The traditional annual conference of the only association of the internationally oriented German water industry, German Water Partnership e.V., took place in Berlin on July 6. Under the heading “Water. Climate. Change.” the participants took a critical look at the future of national and international water management.
Berlin, 08.07.2022 – For the German water industry, the realignment of the climate policy objectives of the new German government, the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley and the current threat of drought in Brandenburg, the topics of climate change, sustainability, digitization and the need for innovation, are coming into even sharper focus than before. At this year’s annual conference of the German Water Partnership e.V., around 150 representatives of the German water industry, research and politics discussed topics such as sponge city concepts, smart water, aquatic systems as well as innovative technologies for the success of the energy transition nationally and the increase of climate resilience worldwide.
The annual conference was opened by Dr. Bettina Hoffmann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). In her welcoming address, she referred to the upcoming further development of the national water strategy and emphasized the importance of the topic of water in the national as well as international context.
Getting change right: Germany needs new momentum
In an impressive speech, the Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and former Bavarian Environment Minister Dr. Werner Schnappauf emphasized the need for a transformation push. The economy and the environment must be brought into balance through far-reaching change, he said. This transformation would require a new dynamic in Germany, regardless of the possible risks.
The predominantly medium-sized membership of the network also expressed the wish during the conference that bureaucracy and formal hurdles in national as well as international tenders must be reduced in order to enable the use of innovative technologies in the first place and to promote new ideas and developments in the industry.
International guests at the conference were the ambassadors of Egypt and Indonesia – two important partner countries of German Water Partnership e.V. H. E. Khaled Galal Abdelhamid, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, referred to his country’s chairmanship of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 27) in November 2022 and emphasized the critical situation related to transboundary water resources management in the region.
H. E. Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, focused on the hosting of the World Water Forum 2024 in Bali and expressed the wish to intensify the traditional cooperation between Germany and Indonesia in the water sector in the run-up to this important conference.
Focus on future water management issues
Workshops and discussions highlighted future water management topics such as dealing with heavy rainfall events, aquatic systems in the growing business field of fish farming and resilience of infrastructures against the backdrop of the consequences of climate change, thus bridging the gap to the topics of food and energy, especially in the form of hydrogen production. The contributions from the membership of German Water Partnership e.V. demonstrated the broad diversity of expertise in the network. Julia Braune, Managing Director of German Water Partnership e.V., was impressed: “This time, as never before, our annual conference was dominated by the growing concerns of German SMEs in view of the effects of the war in Europe, the shortage of skilled workers and an increasing scarcity of resources. Nevertheless, there is a strong will to take on these challenges and create solutions with innovative technologies and in solidarity with international partners to master the necessary change.”
About German Water Partnership e.V.
German Water Partnership e. V. and its approximately 300 members have been working since 2008 to find solutions to water and wastewater management challenges worldwide. International partnerships play a special role in this. Through close exchange and knowledge transfer on sustainable technologies, GWP thus contributes holistically to the improvement of water supply and wastewater management worldwide.
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