Sustainable water solutions

Ensuring adequate availability of water

“We must all recognize the multi-fold value of water and take action to conserve this basic resource.” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on World Water Day, 22 March 2021.

Global water use has increased six-fold over the past 100 years. Meanwhile, climate change is increasingly affecting its availability and quality. Tackling these twin challenges requires bold adaptation measures and sustainable solutions. Solutions which combine natural, engineered and technological options, implemented either through hard (infrastructure) or soft (policy tools, citizens’ awareness) means.

To ensure adequate access to water moving forward, we need to adopt a systemic view and implement a multi-actor approach which both addresses water needs and delivers sustainable solutions.

The SDG framework provides the building blocks for conserving water as a basic resource. Both by standing together and by connecting and developing strength and resilience.

However, the costs for implementing water solutions need to be justified against the benefits of achieving water security, revitalising nature, supporting climate change adaptation and providing multiple-use water services.

During the G-STIC conference, the technical and non-technical opportunities provided within the SDG framework will be explored to help us recognise the true value of water to society and accelerate innovation.

Conference programme

Water

24 October 2021

Special session
Valuing water: Flanders’ approach to prioritising water
16:00 - 17:30
Belgian Pavilion

Water

×

Water

Special session

Valuing water: Flanders’ approach to prioritising water

24/10/2021, 16:00 - 17:30 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 15:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 14:30 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:30 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 22:30 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 21:30 CST (Beijing)

17:30 - 19:00 IST (New Delhi)

09:00 - 10:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Belgian Pavilion & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Society is now generally aware that acute water issues, such as shortages, pollution and other impacts from floods and droughts, will reoccur and worsen. Our citizens are heavily dependent on reliable supply of water, both for many jobs – water plays an essential role in agriculture, energy and industry – and for its impact on availability of locally produced food and non-food products.

Flooding in the Flanders area, which is a consequence of both climate change and poor spatial planning policy, puts both lives and livelihoods at extreme risk. At the other end of the scale, fresh water shortages caused by droughts here in 2018, 2019 and 2020, combined with excessive consumption, demonstrated Flanders’ vulnerability to this. It is very likely that water, sometimes referred to as “blue gold”, will be the most critical natural resource for Flanders for the foreseeable future.

When properly sourced and managed, water can be the engine of the Flanders economy and a source of prosperity. The challenge of transitioning from suffering the effects of water disruption to benefitting from effective water management has been the backdrop for the Flanders Government’s new Blue Deal initiative, which forms part of the Flanders Climate Adaptation Plan. Focused primarily on the drought problem, the Blue Deal allocates finances for tackling this in a structural way, by increasing the deployment of resources and appropriate measures, involving both industry and nature as part of the solution.

Chaired by

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

Welcome

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

Keynote speech

The Blue Deal: the structured battle against drought

If we are to adapt to the impact of climate change on the water cycle, we need to manage the situation through concrete action. The EU adaptation strategy has four principal objectives: to make adaptation smarter, swifter and more systemic, and to step up international action on adaptation to climate change.

Via the Blue Deal, Flanders recognises water as a vital component in its “portfolio of actions” for fighting the impacts of drought and contributing to the climate adaptation strategy.

Minister Zuhal Demir will present the context and framework of the Blue Deal for Flanders. She will provide insights into how the new initiative was conceived and realised, with a view to proposing this as a model for other regions to follow and learn from.

Zuhal Demir

H.E. Zuhal Demir

Government of Flanders

Minister of Environment and Energy

Zuhal Demir studied Law at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven from 1998 to 2003 and attained a master’s in social law from the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels in 2004.

Having worked as a lawyer at an international law firm since 2004, she was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2010.

From January 2013 until the end of 2015, Demir was the Mayor of the District of Antwerp.

In early 2016, she became State Secretary for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People with Disabilities, Urban Policy and Scientific Policy.

Zuhal Demir has also chaired the Flemish government’s integration strategy. She is currently the Flemish minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism.

