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
16:45 - 18:15
Belgian Pavilion

Water

×

Water

Special session

Valuing water: Flanders’ approach to prioritising water

24/10/2021, 16:45 - 18:15 GST (Dubai)

14:45 - 16:15 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:45 - 15:15 WAT (Nigeria)

08:45 - 10:15 EDT (New York)

21:45 - 23:15 KST (Seoul)

20:45 - 22:15 CST (Beijing)

18:15 - 19:45 IST (New Delhi)

09:45 - 11:15 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.

Presentation

Diving under the iceberg for a robust water system

Year after year, water-related events such as major flooding and prolonged water scarcity are presenting the global economy with some of its most significant risks. However, our current interventions to tackle these challenges are stuck on managing the symptoms (creating larger water reservoirs, strengthening dykes, etc.) without gaining sufficient insights into the root causes of extreme events or how the water system interacts with other systems or activities (mobility, energy, health, the built environment, food production, etc.). The symptom-management approach is, at best, just moving the problems elsewhere. At worst, it is exasperating them. Meanwhile, if more attention were given to water interactions with the rest of our developed ecosystem, the playing field for finding solutions would be considerably broadened.

Gaining the necessary insights requires systems thinking that takes interdependencies into account, while questioning the beliefs, thinking and behavioural patterns that currently steer our water systems. These insights can then be used as a basis for developing solution pathways for a transition towards a more robust water system.

This presentation will examine the results and lessons learned from the H2050 trajectory in Flanders, in which the systems thinking approach has been used to identify new leverage points from which we can move forward.

Dirk Halet

Dirk Halet

Vlakwa

Strategic Coordination

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

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 events, stressing the importance of getting youth involved in improving water-related practices and behaviour.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Joris is an expert in sustainability within the event and festival world. He’s been involved in organising Tomorrowland since the event’s early years, and founded its Love Tomorrow CSR department in 2012. Love Tomorrow has since grown into a wider-reaching platform that strives for positive impact on our society and environment in general.

Love Tomorrow initiates and develops concepts that contribute to reducing environmental impact, as well as creating awareness for circular models and value in relation to waste and water. The platform also studies and strives to influence behaviour, innovates through pilot projects and supports eco start-ups. Tomorrowland is a powerful solutions breeding and testing ground for smart resource utilisation, waste reduction and recycling, together with the associated designs, systems and communications.

Many initiatives, such as Waterville, the smart water network, Route 360, the pop-up on-site recycling system for PET bottles and aluminium cans, and Camp2Camp, which gives abandoned camping materials new life, have all been developed and optimised in interaction with the People of Tomorrow.

Alongside the classic 3 Ps of People, Planet & Prosperity, Pleasure is always at the heart of Love Tomorrow’s activations, as this is key to driving positive change when influencing behaviour. It is Love Tomorrow’s ambition to breathe life into solutions for outside the festival environment and partner with governments, universities, businesses and innovators to co-create a wholesome future for our planet.

Presentation

Smart water management

Due to a high population density and a large water consumption, Flanders is labelled as a region with a ‘high water stress’. At the same time, a great deal of rain water is being wasted because of the many paved surfaces. When it rains, the rainwater cannot find its way into the ground and boost water levels. At the same time, due to climate change, there are longer periods of drought during the summer period meaning there are more restrictions on water extractions.

‘A living environment in harmony with water’ is part of Aquafin’s ambition for the future. Therefore, a smart approach towards water is needed. The pressure on natural water resources can be reduced by solutions to close the loop of rain water as well as treated waste water.

Marjolein Weemaes

Marjolein Weemaes

Aquafin

Director Business Development and Innovation

Marjolein Weemaes was originally a researcher at Aquafin, before going on to manage its R&D department.

Aquafin was founded by the Flemish government in 1990 for the purpose of expanding, managing and prefinancing supra-municipal sewage treatment infrastructure. The company also offers its expertise to Flemish cities and municipalities, and more than 100 of these have taken up the opportunity to collaborate with Aquafin for their waste and storm water management.

Aquafin has always had a strong R&D department. In 2018, this was anchored in the new Business Development and Innovation department to help accelerate new ideas’ and concepts’ routes to market. The company’s innovation department develops new solutions for creating business opportunities and for the realisation of Aquafins mission: streams and brooks full of life, and a living environment in harmony with water.

Panel discussion

Conclusions and panel statements

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
Dirk Halet

Dirk Halet

Vlakwa

Strategic Coordination

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten

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

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Joris is an expert in sustainability within the event and festival world. He’s been involved in organising Tomorrowland since the event’s early years, and founded its Love Tomorrow CSR department in 2012. Love Tomorrow has since grown into a wider-reaching platform that strives for positive impact on our society and environment in general.

Love Tomorrow initiates and develops concepts that contribute to reducing environmental impact, as well as creating awareness for circular models and value in relation to waste and water. The platform also studies and strives to influence behaviour, innovates through pilot projects and supports eco start-ups. Tomorrowland is a powerful solutions breeding and testing ground for smart resource utilisation, waste reduction and recycling, together with the associated designs, systems and communications.

Many initiatives, such as Waterville, the smart water network, Route 360, the pop-up on-site recycling system for PET bottles and aluminium cans, and Camp2Camp, which gives abandoned camping materials new life, have all been developed and optimised in interaction with the People of Tomorrow.

Alongside the classic 3 Ps of People, Planet & Prosperity, Pleasure is always at the heart of Love Tomorrow’s activations, as this is key to driving positive change when influencing behaviour. It is Love Tomorrow’s ambition to breathe life into solutions for outside the festival environment and partner with governments, universities, businesses and innovators to co-create a wholesome future for our planet.

Marjolein Weemaes

Marjolein Weemaes

Aquafin

Director Business Development and Innovation

Marjolein Weemaes was originally a researcher at Aquafin, before going on to manage its R&D department.

