2019
We know the impact of climate change on the water sector pretty well and how necessary it is to move towards the circular economy. Now is the time to match cases and solutions. That is why the main theme of the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) 2019 Conference is highly topical: ‘Implementation of integrated solutions by cities, industries, utilities and financiers: from cases to bankable projects’. Kees van der Lugt, AIWW's programme director, challenges the international water world.
The call for content is closed.
"At the AIWW 2019 Conference, leading innovators from municipal operators, industrial system developers, utilities and production chain designers will discuss the ambitious task of improving water system management. Together with municipal, utility and industrial leaders and investors, we will rethink the institutional approach to water system management. We will bring together global participants involved in solving water challenges through collaboration and bankable projects.
Water companies, cities, industries, the energy and agrifood sectors, urban developers and financiers: they need each other for sustainable solutions. A new strongly interdependent market structure is emerging in which stakeholders, each acting on their own strengths, enter into new relationships to forge the value chain. For example, a water company can generate energy from water, but marketing the energy is not their core business. They will stand stronger if they work with an energy company and commercial partners.
The great thing is that technological developments happen fast and that there is an increasing willingness to cooperate. That sense of urgency is becoming strong: it is time to turn knowledge, policy and plans into concrete measures. We offer the platform to make connections during the AIWW Conference.
The call for content for abstracts, workshops and cases or solutions focuses on four themes.
Pilots are important in testing innovation in practice. But we need to do more. In order to contribute to sustainable solutions there needs to be a follow-up by scaling up in cities and regions where best practices from around the globe are welcome. That is why bankability is a key cross-cutting theme in the AIWW Conference 2019. There is no true innovation without implementation. Sound business models must be developed to attract financial institutions – development banks and commercial banks.
There are significant challenges in this area, because those who have to invest are not always those who benefit from the solutions. With drinking water, it is still relatively simple as people are becoming more willing to pay for it. Investments in waste water are already somewhat more difficult. If you put a green roof on an office building to retain rainwater, as the owner of that building, you have to finance it yourself. However, it mainly benefits others. This is just a small example. A slightly bigger example is that islands are disappearing due to climate change. And ironically enough, the people who live climate-neutral lives there do not have the money to take robust measures. And this defines the financing dilemma: the challenge to come up with solutions in which solidarity plays an essential role. In other words, adopting a ‘leave no one behind’ stance instead of everyone looking at their own patch. Fortunately, there is now more and more motivation on both sides of the table to come to bankable projects, for example via smart financial engineering. Only then will we be able to reach the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for water.
The Amsterdam International Water Week Conference supports, accelerates, contributes to and shapes the future of the interconnected water community. In this light, my appeal is to submit your cases or solutions proposals, abstracts or workshop proposals. There is no time to waste as the call closes on 29 March 2019. Inspire us, join us in matching best practices to the water challenges we are facing worldwide and be part of the solution!’
Please visit amsterdamiww.com for more information. The AIWW Conference is organised by NWP and IWC Conferences. NWP’s efforts of are made possible by the Partners for Water Programme. Besides the AIWW Conference itself, the Amsterdam International Water Week includes the Aquatech Amsterdam, Sarphati Sanitation Awards, the Young Professionals Programme and excursions.