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 upcoming edition taking place in Copenhagen will have as key focus the digital economy, smart and liveable cities, entrepreneurship and diffusion of innovation, climate change adaptation , community and customer engagement, and sustainability.

Congress Tracks

Track 1

In detail

Utility corporate performance and management
Utility efficiency and benchmarking
Utility-wide performance management & optimization approaches
Utility-scale water savings and reuse initiatives
Net-zero and carbon neutral urban water services
Public-private sector water utility cooperation
Infrastructure and assets
Asset management and optimization
Infrastructure rehabilitation
Sewer overflow management at utility level
Integration of decentralised solutions in a centralised system
Water services crisis management
Management of extreme events (earthquakes, floods, bushfires, major accidents and attacks etc)
COVID-19 Pandemic impacts and responses at utility level
Utility responses and adaptation to climate change impacts
The Digital Water Utility
Utility data management and data security
IoT initiatives, data and hardware integration at utility level
Fully integrated digital water utility systems and approaches
Innovation management and support
Incentivising innovation
Fostering partnerships – internally and externally
Progressing innovation from ideas to utility scale delivery

Track 2

In detail

Biological wastewater treatment
Nutrient removal
Anaerobic processes
Activated sludge processes
Biofilm and granular sludge processes
Membrane bioreactors
Microbial ecology (communities, meta-omics)
Resource recovery techniques
Water reclamation for non-potable reuse
Energy efficiency and recovery
Recovery of nutrients and chemicals
Industry recycling and cross-industry synergies
Bio-electrochemical processes
Physicochemical treatment
Membrane applications in wastewater management
Advanced oxidation processes
Nanomaterials and nanotechnology
Other physico-chemical treatment techniques
Dedicated treatment
Treatment and recovery of industrial wastewater
Biosolids management & reuse
Emerging contaminants (micropollutants, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, …)
Decentralised treatment and non-sewered sanitation
Large wastewater treatment plants
Processes in sewage collection systems
Sewer corrosion and odour management
Sewer infiltration/exfiltration
Wastewater epidemiology (viruses, bacteria, other pathogens)
Tracing of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals (illicit drugs etc.) in sewer systems
Trade waste (industry inflows) management
Digital wastewater treatment
Instrumentation, control & automation
Modelling treatment processes and integrated systems

Track 3

In detail

Drinking water production
Unit operations (coagulation, (bio) filtration, membrane processes, activated carbon, ozonation… )
Groundwater-based drinking water production
Decentralized solutions and production based on multiple water sources (e.g. rainwater, stormwater etc.)
Potable reuse technologies
Taste and odour management/removal
Removal of emerging contaminants
Distribution systems
Distribution piping (house/building plumbing, metal and plastic leaching etc.)
Non-revenue water and leakage management
Biofilms and pathogen management in water distribution
Intermittent supply system challenges and optimisation
Microbial quality, disinfection and management of contaminants
Pathogen detection and management
Disinfection techniques and by-products management
Emerging microbial contaminants/pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria/genes
Microbial and chemical risk assessment including toxicology
Management, policy and social aspects
Water quality standards, regulations and economics
Disaster management and water safety plans
Water quality outbreak management – learning from crisis
Water demand management and use efficiency
Communication with stakeholders
Digital drinking water
Modelling treatment processes and integrated systems
Instrumentation, control & automation

Track 4

In detail

Integration of water management and urban planning
Modelling and other decision-support tools for urban water planning
Resilience planning and design
Impact of urban (re)development and densification on water management
Impacts and mitigation of climate change
Infrastructure and Operations
Modelling/optimisation of water supply and sewer networks and processes
Sewer infiltration-inflows, unintended sewer in-/overflows
Rehabilitation and retrofitting of water and wastewater infrastructure
Rainwater, stormwater and urban drainage
Urban scale groundwater management
Water-energy interactions in the urban water cycle (eg centralised water heating/cooling etc.)
Digital Water Cities
Sensors, instrumentation and IoT in urban systems
From data to information to decision – integration across all city services
Data management, accessibility and security
Use of weather radar, numerical weather prediction, drones and remote sensing
Water Wise Cities
Nature-based solutions, sponge cities and blue/green infrastructure
Water-sensitive urban design and hybrid centralised/ decentralised solutions
Transitioning to and implementation of sustainable and water wise cities
Quantification of economic, human and environmental benefits of water wise solutions
City-scale challenges and solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Track 5

In detail

Collaboration, capacity building and communication
Community, customer and stakeholder engagement and communication at local level
Community behaviour change – methods, communication and incentives
Community-focused decision making
Resilience planning across the water cycle and the community.
Collaboration of local and regional government agencies with water service providers
Digital transformation
Impacts of digital transformation on society, citizens, and businesses
Customer management and engagement using digital tools
Integration/management of databases across urban and water system
Policy and regulation
Cost of water, pricing and incentives
Regulation coordination across agencies (economic, environmental, services etc.)
Incentives and drivers to enable change
System thinking and planning
Environmental impact assessment based planning
Economic and financial drivers to create beneficial community outcomes
Cross-sectorial governance
Enabling health, well-being and liveability outcomes
Life with water, art and architecture
Entrepreneurship and innovation partnerships
Cross-institutional coordination
Partnerships and cooperation in and beyond the water sector
Water management in industries
WASH and community-scale water management
Community-based water supply and management
Small-scale/decentralised sanitation solutions at community level
Pandemic / crisis management in developing countries