Presentation

Blue–green measures for climate adaptation

The Flanders Climate Adaptation Plan focuses on implementing nature-based solutions (NBS) to tackle the impacts of climate change. It includes a calculation of the costs of its proposed actions and explores the possibilities for synergies between adaptation and mitigation measures.

This presentation will look at the most important NBS measures for dealing with drought problems and the importance of the Blue Deal investments. How these link with the new EU Adaptation Strategy and international cooperation will also be addressed, along with the importance of a global approach to the climate change, knowledge exchange and mutual support.

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten (TBC)

Department of Environment

Policy Officer Climate Adaptation

Griet Verstraeten works as a policy advisor on climate change adaptation in the Flemish Government Department of Environment and Spatial Development. She is also the lead expert for Belgium on the European Adaptation Strategy.

In her role as policy advisor, Griet coordinates the work on local policy for Flanders carried out by the Flemish Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation and representatives from other Flemish Government departments (including agriculture and fisheries, mobility and infrastructure, economy and innovation, health, nature and forestry, environment, water, spatial planning). She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Flemish Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and for the communication, knowledge exchange and awareness-raising associated with it.

Griet has a master’s degree in bioscience engineering (land and forest management) from KU Leuven, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Antwerp and over 20 years’ experience in spatial planning, environmental policy, sustainable development and international cooperation. Verstraeten is an expert in international and European policies on climate change adaptation, with specific expertise on the implementation of nature-based solutions.

Griet Verstraeten represents the Flemish Government in the Belgian national working group on climate change adaptation (under the national climate commission) and is an active member of Working Group VI, the network on climate change adaptation under DG Climate.

Presentation

Dance till you drop – Tomorrowland makes every drop count

Alongside chocolate, beer and waffles, Belgium is known by many for its large, well-organised festivals. These outdoor events are a unique opportunity to encourage our youth to appreciate the value of water. To take one example, DreamVille becomes home to 38,000 Tomorrowland festival visitors every year. It is effectively a temporary city, with water, wastewater and waste infrastructure that is rebuilt each year in the weeks leading up to the festival, serving the many thousands of people who live there for the duration who need water to drink, shower with, flush toilets and more.

The full cycle, from provision of fresh water to handling of wastewater and waste, all needs to be dealt with. This makes Dreamville a great Living Lab for testing out water treatment technology, smart sensoring and behavioural responses to measures that promote sustainability while ensuring comfort.

This presentation will look at the latest advances in promoting the value of water and waste management at large international festivals, stressing the importance of getting youth involved in improving water-related practices and behaviour.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers (TBC)

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Presentation

Defining the value of water: a global conundrum needing a local response

There are few standardised approaches to defining the qualitative value of water. UNESCO’s 2021 World Water Development Report “Valuing Water” highlights the need to acknowledge the perspectives of different belief systems, cultures, genders and scientific disciplines. This presentation will highlight the main findings from the latest Report, with a view to setting out the European Union’s vision for dealing with water scarcity.

Pernille  Weiss

Pernille Weiss (TBC)

European Parliament

Chair of the MEP Water Group

Pernille Weiss (Member of the European Parliament) is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, EPP. She holds a seat in the Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute member of The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Weiss also holds a substitute seat in The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and has been a board member of SME Europe since 2019. Prior to becoming an MEP, she served eight years as a County Council member. An acknowledged Nordic expert in architecture and health and how built environments impact complex institutions, Pernille Weiss was a head manager in the public health care sector and the building consultancy industry before establishing her own consultancy firm in 2008.

Panel discussion

Panel debate and Q&A

The panel discussion will focus on assessing the lessons learnt from the Flanders approach to water scarcity, including the strengthening of the policy-science interface, raising public awareness and setting up of pilots, within an overall framework of valuing water.

– What can we learn from the Flanders approach to water scarcity that can be transferred to other regions?
– What has Flanders learned from international collaboration?
– Impact of international climate policy on implementation of measures against drought
– …

Zuhal Demir

H.E. Zuhal Demir

Government of Flanders

Minister of Environment and Energy

Zuhal Demir studied Law at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven from 1998 to 2003 and attained a master’s in social law from the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels in 2004.

