Leading voices and thought-leaders

Toshio Koike
Toshio Koike
Yuriko Koike (TBC)
Yuriko Koike (TBC)
Silver Musgisha
Silver Musgisha
Rebekah Eggers
Rebekah Eggers
Sudhir Murthy
Sudhir Murthy
Mark van Loosdrecht
Mark van Loosdrecht
Claudia Sadoff
Claudia Sadoff
Lars Therkildsen
Lars Therkildsen
Rudy De Waele
Rudy De Waele

Agenda setting thought leadership from the most prominent figures within the water sector and beyond. Keynote speakers are the top specialists in their field and will provide the overarching narrative for the congress. Keynotes and supporting panels will frame the key discussions and topics that will be addressed during the week of the congress.

Monday 17thSeptember
09.00 to 09.50

  • Toshio Koike, Director, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM)

Recent developments in the field of risk identification, reduction and management. How do international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 9 building resilient infrastructure and SDG 11 liveable cities), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework translate into national policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction, and in what ways research can fill the knowledge gaps to support a further strengthening of such policies with solid evidence? Which are some of the most effective resilient solutions to floods and to earthquake- and climate change-induced water-related disasters? How can utilities prepare best for situations where service delivery comes under stress?

  • Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo (To be confirmed)

Monday 17thSeptember
17.30 to 18.15

  • Silver Musgisha, Chief Executive Officer, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala, Uganda

The institutional issues in strengthening and expanding a utility in the socioeconomic context of lower and middle income countries. What is the legal and regulatory framework that is most conducive to institution building? What are the challenges of expanding water and sanitation from major urban centres into secondary towns and beyond? What criteria apply to decide whether to invest in optimal expansion or in reaching out to the most vulnerable and poorest? What is the optimal balance between centralized and decentralized approaches, both in technical terms (such as the choice between one major wastewater treatment plant or a grid of decentralized wastewater treatment plants) and in managerial terms? How can the rapid dissemination of new technologies be promoted in formal institutional set-ups?

  • Followed by Panel Discussion

Tuesday 18thSeptember
09.00 to 09.50

  • Claudia Sadoff, Director-General, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The status of and outlook for Sustainable Development Goal 6. In view of IWMI’s past and on-going work on management approaches to dealing with water scarcity, including the establishment of an evidence base for “water fit for purpose” and the development of business models to promote re-use, focus is on SDG targets 6.3* and 6.4**. Water and sanitation practitioners and regulators are likely familiar with SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2, which are close to their professional remit, but what is the role they can play in contributing to the other targets? While universality, sustainability and accountability all seem to have been addressed to a smaller or greater extent, there has been little attention for the importance of pursuing resilient solutions in a time when the world is faced with increasing levels of uncertainty and where, without built-in resilience, the breakdown of services can cause important set-backs.

*By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

**By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

Wednesday 19thSeptember
09.00 to 09.45

  • Sudhir Murthy, CEO, NEWhub, USA

  • Mark van Loosdrecht, Chair professor in Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

    Joint keynote address

The diffusion of innovation remains a big challenge.  This is as true for the dissemination of new policies (for example, those related to the SDGs and the human rights to water and sanitation) as for technical innovation. Which are the technical innovations that have been rapidly adapted by water and sanitation practitioners and what are the lessons learned that can be applied to other, less successful innovations? What are the obstacles to the diffusion of innovation? How can global commitments such as the SDGs contribute to strengthened diffusion? How can policy and practice be better aligned through a bridging role of innovative research?

  • Followed by Panel Discussion

Wednesday 19thSeptember
17.30 to 18.15

  • Rebekah Eggers, Global Water Leader, WW IoT, Energy, Environment, & Utilities Business, IBM

The digitisation of the water sector. Where is digitization heading over the next ten years, what will be the new developments, which areas of technology are expected to take off or come to the foreground and what risks this may entail, if any? The digitization’s potential to the water and sanitation sector will be illustrated with compelling and relevant examples.

  • Followed by Panel Discussion

Thursday 20thSeptember
09.00 to 09.45

  • Lars Therkildsen, CEO, HOFOR, Copenhagen, Denmark

The options and opportunities for a big multipurpose utility. An utility just  like HOFOR contributes effectively towards the efforts of a big urban conglomerate, such as Greater Copenhagen, to meet ambitious targets of becoming a healthy and livable city. What entails climate resilience planning for the region’s water supply, storm water management and sewer service? To what length can preparedness for cloudburst precipitation and other extreme weather events go and what are the adaptation and mitigation measures with proven effectiveness?  How do water/sanitation and energy service intertwine to achieve optimal results?

  • Followed by Panel Discussion

Join us in Tokyo! See you in...