Track 6

In detail

Groundwater mapping, monitoring and modelling
Protection of groundwater quality and quantity
Soil contamination and groundwater remediation
Governance, management and institutional arrangements
Surface water
Surface water monitoring systems and models
Protection of surface water quality and quantity
Source-to-sea pollution management
Pollution from point sources – agriculture, industry, urban
Diffuse pollution – sources and mitigation
Water-related ecosystems and environmental flows
Integrated water resource management and climate resilience
Water stress, droughts and floods, including impact of climate change
Catchment management and natural capital approaches on different scales
Large-scale nature-based solutions and biodiversity
Water rights, trading and partnerships
Water resource management and adaptation to climate change impacts
Holistic assessments and approaches
Life cycle assessment, water efficiency, water footprint, virtual water, etc.
Planetary boundaries and science of sustainability
Water resource management towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Circular economy initiatives and approaches
Challenges and progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Water For Smart Liveable Cities

The World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark is designed to bring together over 10,000 water professionals from academia, utilities, industry, government, regulators and NGOs 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. We invite you to be an active player in shaping the future of water at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition.

Through the underlying theme ‘Water for smart liveable cities’, a concept in which Denmark is leading, we will explore smart, holistic and liveable city solutions that utilize synergies between various intelligent systems, empower cities to adapt to a changing climate and meet the Paris agenda, whilst improving the quality of life and well-being of our societies. In addition, we will contribute to developing a global culture of innovation that can enable the radical transformations required.

How will Papers be published?

The Congress delegates will have access to digital pre-print proceedings that include the content that forms the technical programme.
The submissions selected for oral presentation will be invited to submit a full paper and will be considered by IWA Publishing for potential publication in one of IWA Publishing journals.

Author Registration fee

All authors (oral presenters, poster presenters, workshop organizers, training organizers) are requested to register to attend the Congress.
Presenting authors are eligible for discounted registration rates.

Authors do not need to be members of IWA. However, IWA members have access to a series of benefits that include significant registration discounts.

How is content selected?

All the content submitted to the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition will be peer-reviewed by a panel of water professionals. Click here to become a reviewer. The Programme Committee will then, considering their expertise and the results of the peer review, form the technical programme of the Congress.

The evaluation of the content will consider, among others:

  • The impact of the work in addressing pressing water challenges,
  • The originality of the work, describing new solutions or approaches,
  • The fit between the thematic tracks and the proposal,
  • The stage of development of the proposal (e.g. specific results based on data and/or a strong rational).

IWA expects to receive more than 2 000 submissions.
From the pool of submissions, the Programme will include approximately 350 oral presentations, 600 poster presentations, and 65 workshops and trainings.

Content submissions queries:

Programme Committee

Eveline Volcke


Eveline Volcke

Ghent University | Belgium

Jurg Keller 2


Jurg Keller

Queensland University | Australia

Aaron Burton

Affinity Water | UK

Amy Pruden
Amy Pruden

Virginia Tech | USA

Xia Huang
Xia Huang

Tsinghua University | China

caetano dorea
Caetano Dorea

University of Victoria | Canada

Cathy Hu Qing
Cathy Hu Qing

Southern University | China

Eiman Karar

UNEP | South Africa

Ines Breda
Inês Breda

Silhorko-Eurowater A/S | Denmark

Innocent Nhapi
Innocent Nhapi

Chinhoyi University of Technology | Zimbabwe

Jacob Amengor
Jacob Amengor

IWASH | Ghana

Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen
Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen

Technical University of Denmark – DTU | Denmark

Linda Åmand
Linda Åmand

Käppala Association | Sweden

Linda Li Headshot (1)
Linda Li

Dillon Consulting | Canada

Mari asami
Mari Asami

National Institute of Public Health | Japan

Nilo Nascimento
Nilo Nascimento

Federal University of Minas Gerais | Brazil

Oscar Pintos
Oscar Pintos

ADERASA | Argentina

Per Halkjaer Nielsen
Per Halkjaer Nielsen

Aalborg University | Denmark

Peter Vanrolleghem
Peter Vanrolleghem

University Laval | Canada

Shane Morgan
Shane Morgan

Urban Utilities | Australia

Srikanth Mutnuri
Srikanth Mutnuri

BITS Pilani | India

Thammarat Koottatep
Thammarat Koottatep

Asian Institute of Technology | Thailand

Trine Stausgaard Munk

Ramboll | Denmark

Titilola Victoria Bright-Oridami
Titilola Victoria Bright-Oridami

Lagos Water Corporation | Nigeria

Dorottya Sarolta Wágner-Zafirov (2)
Dorottya Sarolta Wágner-Zafirov

Technical University of Denmark

What to expect from #WorldWaterCongress in Copenhagen

  • Learn and grow professionally and expand your network through privileged access to the best content and the best people worldwide
  • Visionary thinkers and compelling speakers on how water can create Smart Liveable Cities of the future, supported by the IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities.
  • High-level summit with utility, government and city officials and other organisations about the progress towards implementation of the SDGs.
  • Groundwater and digitalization as special focus areas.
  • Engagement of the industry, agriculture and energy sectors.
  • Advance opportunities for IWA Young Water Professionals.
  • Highlight global innovations and offer a global business platform.