Aquafin was founded by the Flemish government in 1990 for the purpose of expanding, managing and prefinancing supra-municipal sewage treatment infrastructure. The company also offers its expertise to Flemish cities and municipalities, and more than 100 of these have taken up the opportunity to collaborate with Aquafin for their waste and storm water management.

Aquafin has always had a strong R&D department. In 2018, this was anchored in the new Business Development and Innovation department to help accelerate new ideas’ and concepts’ routes to market. The company’s innovation department develops new solutions for creating business opportunities and for the realisation of Aquafins mission: streams and brooks full of life, and a living environment in harmony with water.

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.

Closing remarks

Jan Jambon

H.E. Jan Jambon

Government of Flanders

Minister-President

Since September 2018, Jan Jambon has been the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy, Culture, IT and Facilities. Before that, he was a Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and the Interior of Belgium.

Jan Jambon began his professional career as a Systems Engineer and Account Manager at IBM, where he worked from 1984 to 1992. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and an MBA from the University of Antwerp.

25 October 2021

Thematic plenary session
Valuing water: a global perspective
14:00 - 15:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water

×

Water

Thematic plenary session

Valuing water: a global perspective

25/10/2021, 14:00 - 15:30 GST (Dubai)

12:00 - 13:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

11:00 - 12:30 WAT (Nigeria)

06:00 - 07:30 EDT (New York)

19:00 - 20:30 KST (Seoul)

18:00 - 19:30 CST (Beijing)

15:30 - 17:00 IST (New Delhi)

07:00 - 08:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Following on from the first session on valuing water and the Flanders’ perspective on how to prioritise water in a changing climate, we widen the perspective by presenting important issues that underpin the value in water. We are aware that in a changing climate more extreme flooding and drought events will occur, meaning that we will have to not only control and reduce GHG emissions but also put in place climate adaptation measures to ensure resilience to the severe impacts that are already happening. We present and discuss how we are responding in different areas of the world to the challenge of putting a proper value in water, including waste water, because “if mitigation is all about carbon, then adpatation is all about water”.

Introduction

Francesca  Vanthielen

Francesca Vanthielen

Moderator

Francesca Vanthielen is a Belgian journalist and news anchor, working for the Business TV channel Kanaal Z. She has master’s degrees in applied economic science and international politics from the Catholic University of Leuven. Francesca is very much involved in the topic of climate change and is one of the founding members of Belgian’s Climate Case, a citizen’s initiative that aims to stimulate policy makers to take climate action through a legal procedure.

Keynote speech

The untapped potential of wastewater

Wastewater companies have an increasing role in countering the effects of climate change and in the transition towards a circular economy. Indeed, wastewater is no longer looked at as something simply to treat and then to dispose of. It is now considered a valuable resource of raw materials and energy.

Aquafin has a broad experience in digesting biomass from its wastewater treatment plants into green gas and green electricity for captive use. Quite recently both products became available to third parties via the gas network and power grid. In addition, phosphorus, an essential nutrient, is being recycled from wastewater on pilot scale. A full-scale plant for this purpose is scheduled to come on-stream in 2026. First steps have also been taken to recover heat from wastewater for district heating. Finally, a limited fraction of Aquafin’s treated wastewater already is now being recycled into drinking water. New projects, including aquifer storage and recovery, are being assessed for further roll out.

All of these developments come in addition to Aquafin’s basic ecological assignment to treat more than 700 million m3 of wastewater, managing approximately 150 sewer infrastructure projects on a yearly basis.

Jan Goossens

Jan Goossens

Aquafin

CEO

Jan Goossens has been Aquafin’s CEO since the end of 2016. With over 1,000 dedicated employees, Aquafin operates more than 300 wastewater treatment units throughout Flanders, as well as managing and financing the continued expansion of the Flemish Region’s sewer infrastructure and water treatment capacity. Backed by in-house research, the company is also diversifying into large-scale energy, heat and nutrient recovery from wastewater. Another current key activity is the development of integrated stormwater plans to help municipalities counter the increasing effects of climate change, such as drought and flooding.

With a PhD in analytical chemistry, Jan Goossens began his professional career at BASF, where he was involved with both the plastic (nylon) and fertiliser businesses, holding several management positions in HR, sales and operations. He went on to become Managing Director of Marpobel, an industrial water treatment facility in the Port of Antwerp, and Managing Director of Industrial Services, a Dutch maintenance provider to the Chemical, Energy and Offshore Industry. Jan has also been a guest professor at Ghent University for 15 years, where he currently serves as a guest lecturer on water management.

Presentation

Valuing Water and Adaptations to Climate Change in Agriculture

Water is crucial for agriculture. To produce food a lot of water is needed. Agriculture, as it is practiced today, is responsible for 70% of all freshwater withdrawals in the world, and therefore, in the water community, agriculture is often quickly labeled as a thirsty ‘sector’, an activity that wastes and pollutes water, ignores the value of water, and threatens the sustainability of our ecosystems.

However, agriculture produces food, and irrigated agriculture is much more productive as rainfed agriculture. Irrigated agriculture produces about 40% of all global food on only 20% of all agricultural land. So it is not likely that irrigation will be phased out in the near future. In addition, agriculture is not the only sector that needs water. With an increasing population, the competition between all water using sectors increases also, putting not only pressure on the environment but also on key food production systems around the world.

Therefore, in the future, we need to produce more with less impact, more sustainably, mitigating and adapting to climate change. We need to put innovation and better practices at the reach of poor farmers, so they can benefit. Farming methods should be more in tune with the ecosystem, make the most of ecological processes and minimize the use of chemical inputs. Such an approach should also be climate-smart in the sense that it helps respond better to climate change.

Lifeng Li

Lifeng Li

FAO

Director of Land and Water Division

Lifeng LI is the Director of Land and Water Division, FAO. Prior to joining FAO headquarters, Mr Li served as Coordinator of Support Programmes at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Incheon, Republic of Korea, during June 2018 – May 2021. He started his career in 2000 as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. In 2002, he joined the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) China Programme as Coordinator of Freshwater and Marine Programme in Beijing, and, at a later stage, he took up the duties of Officer of Freshwater and Marine Programme and Director of Freshwater Programme.