Having worked as a lawyer at an international law firm since 2004, she was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2010.

From January 2013 until the end of 2015, Demir was the Mayor of the District of Antwerp.

In early 2016, she became State Secretary for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People with Disabilities, Urban Policy and Scientific Policy.

Zuhal Demir has also chaired the Flemish government’s integration strategy. She is currently the Flemish minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism.

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten (TBC)

Department of Environment

Policy Officer Climate Adaptation

Griet Verstraeten works as a policy advisor on climate change adaptation in the Flemish Government Department of Environment and Spatial Development. She is also the lead expert for Belgium on the European Adaptation Strategy.

In her role as policy advisor, Griet coordinates the work on local policy for Flanders carried out by the Flemish Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation and representatives from other Flemish Government departments (including agriculture and fisheries, mobility and infrastructure, economy and innovation, health, nature and forestry, environment, water, spatial planning). She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Flemish Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and for the communication, knowledge exchange and awareness-raising associated with it.

Griet has a master’s degree in bioscience engineering (land and forest management) from KU Leuven, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Antwerp and over 20 years’ experience in spatial planning, environmental policy, sustainable development and international cooperation. Verstraeten is an expert in international and European policies on climate change adaptation, with specific expertise on the implementation of nature-based solutions.

Griet Verstraeten represents the Flemish Government in the Belgian national working group on climate change adaptation (under the national climate commission) and is an active member of Working Group VI, the network on climate change adaptation under DG Climate.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers (TBC)

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Pernille  Weiss

Pernille Weiss (TBC)

European Parliament

Chair of the MEP Water Group

Pernille Weiss (Member of the European Parliament) is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, EPP. She holds a seat in the Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute member of The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Weiss also holds a substitute seat in The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and has been a board member of SME Europe since 2019. Prior to becoming an MEP, she served eight years as a County Council member. An acknowledged Nordic expert in architecture and health and how built environments impact complex institutions, Pernille Weiss was a head manager in the public health care sector and the building consultancy industry before establishing her own consultancy firm in 2008.

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

25 October 2021

Deep dive session
Nature-based solutions
14:00 - 15:30
Indian Pavilion

Water

26 October 2021

Deep dive session
Decentralised solutions for securing safe water in the face of climate change
16:00 - 17:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water, Climate

×

Water Climate

Deep dive session

Decentralised solutions for securing safe water in the face of climate change

26/10/2021, 16:00 - 17:30 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 15:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 14:30 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:30 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 22:30 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 21:30 CST (Beijing)

17:30 - 19:00 IST (New Delhi)

09:00 - 10:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Providing safe drinking water to billions of people, while faced with climate change-related disruptions, is a key challenge for governments, development actors and the private sector. This session’s objective will be to showcase different approaches in the water and wastewater sectors that enhance climate resilience. We are looking towards decentralised strategies that are inherently flexible, modular and sustainable.

Chaired by

Paul Campling

Paul Campling

VITO

International Business Development Manager Water & Climate

Paul Campling is a hydrologist, specialised in the domain of land and water management and policy assessment. He is currently VITO’s International Business Development Manager for Water & Climate. Paul previously worked as a project manager at the European Environment Agency (Copenhagen), where he coordinated the IRENA project to develop and report on agri-environmental indicators for the European Union.

He also spent five years in Nigeria working on a research project concerned with water resources development, with which he completed his PhD. Campling is the coordinator of the Pavitra Ganga project in India, which is demonstrating improved solutions for waste water treatment, resource recovery (energy and materials) and smart water management (sensors and ICT). He is an expert in European environmental policy.

Welcome

Paul Campling

Paul Campling

VITO

International Business Development Manager Water & Climate

Paul Campling is a hydrologist, specialised in the domain of land and water management and policy assessment. He is currently VITO’s International Business Development Manager for Water & Climate. Paul previously worked as a project manager at the European Environment Agency (Copenhagen), where he coordinated the IRENA project to develop and report on agri-environmental indicators for the European Union.

