Thematic Tracks

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 2018 edition taking place in Tokyo will have as key focus the digital economy, megacities, diffusion of innovation, disaster resilience and sustainability. 

Track 1


Track 3

Track 4

Track 5

Track 6

Utilities of the Future


The management of water utilities is a key part of the fabric of our cities and countries. Effective collaboration with their many stakeholders at different scales is an important feature of innovative and engaged utilities.How can water utilities optimise operation and management to be efficient in their use of human and physical resources, as well as being innovative and adaptive to short and long-term changes and future challenges?

  • Utility efficiency and benchmarking (including leakage and water loss)
  • Water & wastewater plant performances & optimization approaches (chemicals, water losses, energy, water quality…)
  • Asset optimization with rehabilitation technologies (pipe, plant, …)
  • Management of extreme events (earthquake, floods, bushfires, major accidents and attacks etc)
  • Outbreaks management (feedbacks from crisis management)
  • Utilities striving towards energy carbon neutral urban water services
  • Application of ICT for utility management
  • Integration of decentralised solutions in a centralised system
  • Interactions of utilities with city / local and state government agencies
  • Economic evaluations and financial incentives to support community / city-wide benefits and outcomes
  • Public-private sector cooperation
  • Customer management and engagement

Utilities of the Future

Wastewater management and resource- recovery face many challenges and opportunities. This includes municipal and industrial wastewater management, non- potable reuse, recovery of energy, nutrients and chemicals. What is the role of various wastewater treatment technologies, from individual-scale to large WWTPs, in delivering the sustainable, circular water management of the future?

  • Water management in: Agroindustries/Food industries
  • Water management in: Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals
  • Water management in: Energy production
  • Industry onsite recycling & zero discharge
  • Water reclamation for non-potable reuse
  • Resource recovery (of nutrients and chemicals)
  • Energy efficiency and recovery in wastewater management
  • Activated sludge processes
  • Nutrient removal
  • Anaerobic processes
  • Biosolids management & reuse
  • Biofilm and granular sludge processes
  • Microbial ecology
  • Emerging contaminants (micropollutants; antibiotic resistance, etc.)
  • Membrane bioreactors
  • Membrane applications in wastewater management
  • Physico-chemical treatment
  • Nanotechnology / nanomaterial applications
  • Large Wastewater treatment plants – design, operation, economics
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment
  • Modelling treatment processes and systems
  • Instrumentation, control & automation in treatment processes

Utilities of the Future


The growth of emerging contaminants, such as nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals and antibiotic resistance, threaten the global goal of safe and high quality drinking water. Potential disasters such as bacterial outbreaks, storm impacts and security events, as well as concerns around the distribution systems (disinfection by-products, lead and opportunistic pathogens), require that innovations move from the science and engineering research into practice. How do we make potable water reuse part of the solution as more cities move to planned reuse to meet the growing community demands and provide water security for megacities?

  • On-line monitoring (data management, validation)
  • Monitoring (sensors, indicators, new techniques)
  • Drinking water treatment (disinfection, ozone, activated carbon)
  • Membrane processes for drinking water treatment
  • Drinking water treatment – Desalination
  • Taste and odor
  • Drinking water low cost solutions (water storage, household water treatment)
  • Advanced technologies for Potable Reuse
  • Distribution systems (premise plumbing, biofilms, metals)
  • Disinfection by-products
  • Opportunistic pathogens
  • Risk assessment including toxicology
  • Outbreaks
  • Disaster management
  • Emergency water supply
  • Security (cybernetic, terrorisms, severe events)
  • Communication and collaboration for disaster mitigation
  • Emerging contaminants (nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals and personal care products)
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Social and policy aspects of drinking water (economics, standards, communication with stakeholders)
  • Water safety plans

Cities of the Future


Solutions for optimizing water and wastewater systems at the urban scale include strategic planning, operation, design and maintenance of drinking water, wastewater services and drainage infrastructure in urban environments. How can urban water systems deliver resilient, productive and sustainable solutions to achieve water-wise and liveable cities?

  • Modelling for decision support systems for water & city planning
  • Modelling of climate change, climate variation, flooding, and droughts
  • Modelling of water management and urban planning
  • Smart solutions for liveable cities (data, metering, networks)
  • Sensors and instrumentation for urban water systems
  • Indicators and metrics for resilience and blue / green infrastructure
  • Water Wise Cities, indicators and implementation
  • Transition to sustainable cities of the future
  • Resilient and decentralised systems
  • Urban drainage & sewerage
  • Water-sensitive urban design
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Water-energy interactions in the urban water cycle
  • Infrastructure rehabilitation
  • Processes in sewers and drinking systems

Cities of the Future


Achieving water-wise cities of the future requires the involvement of many key stakeholders and professionals with different backgrounds. This track will explore how local (city) governments, utilities, planners, professional groups, the community, and private-sector partners can best work together to maximize their effectiveness and achieve better overall outcomes for their cities?

  • Water efficiency and consumer behaviour change
  • Pricing and incentives
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Policy and governance
  • Regulation (economics, environmental, service implications)
  • Decision making methods and tools
  • Water industry capacity building, education and training
  • Multi-agency responses
  • Community resilience and recovery (indicators, targets, incentives)
  • Critical asset identification and protection
  • Integrated Planning across the water cycle, community, urban planning and other sectors
  • System thinking and planning
  • Water management and urban planning
  • Joining up water and energy efficiency
  • Smart metering and point of use water measurement/ feedback
  • Smart water management (artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, etc)
  • Constraints and issues with megacities
  • Policy and regulatory responses in megacities
  • Community and stakeholder engagement in megacities

Basins of the Future


For cities and utilities to be able to deliver long term sustainable, resilient and affordable services for future generations, it is important they are able to plan and manage the interrelationships and interdependences across catchments, basins and also within national and international contexts. How can water management at basin scale ensure the sustainability of services which cities and utilities rely upon from the wider natural system.

  • Resilience Planning
  • Groundwater management
  • Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Catchment management
  • Transboundary water management
  • Water stress, droughts & floods
  • IWRM for Basin water management
  • Sustainable Development and GDP: Challenge or Dilemma
  • Water policy, governance and institutional arrangements
  • Water Quality Restoration
  • Environmental impact assessment based planning
  • Ecosystem and environmental flows
  • Rehabilitation of natural assets
  • Diffuse pollution
  • River restoration
  • Multi sector planning
  • Access and allocations of water
  • Water footprint & virtual water
  • Water trading
  • Improve irrigation and energy efficiencies
  • Sufficiency Economy Principle for small farm holding households
  • Future trend of agricultural model in Developing countries