Between July 2008 and March 2017, he served as Director of Freshwater Programme of WWF International in Gland, Switzerland. During June 2017 to May 2018, he was the Head of Programmes at the Wetlands International in Ede-Wageningen, Netherlands. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Geography from Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, and a Bachelor of Science in Geographical Education from Shandong Normal University in China.

Presentation

Valuing water – a pillar of the NGO approach to development

Join For Water is the only NGO in Belgium that solely focuses on water. Join For Water contributes to the development of communities in eight countries in the Global South, so that they can ensure their own subsistence, and improve their resilience. A key factor to this process is an inclusive and sustainable access to water and water services. Professional international cooperation programmes as executed by Join for Water, depart from the value of water under the form of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the benefits to people generated by (freshwater) ecosystems, and thus access to these services is fundamental to human wellbeing and development. Therefore, Join For Water’s approach is based on the protection and preservation of freshwater resources and improving access to water-related ecosystem services. The protection and preservation of freshwater resources is guaranteed through equitable, sustainable, and participatory water management. It leads to benefits for the community and is a lever for development.

Arnoud Lust

Arnoud Lust

Join For Water

Board Member

Arnoud Lust started his career as a project manager leading drinking water projects in Haiti for the NGO Join for Water (then called Protos). Today he is Manager International Business Development at VITO and CEO of VITO Middle East LLC in Qatar. He is responsible for increasing the volume of international contracts won by VITO outside Europe and acts as account manager for International Financing Institutions such as the World Bank. Previously he was business development manager of the Energy division of VITO.

For 10 years he was international business development manager for ARCADIS Belgium (previously ECOLAS NV), a consulting and engineering group active in the fields of environment, infrastructure and buildings. 10 years before that he worked for the water company Aquafin, first as Team Leader in the Planning Department and later as Department Head Special Projects and Environmental Management. Arnoud is a board member of the NGO Join for Water since 1998 and was the chairman from 2009 to 2015.

Presentation

How engineering companies address the value of water

As an international marine and civil contractor, the Jan De Nul Group works with water every day. This poses engineering challenges but also offers opportunities to solve old and new problems. This presentation will showcase a few concrete examples of how, across the different disciplines, we are active and how we reduce water consumption, ensure water quality and create healthy habitats.

Jef Monbaillieu

Jef Monbaillieu

Jan De Nul Group

Business Development Manager

Jef Monballieu is a business development manager at Jan De Nul group, an international marine and civil contractor and president of the steering committee of The Blue Cluster, a Belgian industrial cluster focussed on innovation in the North Sea, with topics ranging from aquaculture to offshore energy. Jef was previously president of the Belgian offshore energy cluster. He has occupied various roles at Jan De Nul group, in the marine construction, civil and offshore branches. He has master’s degrees in civil engineering and business economics from the Ghent University.

Presentation

From Antarctica to Mars: how Water is the blue gold

If we talk about value of water, we see that different values are given for different applications, however water is not application dependant for the value, but part of a system. From real water use to virtual water use in both industry, agriculture and households the value is a changing concept. The presentation will go deeper into the topic of the water system and the value of water connected to that. Water is never alone and is subjected to local circumstances, politics and perception. BOSAQ is very much in the middle of the water value as it is serving both industry and governments. Jacob will explain how BOSAQ uses the value of water to create a worldwide sustainable and social impact.

Jacob Bossaer

Jacob Bossaer

BOSAQ

Founder & CEO

Jacob Bossaer, twins and youngest of 7, at 18 years old 1 year to Costa Rica as a volunteer, industrial engineer chemistry, bouncer in the Overpoort, Ghent. 1-year researcher at VITO, civil engineer chemical technology. Expedition engineer water Antarctica (Princess Elisabeth base, Utsteinen, Antarctica) 5 seasons (November-February). In the meantime process engineer at Dow, process engineer at Jacobs Engineering, project manager and then crisis manager at BASF. Awarded the royal title of Laureate of Labour. BOSAQ started in June 2017 together with Pieter. Responsible leader at the BMW foundation. Elected 40 under 40 Belgium 2021. Thought leader, sustainable drinking water. BOSAQ, his company, awarded Clean Tech Hero 2021 by Flanders Cleantech and finalist of rising start fast 50 by Deloitte 2021.

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

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

Jan Goossens

Jan Goossens

Aquafin

CEO

Jan Goossens has been Aquafin’s CEO since the end of 2016. With over 1,000 dedicated employees, Aquafin operates more than 300 wastewater treatment units throughout Flanders, as well as managing and financing the continued expansion of the Flemish Region’s sewer infrastructure and water treatment capacity. Backed by in-house research, the company is also diversifying into large-scale energy, heat and nutrient recovery from wastewater. Another current key activity is the development of integrated stormwater plans to help municipalities counter the increasing effects of climate change, such as drought and flooding.

With a PhD in analytical chemistry, Jan Goossens began his professional career at BASF, where he was involved with both the plastic (nylon) and fertiliser businesses, holding several management positions in HR, sales and operations. He went on to become Managing Director of Marpobel, an industrial water treatment facility in the Port of Antwerp, and Managing Director of Industrial Services, a Dutch maintenance provider to the Chemical, Energy and Offshore Industry. Jan has also been a guest professor at Ghent University for 15 years, where he currently serves as a guest lecturer on water management.

Arnoud Lust

Arnoud Lust

Join For Water

Board Member

Arnoud Lust started his career as a project manager leading drinking water projects in Haiti for the NGO Join for Water (then called Protos). Today he is Manager International Business Development at VITO and CEO of VITO Middle East LLC in Qatar. He is responsible for increasing the volume of international contracts won by VITO outside Europe and acts as account manager for International Financing Institutions such as the World Bank. Previously he was business development manager of the Energy division of VITO.