He also spent five years in Nigeria working on a research project concerned with water resources development, with which he completed his PhD. Campling is the coordinator of the Pavitra Ganga project in India, which is demonstrating improved solutions for waste water treatment, resource recovery (energy and materials) and smart water management (sensors and ICT). He is an expert in European environmental policy.

Presentation

Low energy water reuse strategies

An important aspect of promoting water reuse is the development of low-energy systems that facilitate sustainable operation and maintenance of water systems. This presentation will look at various engineering options for delivering low-energy water reuse systems, adapted to local environments.

Alfieri  Pollice

Alfieri Pollice (TBC)

IRSA-CNR, Italy

Chief Research Scientist

Alfieri Pollice is chief research scientist at IRSA CNR (the Water Research Institute of the National Research Council of Italy). Over the last 20 years, he has done extensive research and innovation work on biological wastewater treatments. His current activities focus on the application of surface filtration processes for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and reuse. He also has a specific interest in non-conventional monitoring approaches to water quality in institutional settings and organisation of water reuse services.

Presentation

WADI as a low-tech energy neutral solution for water disinfection

WADI is a solar-powered UV measurement device that visualises the process of solar water disinfection (SODIS) in PET or glass bottles. It works by being placed alongside bottles filled with contaminated water that are exposed to the sun. Once the process has been completed, a smiley face on the WADI confirms the water is safe to drink. WADI is endorsed by the WHO for meeting its microbiological performance criteria and is classified as suitable for providing targeted protection. WADI was selected as one of the winners of the Expo 2020 Global Best Practices Programme. This presentation will show how WADI is being rolled out in developing countries to provide clean and reliable drinking water.

Martin  Wesian

Martin Wesian

Helioz

Founder

Martin Wesian is the founder of HELIOZ, a founding board member of the Austrian Social Entrepreneurship Network (SENA) and Member of the Board of the Austrian UN Global Compact.

He is an entrepreneurial, solution-oriented executive who creates value for social investors, with a focus on topics such as sustainable growth, frugal innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Martin has a master’s degree in International Business Engineering from UAS Technikum Vienna and has been involved in various start-ups, established branches in Sweden and Germany and operated a small culture management business for more than 10 years.

Presentation

Local solutions for water and climate challenges in the Mediterranean region: lessons from the Hydrousa H2020 Project

Water management in the Mediterranean is currently fragmented. There are a number of barriers which need to be overcome in order to close water loops and positively contribute towards the region’s environmental and economic development. Hydrousa is a H2020 project that demonstrates innovative, nature-based water management solutions for different types of water, characterised by its low energy footprint. Hydrousa conducts pilots of clear water loops that recover added-value products, while integrating and interacting with the local market. This presentation illustrates the contribution Hydrousa is making towards developing decentralised solutions for water and climate in the Mediterranean region.

Simos  Malamis

Simos Malamis

National Technical University of Athens

Assistant Professor

Simos Malamis is a graduate of Imperial College, London (MEng), the University of Oxford (MSc) and the National Technical University of Athens (PhD, MSc). He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

Malamis has also been a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Verona, a visiting lecturer at Brunel University (UK) and the Cyprus University of Technology. His research activities focus on the development and application of novel processes/systems for wastewater purification and reclamation, resource recovery and carbon footprint minimisation.

He has authored 70 publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, more than 100 presentations in international conferences, 6 chapters in books, more than 3,000 citations in Google Scholar and one patent.

Malamis is the coordinator of the Horizon2020 project Hydrousa which focuses on decentralised valorisation of non-conventional water resources. He is also the principal investigator in several other Horizon2020 projects (SMART-PLANT, INTCATCH, AccelWater, iWAYS, C-FOOT-CTRL). He is a member of the management committee of the IWA specialist group on small water and wastewater systems.

Presentation

Decentralised solutions for solar-powered desalination

The use of solar energy is a key element for decarbonising the energy-intensive desalination process. However, the variable nature of solar energy is a challenge for desalination technologies. When there is a grid available with sufficient capacity, reverse osmosis (RO) can even help the penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy by acting as an element for regulation. When there is no grid, the challenge of storing electrical energy can be mitigated by recent innovations in PV-RO technologies.

