World Water Congress & Exhibition

 ■ Tokyo 2018 ■ Brisbane 2016 ■ Lisbon 2014 ■ Busan 2012 ■ Montreal 2010 ■ Vienna 2008 ■ Beijing 2006 ■ Marrakesh 2004 ■ Melbourne 2002 ■ Berlin 2001 ■ Paris 2000

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is the global event for water professionals covering the full water cycle. As the Congress rotates through cities and countries each event has an extra emphasis on issues of specific interest to the region.

The Congress attracts over 10.000 leading professionals and companies from across the water sector, including thought leaders from within and outside the water sector. Together they create new insights into how pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices shape water management.

Focusing on leading practice, innovation and solutions, the Congress & Exhibition provides new networking and business opportunities, and ensures maximum exposure between participants, exhibitors and sponsors. It connects attendees with the right people and the right solutions, and has a track record of fostering new collaborations and partnerships, and providing a platform for exhibitors and sponsors to raise their profile amongst leading water professionals and companies. Organised by the International Water Association, this is the global event on water solutions that brings together thought leaders, decision makers, leading researchers and business representatives.





Water for smart and liveable cities

The World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark is designed to bring together water professionals and also engage the water-consuming industry, agriculture, architects and urban planners, hydrologists and soil and groundwater experts, social sciences, ICT-sector, the financial sector and others. The Congress is by nature a global forum for discussion.

This edition of the #WorldWaterCongress & Exhibition will report on the water sector progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With an emphasis on SDG6, dedicated to water and sanitation, the Congress will also highlight and access the interwoven relation of water with all 17 Global Goals. Participants will analyse, discuss and highlight solutions at high-level summits, cases-study presentations and examples of implementation and cooperation towards the fulfilment of the SDGs.

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Focusing on leading practice, innovation and solutions, the event provides new networking and business opportunities and ensures maximum exposure between participants, exhibitors and sponsors. It connects you with the right people and the right solutions, fosters new collaborations and partnerships, and provides a platform for exhibitors and sponsors to raise their profile amongst leading water professionals and companies.


Host Country Committee Steering Group

Anders Bækgaard, IWA Congress President, Vice-chairman IWA Danish National Committee

Helle Katrine Andersen, Chair, IWA Danish National Committee/DANVA

Peter Steen Mikkelsen, IWA Danish National Committee/ DTU, Technical University of Denmark

Tanya Gottlieb Jacobsen, State of Green

Lykke Leonardsen, City of Copenhagen

Karin Klitgaard, The Confederation of Danish Industry

Vibeke Borregaard, IWA Danish National Committee/The Danish Society for Wastewater Technology

John Buur Christiansen, BIOFOS (Wastewater Utility in Copenhagen)

Miriam Feilberg, DANVA, Dansih Water and Wastewater Association

Ilse Korsvang, Danish Export – Water

Brian Hansen, HOFOR, Greater Copenhagen Utility

Nadia Schou Vorndran Lund, YWPDK

Birgitte Skjøtt, secretary, IWA Danish National Committee/DANVA





Resilience and Sustainability, from science to practice and policy

The 2018 edition took place in Tokyo and had as a key focus the digital economy, megacities, diffusion of innovation, disaster resilience and sustainability. As a gateway to Asia and the world, Tokyo provided attractive business opportunities to all the participants. Japan has proactively and continually shared experiences and know-how with other countries. Keeping this tradition the country shared water best practices and technologies. Japan is quality, Japan has experience – Stability & Resilience.

#WorldWaterCongress Exhibition 2018

IWA #WorldWaterCongress 2018

Water Management in Megacities II – Panel

The Digitalisation of Water and Impacts on Utilities





Shaping Our Water Future

A world in which water is managed wisely is one where all individuals have access to safe water and adequate sanitation, where water and wastewater make a positive contribution to resource efficiency, and where the quality of water in rivers, lakes, aquifers and other water bodies safeguards environmental and public health.

To create a water-wise world we need to reduce, renew, and replenish our supplies. This was the vision behind the World Water Congress & Exhibition 2016.