For 10 years he was international business development manager for ARCADIS Belgium (previously ECOLAS NV), a consulting and engineering group active in the fields of environment, infrastructure and buildings. 10 years before that he worked for the water company Aquafin, first as Team Leader in the Planning Department and later as Department Head Special Projects and Environmental Management. Arnoud is a board member of the NGO Join for Water since 1998 and was the chairman from 2009 to 2015.

Jef Monbaillieu

Jef Monbaillieu

Jan De Nul Group

Business Development Manager

Jef Monballieu is a business development manager at Jan De Nul group, an international marine and civil contractor and president of the steering committee of The Blue Cluster, a Belgian industrial cluster focussed on innovation in the North Sea, with topics ranging from aquaculture to offshore energy. Jef was previously president of the Belgian offshore energy cluster. He has occupied various roles at Jan De Nul group, in the marine construction, civil and offshore branches. He has master’s degrees in civil engineering and business economics from the Ghent University.

Jacob Bossaer

Jacob Bossaer

BOSAQ

Founder & CEO

Jacob Bossaer, twins and youngest of 7, at 18 years old 1 year to Costa Rica as a volunteer, industrial engineer chemistry, bouncer in the Overpoort, Ghent. 1-year researcher at VITO, civil engineer chemical technology. Expedition engineer water Antarctica (Princess Elisabeth base, Utsteinen, Antarctica) 5 seasons (November-February). In the meantime process engineer at Dow, process engineer at Jacobs Engineering, project manager and then crisis manager at BASF. Awarded the royal title of Laureate of Labour. BOSAQ started in June 2017 together with Pieter. Responsible leader at the BMW foundation. Elected 40 under 40 Belgium 2021. Thought leader, sustainable drinking water. BOSAQ, his company, awarded Clean Tech Hero 2021 by Flanders Cleantech and finalist of rising start fast 50 by Deloitte 2021.

Deep dive session
Nature-based solutions
16:00 - 18:00
Indian Pavilion

Water

×

Water

Deep dive session

Nature-based solutions

25/10/2021, 16:00 - 18:00 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 16:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 15:00 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 10:00 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 23:00 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 22:00 CST (Beijing)

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

09:00 - 11:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Indian Pavilion & online

Join us online >

Join us in Dubai >

Creating a water-secure future requires integrating cost-effective Nature-Based Solutions into existing water management policies and programmes. This session will identify and debate various possibilities and related technological interventions, as well as opportunities for enhanced collaborations, market mechanisms and policy interventions.

If you can not join us in Dubai, you can follow this session online via YouTube.

Chaired by

Mr. Anshuman

Mr. Anshuman

TERI

Associate Director Water Resources Division

Anshuman joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, in 2004. Prior to this, he was with the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, Delhi.

Anshuman has been working in the water sector for 14 years, where his expertise lies in areas related to integrated water resource management, water use efficiency and water quality and quantity assessments. During this time he has carried out several comprehensive research studies in the context of water sources (surface water, groundwater), issues (water scarcity, pollution, use efficiency, etc.), sectors (irrigation, domestic and industrial) and stakeholders (Central/State Governments and local communities).

He has previously been a member of several advisory committees and is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) (Under the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India).

Anshuman has executed various related projects, presented a number of papers at national and international forums and has written several relevant national and international publications. He has a master’s degree in technology in energy and environmental management from IIT-Delhi.

Opening remarks

Vibha  Dhawan

Vibha Dhawan

TERI

Director-General

Vibha Dhawan has been associated with The Energy and Resources and Institute (TERI) since 1985, including serving as Vice-Chancellor of TERI School of Advanced Studies from 2005-2007. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India.

Dhawan is actively involved in both research and policy development, at both national and international level. She is a task force member on a number of committees, including the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL).

Vibha Dhawan is currently serving as Adjunct Professor to the Consul General South Asia Partnership at Michigan State University. She has successfully completed a number of international assignments, including coordinating the Asia Pacific Consortium on Agriculture Biotechnology (APCoAB), advising the Director General of The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and the Deputy Director of research partnerships & co-ordination with the Borlaug Institute for South Asia. She has served on the boards of prestigious organisations in India and other countries, including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Ambedkar University, Ayurvet Foundation and Centre for Bioscience and Agriculture International (CABI).

Keynote speech

Gajendra  Singh Shekhawat

H.E. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Government of India

Union Minister for Jal Shakti

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is an Indian politician from Rajasthan who is currently serving as Union Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Jal Shakti. He is a member of parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), representing Jodhpur in the Lok Sabha.

Shekhawat began his political career in student politics in 1992, when he was elected as president of the Student Union at JNVU University, gaining more votes than previously achieved by any other Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad supporter. Shekhawat was appointed as National General Secretary of the BJP Kisan Morcha, the farmers’ wing of the Bharatiya Janta Party. He was also a member of the Rajasthan State Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shekhawat was elected as a member of parliament to the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014, with the highest ever winning margin (4,10,051 votes) from the constituency of Jodhpur. One of his major achievements during his tenure as an MP has been the expansion of Jodhpur Airport, a demand that had continuously been raised during the last 18 years.

On 3 September 2017, he was appointed as Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Shekhawat became the Minister of Jal Shakti on 31 May 2019.

Presentation

Smt. D. Thara

Smt. D. Thara

Government of India

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs

Thara has been working as an IAS Officer since 1995. She has been working in the State of Gujarat since 1997 and has a versatile experience in various cities of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad, Kheda, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surendranagar in various Departments. She has worked as a District Development Officer in the cities of Vadodara and Surendranagar for a period of 2 years in Land Revenue Management and District Administration and Development Administration. She also has experience as a Collector in Land Revenue Management & District Administration Departments in the cities of Kheda for a period of 1 year and Ahmedabad for a period of 3 years.