Thermal desalination technologies can be an alternative, but only if they operate within their maximum levels of heat efficiency. This can be achieved, in certain cases, by new solar-powered membrane distillation designs. Generation of brine presents a further challenge for decentralised solar desalination, especially in inland applications. In this case, solar thermal desalination technologies are the most feasible solution for concentrating brine in a way that minimises liquid discharge.

Guillermo  Zaragoza

Guillermo Zaragoza

CIEMAT

Senior Researcher

Guillermo Zaragoza is a senior researcher at CIEMAT (Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology Research) and is currently head of the Solar Thermal Applications R&D unit of Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain. His main research is focussed on the application of solar energy to desalination, both for small-scale decentralised applications (in particular working with solar-powered membrane distillation at pilot scale) and the coupling of desalination with concentrated solar power production.

Guillermo has a PhD in physics (University of Granada, 1996) and has held academic positions at the University of Oxford (1997-1998), the Spanish Research Council (1999-2000) and the greenhouse research facility of Cajamar Foundation (2001-2008).

He has a lengthy academic record (> 85 papers, 3 books and 8 book chapters) and extensive experience in international R&D projects (>40), teaches in a Solar Energy master’s course at the University of Almería and in international Solar Desalination courses organised by the European Desalination Society, of which he has been board director.

Guillermo Zaragoza is an ambassador for the Water Europe platform and leader of the Working Group on Renewable Energy Desalination.

Panel discussion

Panel debate and Q&A

The panel discussion will focus on the factors and barriers for advancing decentralised solutions for water and climate, with a view to developing synergies between climate mitigation and climate adaptation strategies.

Alfieri  Pollice

Alfieri Pollice (TBC)

IRSA-CNR, Italy

Chief Research Scientist

Alfieri Pollice is chief research scientist at IRSA CNR (the Water Research Institute of the National Research Council of Italy). Over the last 20 years, he has done extensive research and innovation work on biological wastewater treatments. His current activities focus on the application of surface filtration processes for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and reuse. He also has a specific interest in non-conventional monitoring approaches to water quality in institutional settings and organisation of water reuse services.

Martin  Wesian

Martin Wesian

Helioz

Founder

Martin Wesian is the founder of HELIOZ, a founding board member of the Austrian Social Entrepreneurship Network (SENA) and Member of the Board of the Austrian UN Global Compact.

He is an entrepreneurial, solution-oriented executive who creates value for social investors, with a focus on topics such as sustainable growth, frugal innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Martin has a master’s degree in International Business Engineering from UAS Technikum Vienna and has been involved in various start-ups, established branches in Sweden and Germany and operated a small culture management business for more than 10 years.

Simos  Malamis

Simos Malamis

National Technical University of Athens

Assistant Professor

Simos Malamis is a graduate of Imperial College, London (MEng), the University of Oxford (MSc) and the National Technical University of Athens (PhD, MSc). He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

Malamis has also been a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Verona, a visiting lecturer at Brunel University (UK) and the Cyprus University of Technology. His research activities focus on the development and application of novel processes/systems for wastewater purification and reclamation, resource recovery and carbon footprint minimisation.

He has authored 70 publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, more than 100 presentations in international conferences, 6 chapters in books, more than 3,000 citations in Google Scholar and one patent.

Malamis is the coordinator of the Horizon2020 project Hydrousa which focuses on decentralised valorisation of non-conventional water resources. He is also the principal investigator in several other Horizon2020 projects (SMART-PLANT, INTCATCH, AccelWater, iWAYS, C-FOOT-CTRL). He is a member of the management committee of the IWA specialist group on small water and wastewater systems.

Guillermo  Zaragoza

Guillermo Zaragoza

CIEMAT

Senior Researcher

Guillermo Zaragoza is a senior researcher at CIEMAT (Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology Research) and is currently head of the Solar Thermal Applications R&D unit of Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain. His main research is focussed on the application of solar energy to desalination, both for small-scale decentralised applications (in particular working with solar-powered membrane distillation at pilot scale) and the coupling of desalination with concentrated solar power production.

