Four days of water topics hopping around the globe: Nathan and Isabel attended the 2019 IWA Efficient conference in Manila, Philippines, end of January.
Stuart White, Chair of the IWA Efficient Urban Water Management Specialist Group, opened the conference, highlighting the importance of safe water supply for a global sustainable development: If we can’t achieve the UN development goal on water, we can’t reach the others sustainable development goals either.
The topics of the talks were as diverse as the conference’ participants. There was a speaker from India calling for a regulatory authority for water utilities in his home country; a water professional from the Philippines presenting the design for a waste water treatment plant with minimum spatial requirements for a densely populated city like Manila; and a speaker from the US introducing a technical assistance program for water loss applied in California, to name just a few. Nathan’s and Isabel’s presentations were included in the session “Case studies from around the world”. Nathan discussed his recent work on how analyse the performance of water companies and the determinants of efficiency more accurately, whilst Isabel presented her estimate of GHG emissions through water use by companies in the manufacturing sector in the UK.
A special Filipino touch was added to the event by several dance shows with colourful costumes, plenty of exotic fruits with all meals and a gala dinner where even the Filipino conference president didn’t hesitate to go on stage and accompany the band.
Isabel: “There is no better way of getting to know the facets of challenges within the water sector around the world than attending an international conference. Water supply is a big issue for the majority of the world’s population and we often forget how lucky we are having drinking water 24/7.”
Nathan: “Seeing passion and perspectives on water issues from people all over the globe was the ultimate boost to let me know I am researching in a meaningful area. With connections made here, I am positive future meaningful research will be conducted.”