Thara has also worked as the Deputy Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for approximately 2 years. During this period, she has worked on a number of JNNURM Projects. She has been one of the pioneers of the BRTS Project which was a very essential project of the city. She has also initiated the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021 as Chief Executive Authority, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) in 2008.

During her tenure as Chief Executive Authority, AUDA, the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021, Ahmedabad was completed and also the First Revised Draft Development Plan of Gandhinagar as the CEA, GUDA was completed. With her focused vision and great leadership qualities, a number of new concepts and ideas were incorporated in the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021. Few of them included the Central Business District, Transit Oriented Zone and Residential Affordable Housing Zone and also the preparation of Local Area Plans for such projects. She has been the Chief Executive Authority of AUDA and Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad. During her tenure, Ahmedabad was made and executed as a Smart City. Water Management and Security was the focus area. 7.5 lac people were given surface water in one year. 4 STPs were initiated and sewage treatment gap is being completely addressed.

She was working as Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, Gandhinagar since 24/06/2016. After that she had joined Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as Joint Secretary on 29/07/2019.

Presentation

Ibrahim Hafeezur Rehman

Ibrahim Hafeezur Rehman

VITO Arabia Science and Technology LCC

CEO

Ibrahim Hafeezur Rehman studied in the UK as a Chevening Scholar in 2000 and has a doctorate from the University of Utrecht. He has over 26 years’ experience in projects and activities related to rural development, dissemination of Rural Energy Technologies, Natural Resources Management and, in particular, Watershed Development.

Rehman has worked with bilateral agencies, corporate set-ups and NGOs on issues related to alleviating poverty. His key focus areas include involving and consolidating grassroots institutions, undertaking initiatives pertaining to market development for clean energy technologies in rural areas, and implementing replicable models of efficient management of natural resources at the grassroots level.

Rehman has worked in various different countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand and Belgium. He is a co-author of three books and has had several papers/articles published in reputed journals and magazines.

Vote of thanks

Mr. Anshuman

Mr. Anshuman

TERI

Associate Director Water Resources Division

Anshuman joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, in 2004. Prior to this, he was with the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, Delhi.

Anshuman has been working in the water sector for 14 years, where his expertise lies in areas related to integrated water resource management, water use efficiency and water quality and quantity assessments. During this time he has carried out several comprehensive research studies in the context of water sources (surface water, groundwater), issues (water scarcity, pollution, use efficiency, etc.), sectors (irrigation, domestic and industrial) and stakeholders (Central/State Governments and local communities).

He has previously been a member of several advisory committees and is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) (Under the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India).

Anshuman has executed various related projects, presented a number of papers at national and international forums and has written several relevant national and international publications. He has a master’s degree in technology in energy and environmental management from IIT-Delhi.

Introduction

Welcome

Mr. Anshuman

Mr. Anshuman

TERI

Associate Director Water Resources Division

Anshuman joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, in 2004. Prior to this, he was with the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, Delhi.

Anshuman has been working in the water sector for 14 years, where his expertise lies in areas related to integrated water resource management, water use efficiency and water quality and quantity assessments. During this time he has carried out several comprehensive research studies in the context of water sources (surface water, groundwater), issues (water scarcity, pollution, use efficiency, etc.), sectors (irrigation, domestic and industrial) and stakeholders (Central/State Governments and local communities).

He has previously been a member of several advisory committees and is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) (Under the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India).

Anshuman has executed various related projects, presented a number of papers at national and international forums and has written several relevant national and international publications. He has a master’s degree in technology in energy and environmental management from IIT-Delhi.

Presentation

Constructed Wetlands Plus (CWplus)

Constructed Wetland Plus (CWplus) is a promising technology which utilises mixtures of substrates combined with adsorbents for enhanced sorption of organic and inorganic micro-pollutants, including heavy metals. Modified constructed wetlands technologies can be used for effluent polishing with enhanced Trace Organic Compounds (TOrCs) removal. The optimal combinations of substrates, such as gravel, sand, lava, GAC and zeolites, are used to remove selected micropollutants and key inorganic contaminants, such as lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium. In polishing applications, modified CWPlus has particularly high removal rates for micro pollutants and pharmaceutical by-products, such as diclofenac and ibuprofen, as well as heavy metals. It is thereby an excellent efficient and low-cost alternative for abating pollution.

Christian Kazner

Christian Kazner

Hochschule Bochum

Professor

Christian is an international expert in water management and teaches urban water management at the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Germany. He covers the entire water cycle, with particular expertise in water and wastewater treatment and reuse. Christian has more than 25 years of experience in the water industry, having worked as a lecturer, team leader in water research, international project manager and consulting engineer.

Christian’s expertise in water includes integrated water resources management, alternative water sources and water stress mitigation, industrial water management and water recycling. He has worked with regional, national and international funding organisations and water associations, as well as industrial partners. Christian is an active member of Water Europe and was editor of the IWA journal Water Science and Technology till 2020. His vast teaching experience at the highest level of education is expected to be very helpful for shaping teaching curriculums to be more efficient and effective.

Presentation

‘Air to Water’ systems

‘Maithri Aquatech is a ‘Make-In-India ’water company who have developed MEGHDOOT – a nature-based solution to guarantee water security, by converting net consumers of the precious utility to net producers. The solution is based on the sustainable concept of Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG), and is capable of generating clean potable water from air, with zero reliance on ground and surface water sources. It is eco-friendly as it has zero water wastage and zero direct carbon emissions, can run on renewable energy, and is a perennial source of water. MEGHDOOT was developed in partnership with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) who aid in water quality testing, filtration and mineralisation research.

Maithri Aquatech’s MEGHDOOT is a proven solution that has generated over 100 million litres of water to date, and saved precious scarce water resources from exploitation. The company has catered to some of the world’s top corporations, provided water to domestic consumers, deployed rapid infrastructure to meet the water demands of the public in water-scarce locations, and has also helped create a new bottled water category sourcing water completely from air.