Guillermo has a PhD in physics (University of Granada, 1996) and has held academic positions at the University of Oxford (1997-1998), the Spanish Research Council (1999-2000) and the greenhouse research facility of Cajamar Foundation (2001-2008).

He has a lengthy academic record (> 85 papers, 3 books and 8 book chapters) and extensive experience in international R&D projects (>40), teaches in a Solar Energy master’s course at the University of Almería and in international Solar Desalination courses organised by the European Desalination Society, of which he has been board director.

Guillermo Zaragoza is an ambassador for the Water Europe platform and leader of the Working Group on Renewable Energy Desalination.

Paul Campling

Paul Campling

VITO

International Business Development Manager Water & Climate

Paul Campling is a hydrologist, specialised in the domain of land and water management and policy assessment. He is currently VITO’s International Business Development Manager for Water & Climate. Paul previously worked as a project manager at the European Environment Agency (Copenhagen), where he coordinated the IRENA project to develop and report on agri-environmental indicators for the European Union.

He also spent five years in Nigeria working on a research project concerned with water resources development, with which he completed his PhD. Campling is the coordinator of the Pavitra Ganga project in India, which is demonstrating improved solutions for waste water treatment, resource recovery (energy and materials) and smart water management (sensors and ICT). He is an expert in European environmental policy.

17 January 2022

Deep dive session
Water
14:00 - 15:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water

Thematic plenary session
Water
16:00 - 17:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water

18 January 2022

Deep dive session
Water
11:00 - 12:30
Indian Pavilion

Water

Deep dive session
Water
16:00 - 17:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water

Keynote speaker

Water

Top experts

Water

Special session

Valuing water: Flanders’ approach to prioritize water

Society is now generally aware that acute water issues will reoccur and worsen. Citizens are heavily dependent on reliable water supply, both for their jobs in agriculture, energy and industry – where water is critically important – and for its impact on availability of food and non-food products. Meanwhile, floods put both lives and livelihoods at extreme risk. Fresh water shortages caused by droughts in 2018, 2019 and 2020 demonstrated Flanders’ vulnerability to this. It is very likely that water will be the most critical natural resource for Flanders for the foreseeable future.

When properly resourced and managed, water can be the engine of the Flanders economy and a source of prosperity. The challenge of transitioning from suffering the effects of water disruption to benefitting from effective water management has been the backdrop for the Flanders Government’s new Blue Deal initiative, which forms part of the Flanders Climate Adaption Plan. The Blue Deal allocates finances for tackling the drought problem in a structural way by increasing the deployment of resources and appropriate measures, involving both industry and nature as part of the solution.

Water

Special session

Valuing water: Flanders’ approach to prioritising water

24/10/2021, 16:00 - 17:30 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 15:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 14:30 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:30 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 22:30 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 21:30 CST (Beijing)

17:30 - 19:00 IST (New Delhi)

09:00 - 10:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Belgian Pavilion & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Society is now generally aware that acute water issues, such as shortages, pollution and other impacts from floods and droughts, will reoccur and worsen. Our citizens are heavily dependent on reliable supply of water, both for many jobs – water plays an essential role in agriculture, energy and industry – and for its impact on availability of locally produced food and non-food products.

Flooding in the Flanders area, which is a consequence of both climate change and poor spatial planning policy, puts both lives and livelihoods at extreme risk. At the other end of the scale, fresh water shortages caused by droughts here in 2018, 2019 and 2020, combined with excessive consumption, demonstrated Flanders’ vulnerability to this. It is very likely that water, sometimes referred to as “blue gold”, will be the most critical natural resource for Flanders for the foreseeable future.

When properly sourced and managed, water can be the engine of the Flanders economy and a source of prosperity. The challenge of transitioning from suffering the effects of water disruption to benefitting from effective water management has been the backdrop for the Flanders Government’s new Blue Deal initiative, which forms part of the Flanders Climate Adaptation Plan. Focused primarily on the drought problem, the Blue Deal allocates finances for tackling this in a structural way, by increasing the deployment of resources and appropriate measures, involving both industry and nature as part of the solution.

