Key Features

Programme features are an important part of the Congress to get an in-depth understanding of current trends, latest research, guiding strategies and leading practices. The 2022 edition includes multiple Forums, a high-level political summit and the utility operations challenge.

SG Leaders Forum 2022

10 September 2022 | 09.00 – 15.00 

Empowering members and enhancing engagement

The SG Leaders Forum provides a unique face-to-face opportunity for IWA SG Leaders to communicate with one another and with the IWA Secretariat, discuss issues relating to IWA strategies, exchange experiences on SG management and member engagement, and connect with other IWA vehicles. It strengthens all IWA SGs, TGs, and Clusters and helps to improve how groups can better contribute to the water sector by working together.

* This Forum is a pre-congress event. Participants must be SG Leaders (Chair or member of the Management Committee of the Specialist Groups)

12 September 2022 | 10:30 – 17:15

Water as a Key to Action on Climate and the SDGs

The International Water Association is convening a High-Level Summit to escalate action. The result will be a powerful message to prompt cities to elevate water as they pursue their ambitions to create smart and secure liveable cities for all – cities that are climate safe and where citizens have access to sustainable water and sanitation services.

The Summit is organised by the International Water Association, Danish Water and Wastewater Association, the Municipality of Copenhagen, P4G and the Confederation of Danish Industry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of Denmark and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Attendance at the Summit will be by invitation.

12 September 2022 | 10:30 – 17:15

Presented by The Capital Region of Denmark and ATV Soil and Groundwater

The Capital Region of Denmark welcomes all groundwater-interested delegates to attend the Groundwater Forum. The Groundwater Forum aims to promote groundwater as a critical resource to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and, critically, safe drinking water for all. The Forum will provide examples from around the globe on the management of groundwater quantity and quality. In three sessions on groundwater topics such as management and cooperation around scarce resources and competing interests, quantifying groundwater sustainability and risk assessment on emerging pollutants will be presented and discussed.

13 September 2022 | 10.30 – 15:00

The Emerging Water Leaders Forum is an open platform for young and emerging water leaders to work with peers to start planning for the future of the water sector that they will lead.

The topic of this year’s Forum is Challenges in the Water Sector and how to make an impact as Young Water Professional. Participants are invited to discuss and design solutions among their peers to address big challenges. The Forum will be an opportunity to voice your ideas and perspectives as a young water professional and break complex issues down into smaller components. You will practise your problem-solving skills whilst developing answers to the questions posed by senior and experienced professionals.

Industrial Water Users Forum

13  September 2022 | 10:30 – 17:15 

The Forum for Industrial Water Users was formed to exchange ideas and approaches for how the industry can mitigate and overcome water-related challenges in a sustainable manner. As water is always seen in the local context, the Forum will present different approaches from across the globe. Industrial water users account for around 20% on a global scale, or more than twice the total domestic water use, and in some countries, industry consumption counts for 50%, with considerable local impacts. Core topics to be addressed at the Forum for Industrial Water Users will be:

  • Perspectives on Water Stewardship
  • Incentivizing Sustainability: From SDGs to Regulation
  • Sustainable Tools and Applications, including water efficiency and water reuse.

The participants in the Forum are expected to be Sustainability/EHS responsible from food and other water-intensive industries; Retailers; Consumer organisations; Academics doing research on water administration and technological solutions; NGO’s; Consultants within water management and efficiency; Technology providers within water management and technical solutions.

Utility leaders forum

13 – 14  September 2022 | 10:30 – 17:15

The ULF will bring together over the course of two days some of the most prominent water utility leaders with the most impactful case studies to share experiences and knowledge. This will involve having open, interactive, and structured dialogue around some of the most critical issues facing utilities. Importantly, this will be structured in a format that will facilitate participation from all attendees.

The sessions will focus on:
– Integrated Urban Water Management and the New Societal Role of Utilities in Creating our Cities of the Future
– Accelerating Adoption of Innovation
– Evolving with Climate Change
– The Digital Utility

Express your interest >>

Valuing daily professional operations and maintenance skills within water utilities

14  September 2022

For the first time ever, a skills competition for water utility operators will feature as part of the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition. In IWA’s inaugural Operations Challenge, we are expecting 9 international teams to compete across three skills. Running over one full day, the challenge will be held in the exhibition area at the Bella Center.

The Operations Challenge

The Operations Challenge is inspired by a model developed by WEFTEC and made possible in collaboration with DANVA, WEF, Aarhus Vand, The Danish Society for Wastewater Technology, and our valued sponsors – Grundfos, Wavin, Carl Stahl and Tractel.

Teams consisting of three individuals will compete in three typical water sector skills to earn the highest score in each competition. Winners in each skills category and an overall winner will be awarded as part of the competition. The goal is to highlight the importance of daily professional operations and maintenance skills in water utilities. The competition will take place on 14 September 2022, with the option to participate in a one-day training the day before.

Key skills areas

Maintenance: This area will test the response to problems at a pump station. The team must inspect and check the condition of the shaft seal in one of the pumps in the pumping station. Furthermore, inspect guide rail holders and guide rails for sufficient maintenance and operations. Finally, refit inspected pump back in the pumping station. The Maintenance skill is sponsored by Grundfos.

Collection systems: A task simulating work in the sewer system. There is a leak on an 8-inch PVC sewer pipe. In this task, the team must repair the pipe and a new consumer must be connected to a 4-inch PVC pipe. The Collection systems skill is sponsored by Wavin.

Safety: This task will involve rescuing an unconscious co-worker from inside a manhole who has been affected by an unknown gas or lack of oxygen due to a worn valve gasket in the station. The team must rescue the coworker, repair the valve, and safely put the line back into service. The Safety skill is sponsored by Carl Stahl and Tractel.

Alongside these skills, the teams compete in a side competition on Team spirit and collaboration. If your utility is interested in competing in the Operations Challenge, please contact Congress President Anders Bækgaard at

regulators forum

14 – 15  September 2022 | 10:30 – 15:00

Programme Theme: Regulating water services in times of increasing natural, social, and economic uncertainty

The International Water Regulators Forum (IWRF) is the international meeting of the global network of regulators of IWA. It gathers high level representatives of regulatory authorities and officials of agencies with regulatory and supervisory functions over the provision of water, sanitation, and wastewater treatment services.

The IWRF Programme Committee has agreed to address the essence of what current global issues like the pandemic, climate change, social unrest, and political instability mean for the regulation of water supply and sanitation services: increased uncertainty.

The 7th IWRF  will consist of 5 sessions addressing current regulatory challenges and topics of interest to regulators, three sessions will be regulators-only (by invitation), and two sessions will be open to the general audience of the IWA Congress.

Learn more >>

Business Forums

The Business Forums are a full component of the Technical Programme of the IWA #WorldWaterCpongress & Exhibition and provide a series of sessions where Sponsors & Exhibitors present their innovations and projects that contribute to shaping our water future.
Apart from delegates and exhibitor staff, trade visitors have also access to these Business Forum sessions.