With its modular architecture, MEGHDOOT can also generate various grades of water to meet requirements of a wide variety of applications such as commercial, industrial, agricultural or others. It is an affordable water solution, capable of generating water for as low as USD 0.02, and much lesser when running on renewable energy.

Naveen Mathur

Naveen Mathur

Maithri Aquatech Private Limited

Chief Executive Officer

Naveen Mathur is currently the CEO of Maithri Aquatech, a ‘Make in India’ company whose product MEGHDOOT has been approved by the Ministry of Jalshakti through the Mashelkar Committee. The company is a Participant Member of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and member of the CEO Water Mandate.

He is a Business and Strategy Expert with over 25 years of rich experience across various industries. He has worked earlier both in India and overseas markets in companies such as WaterHealth, Selular Group, Nokia and Electrolux.

Naveen has done his PGDBM in Marketing from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education, Mumbai. He is a member of the CII National Committee of Water.

Presentation

Sponge City and Nature-based Solutions, Inspired by Ancient Wisdom

This presentation takes a look at the environmental challenges we are facing and what we can do to combat them, with solutions drawn from the nature itself as well as the ancient Chinese wisdom of survival. Pointing out three challenges in relation to our urban planning and design practices ahead, especially after the flood events in China and around the world this year, we concluded three corresponding levels of action, from planning and designing ecological infrastructure for our cities, to raising environmental awareness of our policy makers. We think they are the promising paths for a greener, healthier and more sustainable future. The discussion is backed up by Turenscape’s extensive project experiences, which serves as our ”tests” on the implementation of the ideas above, with three questions in the end for all of us to ponder.

Chen Jianxi

Chen Jianxi

Turenscape

Presentation

Demonstrating riverbank filtration as a nature-based solution in India – examples from project CCRBF

The water sector in India is highly dynamic and spatially heterogeneous. Since the 1960s, groundwater abstraction in many regions of the world as well as development of new technologies for water treatment, have occurred at unprecedented levels that together drive the advance in intentional groundwater replenishment known as managed aquifer recharge (MAR). While implementation of MAR has accelerated at a rate of 5% per year, it is not keeping pace with increasing groundwater abstraction.

Bank/ riverbank filtration (BF/RBF), an element of MAR, is a sustainable natural water treatment technology, where surface water is infiltrated to an aquifer through river or lake banks/beds resulting in water quality improvements. The last 15 years of research on RBF in India has shown that while there is a large potential for it, it is intentionally used only at some places in India resulting in a low portion (<0.1%) of drinking water produced thereof.
Interactions with different water resources stakeholders since 2014 in India has highlighted the need for more scientifically investigated country-wide RBF demonstration sites as a means to increase its application.

Consequently, the Indo-German CCRBF project consortium is developing four RBF demonstration sites and investigating two further sites under different environmental conditions in India. Investigations at some sites have already demonstrated advantages of using RBF for pre-treatment, such as a consistent removal of pathogens of up to 4.4 log10 units and removal of 50% for dissolved organic carbon and 13%–99% for emerging pollutants by RBF at extremely polluted surface waters. The construction of new RBF schemes in six towns in North India since 2017 has led to a 2,700 to 5,700 m³/day increase in drinking water production and thereby 159,000 additional persons have benefitted with high quality water. Low-maintenance and gravity-operated RBF schemes in rural hilly terrain provide effective pre-treatment that is beneficial for subsequent disinfection.

Cornelius Sandhu

Cornelius Sandhu

University of Applied Sciences Dresden Germany

Senior Researcher

Cornelius Sandhu is a senior researcher and lecturer in the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Dresden, Germany (HTWD). He has more than 16 years’ experience in the field of RBF-based water supply in India.

Presentation

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi

Metito Overseas Qatar

Environment and Sustainability Lead

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi, a Chartered Environmentalist, is presently associated with Metito Overseas Qatar, a leading water and wastewater multinational company as Environment Sustainability Team Lead. Over the last two decades, Dr Chaturvedi has been associated with and have contributed effectively to the areas of construction environment and sustainability management of key infrastructure and industry projects in India and Middle East Countries.

In his past assignments, he led the respective organizations in various capacities including as Operations Manager – Environment Division & Principal Consultant CSR and Sustainability at Qatar Design Consortium, Doha, Qatar; as Deputy General Manager-CSR-UN Water Mandate at Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. (HCC), Mumbai and as Field Service Manager at GE (Power and Water) etc. He has honor of being one among 20 experts from across the world to contribute to Evaluation of Research Proposals under SC5-12-2018 EU-India water co-operation during March- April 2018.
With a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Environmental Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IITB), Chaturvedi is a Core Environment and Sustainability Specialist with more than 20 years of hands on experience. He has managed several projects funded by International Agencies including European Union, the World Bank, and SIDA as well as State and Central Government Agencies of India.

He has also assisted Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHA) and Environment Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Govt of India, in execution of JNNURM projects in city of Nashik on behalf of GIZ as environmental consultant.

He has been member of several professional bodies including International Organization for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IOBB), Australia; Institute of Environment Management and Assessment, UK and Eco-Ethics International Union, Germany; Working group for development of India Water Tool by World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Water Action Hub (WAH) and Collective Engagement Working Group (CEWG), Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) of United Nations Global Compact’ The CEO Water Mandate.

Panel discussion

Factors and barriers for promoting the uptake of Nature Based Solutions for water security

Christian Kazner

Christian Kazner

Hochschule Bochum

Professor

Christian is an international expert in water management and teaches urban water management at the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Germany. He covers the entire water cycle, with particular expertise in water and wastewater treatment and reuse. Christian has more than 25 years of experience in the water industry, having worked as a lecturer, team leader in water research, international project manager and consulting engineer.