Chaired by

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

Welcome

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

Keynote speech

The Blue Deal: the structured battle against drought

If we are to adapt to the impact of climate change on the water cycle, we need to manage the situation through concrete action. The EU adaptation strategy has four principal objectives: to make adaptation smarter, swifter and more systemic, and to step up international action on adaptation to climate change.

Via the Blue Deal, Flanders recognises water as a vital component in its “portfolio of actions” for fighting the impacts of drought and contributing to the climate adaptation strategy.

Minister Zuhal Demir will present the context and framework of the Blue Deal for Flanders. She will provide insights into how the new initiative was conceived and realised, with a view to proposing this as a model for other regions to follow and learn from.

Zuhal Demir

H.E. Zuhal Demir

Government of Flanders

Minister of Environment and Energy

Zuhal Demir studied Law at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven from 1998 to 2003 and attained a master’s in social law from the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels in 2004.

Having worked as a lawyer at an international law firm since 2004, she was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2010.

From January 2013 until the end of 2015, Demir was the Mayor of the District of Antwerp.

In early 2016, she became State Secretary for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People with Disabilities, Urban Policy and Scientific Policy.

Zuhal Demir has also chaired the Flemish government’s integration strategy. She is currently the Flemish minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism.

Presentation

Blue–green measures for climate adaptation

The Flanders Climate Adaptation Plan focuses on implementing nature-based solutions (NBS) to tackle the impacts of climate change. It includes a calculation of the costs of its proposed actions and explores the possibilities for synergies between adaptation and mitigation measures.

This presentation will look at the most important NBS measures for dealing with drought problems and the importance of the Blue Deal investments. How these link with the new EU Adaptation Strategy and international cooperation will also be addressed, along with the importance of a global approach to the climate change, knowledge exchange and mutual support.

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten (TBC)

Department of Environment

Policy Officer Climate Adaptation

Griet Verstraeten works as a policy advisor on climate change adaptation in the Flemish Government Department of Environment and Spatial Development. She is also the lead expert for Belgium on the European Adaptation Strategy.

In her role as policy advisor, Griet coordinates the work on local policy for Flanders carried out by the Flemish Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation and representatives from other Flemish Government departments (including agriculture and fisheries, mobility and infrastructure, economy and innovation, health, nature and forestry, environment, water, spatial planning). She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Flemish Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and for the communication, knowledge exchange and awareness-raising associated with it.

Griet has a master’s degree in bioscience engineering (land and forest management) from KU Leuven, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Antwerp and over 20 years’ experience in spatial planning, environmental policy, sustainable development and international cooperation. Verstraeten is an expert in international and European policies on climate change adaptation, with specific expertise on the implementation of nature-based solutions.

Griet Verstraeten represents the Flemish Government in the Belgian national working group on climate change adaptation (under the national climate commission) and is an active member of Working Group VI, the network on climate change adaptation under DG Climate.

Presentation

Dance till you drop – Tomorrowland makes every drop count

Alongside chocolate, beer and waffles, Belgium is known by many for its large, well-organised festivals. These outdoor events are a unique opportunity to encourage our youth to appreciate the value of water. To take one example, DreamVille becomes home to 38,000 Tomorrowland festival visitors every year. It is effectively a temporary city, with water, wastewater and waste infrastructure that is rebuilt each year in the weeks leading up to the festival, serving the many thousands of people who live there for the duration who need water to drink, shower with, flush toilets and more.

The full cycle, from provision of fresh water to handling of wastewater and waste, all needs to be dealt with. This makes Dreamville a great Living Lab for testing out water treatment technology, smart sensoring and behavioural responses to measures that promote sustainability while ensuring comfort.

This presentation will look at the latest advances in promoting the value of water and waste management at large international festivals, stressing the importance of getting youth involved in improving water-related practices and behaviour.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers (TBC)

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Presentation

Defining the value of water: a global conundrum needing a local response

There are few standardised approaches to defining the qualitative value of water. UNESCO’s 2021 World Water Development Report “Valuing Water” highlights the need to acknowledge the perspectives of different belief systems, cultures, genders and scientific disciplines. This presentation will highlight the main findings from the latest Report, with a view to setting out the European Union’s vision for dealing with water scarcity.