The water microbiome and the biohealth of the planet by Joan Rose

James Lynch on Managing water security in a rapidly urbanising environment

Saṃsāra: the continuous cycle of life

Ending extreme poverty by Barbara Frost





To Seek & to Solve: From New York Deliberation to Lisbon Delivery

In late September 2014, global attention focused on two assemblies separated by five time zones across one ocean. New York and Lisbon hosted influential gatherings to advance human progress in the face of escalating competition over finite natural resources, in particular: water.

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition Synthesis Report is a groundbreaking report documenting the key discussions and debates that took place in Lisbon between water professionals from within and outside the water sector.

Water forever whatever the weather – Sue Murphy

Resource recovery: new realities and leading practices

Water Governance: Aiming at better policies and innovation

The Social Dimensions of Innovation in Water




South Korea

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The Programme Themes were:

  • Integrated Urban Water Systems
  • Managing Utilities and their assets
  • Water treatment technologies
  • Wastewater treatment and reuse
  • Water and health
  • Water resources supply and sustainability
  • Water, climate, energy

The Organising Committee:

  • Keith Robertson
  • Doim Kim
  • Roy Agterbos
  • Margaret Bates

Pioneering Global Water Solutions

The City of Busan opened its doors to thousands of water professionals from 16-21 September 2012. Over the course of 5 days, Congress attendees got to choose from over 200 sessions, visited the IWA Development Hub, traversed an Exhibition hall filled with 172 companies, NGOs, institutes and so many more, and took in the sights and innovations offered by Busan. Presided by Changwom Kim, the Congress aimed to bring water professionals from every corner of the globe to discuss, plan and brainstorm solutions to the global water challenges faced at the time.





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The Programme themes were: 

  • Water, climate and energy 
  • Cities of the future 
  • Managing utilities and their assets 
  • Securing new and traditional water resources for the future 
  • Water, ecosystems and catchments 
  • Water and health 
  • Science and application of water management  

Keynote speakers: 

  • Dr John Carey 
  • Chad Holliday 
  • William Cosgrove 
  • Helmut Kroiss 
  • Khoo Teng Chye 
  • Gesner Olivìera 
  • Arjun Thapan 

The Organising Committee of the 2010 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition consisted of 7 professionals:

  • Keith Robertson (Project Director)
  • Margaret Bates (Project Manager)
  • Roy Agterbos (Exhibition Manager)
  • Ronald Droste (CAWQ ACQE)
  • Yves Comeau (CAWQ ACQE)
  • Duncan Ellison (CWWA ACEPU)

In the Cosmopolitan city of Montréal, 4,500 water professionals exchanged ideas, explored state-of-the-art innovations, and debated the key issues underlying the science and practice of water.

Congress President Peter Jones welcomed leaders from across the world and from many perspectives – research, practice, regulation, industry, consulting and manufacturing. This know-how was brought together to find solutions that would strengthen the entire water sector. Representing some of the world’s leading institutions and political bodies world-renowned keynotes speakers brought ideas and experiences that presented new and exciting dimensions to the debates at the time.  





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The Keynote speakers were:

  • Pavel Kabat (The Netherlands)
  • Hans Sailer (Austria)
  • Paul Brown (USA)
  • Alexander Zehnder (Canada)
  • Abel Mejia (World Bank)
  • Jim Gill (Australia)
  • Philip Weller (Austria)
  • Mark van Loosedrecht (The Netherlands)
  • James Laing Barnard (USA)

Cities of the Future

Walter King was the congress President of the 2008 Vienna Congress & Exhibition. Featuring workshops covering the global challenges of climate change, explosive population growth and urbanization as well as the rapidly emerging breakthroughs in engineering science and biotechnology. This was when the IWA Cities of the Future Programme was launched accompanied by associated workshops as well as the results of IWA programmes undertaken with key strategic partners.  