Christian’s expertise in water includes integrated water resources management, alternative water sources and water stress mitigation, industrial water management and water recycling. He has worked with regional, national and international funding organisations and water associations, as well as industrial partners. Christian is an active member of Water Europe and was editor of the IWA journal Water Science and Technology till 2020. His vast teaching experience at the highest level of education is expected to be very helpful for shaping teaching curriculums to be more efficient and effective.

Naveen Mathur

Naveen Mathur

Maithri Aquatech Private Limited

Chief Executive Officer

Naveen Mathur is currently the CEO of Maithri Aquatech, a ‘Make in India’ company whose product MEGHDOOT has been approved by the Ministry of Jalshakti through the Mashelkar Committee. The company is a Participant Member of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and member of the CEO Water Mandate.

He is a Business and Strategy Expert with over 25 years of rich experience across various industries. He has worked earlier both in India and overseas markets in companies such as WaterHealth, Selular Group, Nokia and Electrolux.

Naveen has done his PGDBM in Marketing from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education, Mumbai. He is a member of the CII National Committee of Water.

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi

Metito Overseas Qatar

Environment and Sustainability Lead

Manoj K. M. Chaturvedi, a Chartered Environmentalist, is presently associated with Metito Overseas Qatar, a leading water and wastewater multinational company as Environment Sustainability Team Lead. Over the last two decades, Dr Chaturvedi has been associated with and have contributed effectively to the areas of construction environment and sustainability management of key infrastructure and industry projects in India and Middle East Countries.

In his past assignments, he led the respective organizations in various capacities including as Operations Manager – Environment Division & Principal Consultant CSR and Sustainability at Qatar Design Consortium, Doha, Qatar; as Deputy General Manager-CSR-UN Water Mandate at Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. (HCC), Mumbai and as Field Service Manager at GE (Power and Water) etc. He has honor of being one among 20 experts from across the world to contribute to Evaluation of Research Proposals under SC5-12-2018 EU-India water co-operation during March- April 2018.
With a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Environmental Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IITB), Chaturvedi is a Core Environment and Sustainability Specialist with more than 20 years of hands on experience. He has managed several projects funded by International Agencies including European Union, the World Bank, and SIDA as well as State and Central Government Agencies of India.

He has also assisted Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHA) and Environment Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Govt of India, in execution of JNNURM projects in city of Nashik on behalf of GIZ as environmental consultant.

He has been member of several professional bodies including International Organization for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IOBB), Australia; Institute of Environment Management and Assessment, UK and Eco-Ethics International Union, Germany; Working group for development of India Water Tool by World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Water Action Hub (WAH) and Collective Engagement Working Group (CEWG), Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) of United Nations Global Compact’ The CEO Water Mandate.

Smt. D. Thara

Smt. D. Thara

Government of India

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs

Thara has been working as an IAS Officer since 1995. She has been working in the State of Gujarat since 1997 and has a versatile experience in various cities of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad, Kheda, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surendranagar in various Departments. She has worked as a District Development Officer in the cities of Vadodara and Surendranagar for a period of 2 years in Land Revenue Management and District Administration and Development Administration. She also has experience as a Collector in Land Revenue Management & District Administration Departments in the cities of Kheda for a period of 1 year and Ahmedabad for a period of 3 years.

Thara has also worked as the Deputy Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for approximately 2 years. During this period, she has worked on a number of JNNURM Projects. She has been one of the pioneers of the BRTS Project which was a very essential project of the city. She has also initiated the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021 as Chief Executive Authority, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) in 2008.

During her tenure as Chief Executive Authority, AUDA, the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021, Ahmedabad was completed and also the First Revised Draft Development Plan of Gandhinagar as the CEA, GUDA was completed. With her focused vision and great leadership qualities, a number of new concepts and ideas were incorporated in the Second Revised Draft Development Plan 2021. Few of them included the Central Business District, Transit Oriented Zone and Residential Affordable Housing Zone and also the preparation of Local Area Plans for such projects. She has been the Chief Executive Authority of AUDA and Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad. During her tenure, Ahmedabad was made and executed as a Smart City. Water Management and Security was the focus area. 7.5 lac people were given surface water in one year. 4 STPs were initiated and sewage treatment gap is being completely addressed.

She was working as Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, Gandhinagar since 24/06/2016. After that she had joined Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as Joint Secretary on 29/07/2019.

26 October 2021

Deep dive session
Decentralised solutions for securing safe water in the face of climate change
14:00 - 15:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Water

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Water

Deep dive session

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

26/10/2021, 14:00 - 15:30 GST (Dubai)

12:00 - 13:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

11:00 - 12:30 WAT (Nigeria)

06:00 - 07:30 EDT (New York)

19:00 - 20:30 KST (Seoul)

18:00 - 19:30 CST (Beijing)

15:30 - 17:00 IST (New Delhi)

07:00 - 08:30 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

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

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

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.

Presentation

Smart use of urban water: reducing buildings’ water footprint

As population growth continues at a breakneck pace, with an expected increase of 2 billion people in the next 30 years, policymakers, urban planners and builders must rise to the challenge of accurate growth forecasting and allocation of investment. There is a clear risk that, by the time infrastructure projects are completed, the growth assumptions made when determining their capacities will already be outdated. Especially in the face of accelerating climate change, pollution, sinking groundwater levels and hydrologic cycle instability in many regions.

In response to this, Hydraloop aims to be a fundamental part of the future construction environment by advocating for future-proof, recycle-ready buildings that can accommodate extreme decentralised water recycling. The decentralisation of water treatment down to household level through technologies such as Hydraloop may be the key. Hydraloop’s modern production line-based processes have an inherent flexibility and its solutions can quickly, and cost-effectively, be applied as and when needed. With this, Hydraloop is another tool which can contribute to achieving our regional objectives for the coming decades.

Alexander Euler

Alexander Euler

Hydraloop Middle East LLC

Managing Director

Alexander Euler is the Managing Director of Hydraloop Middle East and CEO of Gulf Resources Investments. A driven, visionary senior manager with a multi-cultural profile, he provides 20 years of team leadership experience and entrepreneurship to strategic initiatives.

