Global WOPs Congress and WOP Forum – A week dedicated to international operator partnerships

Insightful presentations in the plenary hall at the 5th WOPs Congress in Bonn © GWP 2023

The week from 22nd to 26th May 2023 was all about international operator partnerships. Cooperation, solidarity, sustainability, resilience, exchange – these are just a few of the topics on the agenda. The events kicked off with the 5th WOP Congress in Bonn, organised by GWOPA. After the high-level opening speeches on Monday 22nd May, several hundred participants from all over the world gathered to participate in various workshops and breakout sessions. German Water Partnership e.V. (GWP) has been a member of GWOPA since 2022 and is grateful for the opportunity to present itself with a pop-up partner stand on site. In addition, GWP organised a session in which German and international partners of the utility platform presented their experiences.

On Wednesday, 24th May, the participants traveled onwards to Berlin, where the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) invited them to the WOP Forum. GWP Chairwoman Gunda Röstel was invited to attend a panel discussion also featuring State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth (BMZ) and representatives of the European Commission, the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU), Zambia and the Netherlands. In her contribution, she emphasised the importance of international operator partnerships.

GWP Chairwoman Gunda Röstel (on the right) participated as a panelist in the discussion at the WOP Forum in Berlin © GWP 2023

While the WOP Forum came to an end the following morning after further thematic panel discussions, the partners of the utility platform continued on to their annual networking meeting. In various formats such as lectures, peer-to-peer, breakout and technical sessions, the colleagues from Germany, Jordan, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania and Ukraine networked and exchanged ideas on different topics. The day ended with visits to various local plants. Among other things, the participants were able to get an insight into the management of Berlin’s drinking water supply during a visit to the Beelitzhof waterworks.

GWP expresses its gratitude to all partners and is looking forward to any and all future activities of the utility platform.


The pilot project “Operator Platform for Strengthening Partnerships of Municipal Enterprises Worldwide” is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is being implemented since July 2019 as a cooperation project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Engagement Global with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW).

The utility platform is developed and implemented in cooperation with the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) and German Water Partnership (GWP). To visit the official website of the operator platform please click here.

Since the beginning of the war, the German water sector has been supporting Ukraine with a joint appeal for donations. More than 40 water suppliers have already donated to help their Ukrainian colleagues. After the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, wastewater pumps and equipment are urgently needed, especially in the Cherson region. Further information and requirement lists can be found here. Donations are always welcome.