Sustainable Water Management Practices

Qiu Baoxing was the President of the 2006 IWA Beijing World Water Congress & Exhibition. The event bridged the cooperation and communication of the issues facing the water sector. The Congress made significant contributions to global sustainable development, with water professionals and experts from all over the world who came together to exchange new ideas, knowledge and experiences and discussed how to promote the sustainable utilisation of water resources through the innovative use of technology and management. One of the aims was to connect the world to the Chinese water industry helping delegates to understand the Chinese market and culture, share experiences, and facilitate future communication and cooperation.

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The Congress themes were: 

  • Drinking Water and Wastewater Technologies 
  • Non-conventional Methods 
  • Integrated Water Resources Management 
  • Health and Environment 
  • Urban Water Challenges  





In 2004, The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition received unprecedented interest from authors wishing to share their knowledge and experiences on an international platform. Covering all aspects of water and wastewater services within the context of sustainable catchment and basin management, from research through practice, a total of 1900 papers outlines were submitted via the new web-based paper submission platform. After the review process circa 900 were select and following the Congress a further selection was published in IWA Publishing Journals.

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In partnership with AMEPA ( Moroccan Association of Drinking Water and Sanitation) IWA members and affiliates met in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, to participate in technical visits, a well-supported Exhibition, themed workshops and network with international industry colleagues. The Congress aimed to provide a space for discussions about the then and future needs of communities in these regions for improved water and sanitation services and, in some cases, for meeting even the most basic levels for these services. Fassi Fihri was the Congress President.


  • EcoSan
  • Innovation in Drinking Water Treatment
  • Innovation in Wastewater Treatment Process
  • Innovation in Water Supplies: Use, Reuse and Efficiency
  • Integrated Water Resource and River Basin Management
  • Operating Water and Wastewater Systems
  • Water and Health
  • Water Services Economy


7-12 APRIL



A Unique Approach to a Unique Environment

Presided by David Garman,  the 3rd edition of the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition was held in conjunction with the Enviro 2002 Convention & Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. The joint event brought together a unique assemblage of state-of-the-art science, technology and research. Keynote speakers focused on different aspects of Odour, Waste and Business of the Environment.

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The four environmental organisations that partnered with IWA for this event were:

  • Australian Water Association (AWA)
  • Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA)
  • Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand (CASANZ)
  • Environment Business Australia (EBA)

Organising Committee:

  • Paul Reiter (IWA London)
  • Keith Robertson (IWA London)
  • Helen Crowther (London)
  • Melita Stevens (Special Events & Health Related Water Microbiology Symposium)
  • John Langford (CEO Forum)

Technical Programme Committee

  • Jerry Gilbert (Chair)
  • Mark Pascoe
  • Harro Bode
  • Francisco Cubillo
  • Willie Grabow
  • Charles Haas
  • Goen Ho
  • Jeppe Nielsen
  • Laszlo Somlyody
  • Rhodes Trussell
  • Yoshimsa Wetanabe





Efficient Water Management – Making it Happen

The German Water Industry welcomed over 2,500 participants and 5000 trade visitors to the 2001 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition. This was the first year exhibitors had their own platform at the Congress in what was called the International Industry Forum. A total of 200 specialist exhibitors from 22 countries attended.

300 presentations were given, reviewing the current situation in the worlds of drinking water and sewage. The focus of the Congress was Communication. The Organising Committee gave particular attention to workshops and discussion forums, and to the close integration of the Congress and Trade Fair.

Congress President: Peter Scherer.


3-7 JULY



The First IWA World Water Congress 

The two major International Water and Sanitation Associations, i.e. International Association on Water Quality (IAWQ) and the International Water Services Association (IWSA) merged in September 1999 to form the International Water Association (IWA). Thus, the “Paris 2000” Congress was the first International Congress of the IWA. An estimated 2000 participants were expected from all over the world. 

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The Congress & Exhibition was organised by The French Committee on Water Pollution Research (CFRP) and the General Association of Municipal Hygienists and Technicians (AGHTM).  Dennis Ballay was the Congress President.

The1st Congress covered the following domains :

  • Water Resources Management
  • Drinking-Water Production and Distribution
  • Waste Water Collection and Treatment
  • Economic and Management Activities of these Sectors

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