Pernille  Weiss

Pernille Weiss (TBC)

European Parliament

Chair of the MEP Water Group

Pernille Weiss (Member of the European Parliament) is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, EPP. She holds a seat in the Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute member of The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Weiss also holds a substitute seat in The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and has been a board member of SME Europe since 2019. Prior to becoming an MEP, she served eight years as a County Council member. An acknowledged Nordic expert in architecture and health and how built environments impact complex institutions, Pernille Weiss was a head manager in the public health care sector and the building consultancy industry before establishing her own consultancy firm in 2008.

Panel discussion

Panel debate and Q&A

The panel discussion will focus on assessing the lessons learnt from the Flanders approach to water scarcity, including the strengthening of the policy-science interface, raising public awareness and setting up of pilots, within an overall framework of valuing water.

– What can we learn from the Flanders approach to water scarcity that can be transferred to other regions?
– What has Flanders learned from international collaboration?
– Impact of international climate policy on implementation of measures against drought
– …

Zuhal Demir

H.E. Zuhal Demir

Government of Flanders

Minister of Environment and Energy

Zuhal Demir studied Law at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven from 1998 to 2003 and attained a master’s in social law from the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels in 2004.

Having worked as a lawyer at an international law firm since 2004, she was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 2010.

From January 2013 until the end of 2015, Demir was the Mayor of the District of Antwerp.

In early 2016, she became State Secretary for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People with Disabilities, Urban Policy and Scientific Policy.

Zuhal Demir has also chaired the Flemish government’s integration strategy. She is currently the Flemish minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism.

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten (TBC)

Department of Environment

Policy Officer Climate Adaptation

Griet Verstraeten works as a policy advisor on climate change adaptation in the Flemish Government Department of Environment and Spatial Development. She is also the lead expert for Belgium on the European Adaptation Strategy.

In her role as policy advisor, Griet coordinates the work on local policy for Flanders carried out by the Flemish Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation and representatives from other Flemish Government departments (including agriculture and fisheries, mobility and infrastructure, economy and innovation, health, nature and forestry, environment, water, spatial planning). She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Flemish Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and for the communication, knowledge exchange and awareness-raising associated with it.

Griet has a master’s degree in bioscience engineering (land and forest management) from KU Leuven, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Antwerp and over 20 years’ experience in spatial planning, environmental policy, sustainable development and international cooperation. Verstraeten is an expert in international and European policies on climate change adaptation, with specific expertise on the implementation of nature-based solutions.

Griet Verstraeten represents the Flemish Government in the Belgian national working group on climate change adaptation (under the national climate commission) and is an active member of Working Group VI, the network on climate change adaptation under DG Climate.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers (TBC)

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Pernille  Weiss

Pernille Weiss (TBC)

European Parliament

Chair of the MEP Water Group

Pernille Weiss (Member of the European Parliament) is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, EPP. She holds a seat in the Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute member of The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Weiss also holds a substitute seat in The Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and has been a board member of SME Europe since 2019. Prior to becoming an MEP, she served eight years as a County Council member. An acknowledged Nordic expert in architecture and health and how built environments impact complex institutions, Pernille Weiss was a head manager in the public health care sector and the building consultancy industry before establishing her own consultancy firm in 2008.

Inge  Genné

Inge Genné

VITO

Programme Manager Water & Climate

Inge Genné is VITO’s Programme Manager for Water & Climate. Following on from a research career as a membrane technology expert, she got our industrial water management team’s activities underway by focusing on implementation of water efficiency and reuse strategies. In 2016, that team merged with the environmental modelling unit specialised in decision support tools and services. Inge Genné is now the driving force behind the expansion of VITO’s market-driven research & innovation activities under the WaterClimateHub umbrella. She also coordinates the large scale “Vlaanderen WaterProof” project, has an active role in various international networks and is a board member of Water Reuse Europe.

Deep dive session

Innovative water technologies