Challenges in the Water Sector and How to Make an Impact as Young Water Professional


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 (YWP). Participants are invited to discuss and design solutions among their peers to address big challenges in the water sector across their region. 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.


1. Explore and share water challenges (facing YWP) across regions and backgrounds

2. Make a collaborative platform for like-minded YWPs from diverse backgrounds to network for problem-solving

3. Motivate YWP to generate and solve water problems and identify skills required to solve future water problems.


Young Water Professionals – aged 35 and under covering a wide range of disciplines ranging social, technical, economic to environmental. The participant needs to be a registered delegate of the World Water Congress and Exhibition 2022.


Participate in the survey to share your expertise and inputs in identifying water challenges in your country/region and possible solutions. Fill in the survey here.

Get involved

*An IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2022 registration is compulsory for Forum attendees.

Agenda Overview

Part 1: Welcome, Ice-breaker & Updates

This part will provide an opportunity for YWPs to meet, network, and become comfortable with each other from the start of the session. The YWP SC Chair (incoming and outgoing) and the IWA ED will welcome the group and open the session, sharing information about it’s intention and the value of the YWP community. During this part, the YWP SC chair will give an update on the committee’s activities over the past two years and welcome the new SC. Following this, one chapter from each region will be invited to give a short update (1 slide) on their Chapter’s activities. A World Map of YWP Challenges will be presented and added to during this session.

Part 2: Intergenerational Dialogues

Three pairs of speakers (1 YWP, 1 Senior professional) will present about a YWP-relevant provocation (Women in Water, Future of Work in Water, Youth in Policy, and a short introduction of challenges from the morning’s world map session). These take the form of an intergenerational dialogue, and will form the basis of world café discussions in the last session.

Part 3: World Café

Speakers who shared their provocation and story before the break will be asked to each join one world café table. YWPs at the table will have a chance to ask them about their story, and will then be asked to share their own challenges. At the tables, they will be encouraged to reflect on the challenges of others, and to prepare a plan for actions they can take to meaningfully impact their challenge. Share a template for goal-setting, and encourage YWPs to identify and connect with people at the conference who can help them in achieving their goals.

Organising Committee of the Emerging Water Leaders Forum

The Emerging Water Leaders Forum is organised by a group of young IWA members. Are you interested in participating in such initiatives in the future? Join the IWA Young Water Professionals Community and keep a look out for calls to participate in committees.

Emily Ryan
Blessing Mobolaji
Maria Camila Acero
Augustin Landaburu
Rita Moussa
Guilia Dottorini
Isabela Espindola
Farokh Kakar
Niti Jadeja
Hayat Raza
Mbali Sibya

Young Water Professionals

At the forefront of the design, development and implementation of current change processes, IWA’s activities for Young Water Professionals aim to empower the next generation of water leaders.