Alexander has led these companies’ global expansion though the establishment of new business branches in Italy, Spain and Chile, together with emerging entrepreneurial activities in Europe and the United Arab Emirates. He has also guided other large private companies through growth, mergers and reorganisation phases within Europe.

Panel discussion

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.

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.

Alexander Euler

Alexander Euler

Hydraloop Middle East LLC

Managing Director

Alexander Euler is the Managing Director of Hydraloop Middle East and CEO of Gulf Resources Investments. A driven, visionary senior manager with a multi-cultural profile, he provides 20 years of team leadership experience and entrepreneurship to strategic initiatives.

Alexander has led these companies’ global expansion though the establishment of new business branches in Italy, Spain and Chile, together with emerging entrepreneurial activities in Europe and the United Arab Emirates. He has also guided other large private companies through growth, mergers and reorganisation phases within Europe.

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

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, 16:45 - 18:15 GST (Dubai)

14:45 - 16:15 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:45 - 15:15 WAT (Nigeria)

08:45 - 10:15 EDT (New York)

21:45 - 23:15 KST (Seoul)

20:45 - 22:15 CST (Beijing)

18:15 - 19:45 IST (New Delhi)

09:45 - 11:15 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.

Presentation

Diving under the iceberg for a robust water system

Year after year, water-related events such as major flooding and prolonged water scarcity are presenting the global economy with some of its most significant risks. However, our current interventions to tackle these challenges are stuck on managing the symptoms (creating larger water reservoirs, strengthening dykes, etc.) without gaining sufficient insights into the root causes of extreme events or how the water system interacts with other systems or activities (mobility, energy, health, the built environment, food production, etc.). The symptom-management approach is, at best, just moving the problems elsewhere. At worst, it is exasperating them. Meanwhile, if more attention were given to water interactions with the rest of our developed ecosystem, the playing field for finding solutions would be considerably broadened.

Gaining the necessary insights requires systems thinking that takes interdependencies into account, while questioning the beliefs, thinking and behavioural patterns that currently steer our water systems. These insights can then be used as a basis for developing solution pathways for a transition towards a more robust water system.

This presentation will examine the results and lessons learned from the H2050 trajectory in Flanders, in which the systems thinking approach has been used to identify new leverage points from which we can move forward.

Dirk Halet

Dirk Halet

Vlakwa

Strategic Coordination

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

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 events, stressing the importance of getting youth involved in improving water-related practices and behaviour.

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Joris is an expert in sustainability within the event and festival world. He’s been involved in organising Tomorrowland since the event’s early years, and founded its Love Tomorrow CSR department in 2012. Love Tomorrow has since grown into a wider-reaching platform that strives for positive impact on our society and environment in general.

Love Tomorrow initiates and develops concepts that contribute to reducing environmental impact, as well as creating awareness for circular models and value in relation to waste and water. The platform also studies and strives to influence behaviour, innovates through pilot projects and supports eco start-ups. Tomorrowland is a powerful solutions breeding and testing ground for smart resource utilisation, waste reduction and recycling, together with the associated designs, systems and communications.

Many initiatives, such as Waterville, the smart water network, Route 360, the pop-up on-site recycling system for PET bottles and aluminium cans, and Camp2Camp, which gives abandoned camping materials new life, have all been developed and optimised in interaction with the People of Tomorrow.

Alongside the classic 3 Ps of People, Planet & Prosperity, Pleasure is always at the heart of Love Tomorrow’s activations, as this is key to driving positive change when influencing behaviour. It is Love Tomorrow’s ambition to breathe life into solutions for outside the festival environment and partner with governments, universities, businesses and innovators to co-create a wholesome future for our planet.

Presentation

Smart water management

Due to a high population density and a large water consumption, Flanders is labelled as a region with a ‘high water stress’. At the same time, a great deal of rain water is being wasted because of the many paved surfaces. When it rains, the rainwater cannot find its way into the ground and boost water levels. At the same time, due to climate change, there are longer periods of drought during the summer period meaning there are more restrictions on water extractions.

‘A living environment in harmony with water’ is part of Aquafin’s ambition for the future. Therefore, a smart approach towards water is needed. The pressure on natural water resources can be reduced by solutions to close the loop of rain water as well as treated waste water.

Marjolein Weemaes

Marjolein Weemaes

Aquafin

Director Business Development and Innovation

Marjolein Weemaes was originally a researcher at Aquafin, before going on to manage its R&D department.

Aquafin was founded by the Flemish government in 1990 for the purpose of expanding, managing and prefinancing supra-municipal sewage treatment infrastructure. The company also offers its expertise to Flemish cities and municipalities, and more than 100 of these have taken up the opportunity to collaborate with Aquafin for their waste and storm water management.

Aquafin has always had a strong R&D department. In 2018, this was anchored in the new Business Development and Innovation department to help accelerate new ideas’ and concepts’ routes to market. The company’s innovation department develops new solutions for creating business opportunities and for the realisation of Aquafins mission: streams and brooks full of life, and a living environment in harmony with water.

Panel discussion

Conclusions and panel statements

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
Dirk Halet

Dirk Halet

Vlakwa

Strategic Coordination

Griet  Verstraeten

Griet Verstraeten

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

Tomorrowland

Head of Love Tomorrow

Joris is an expert in sustainability within the event and festival world. He’s been involved in organising Tomorrowland since the event’s early years, and founded its Love Tomorrow CSR department in 2012. Love Tomorrow has since grown into a wider-reaching platform that strives for positive impact on our society and environment in general.

Love Tomorrow initiates and develops concepts that contribute to reducing environmental impact, as well as creating awareness for circular models and value in relation to waste and water. The platform also studies and strives to influence behaviour, innovates through pilot projects and supports eco start-ups. Tomorrowland is a powerful solutions breeding and testing ground for smart resource utilisation, waste reduction and recycling, together with the associated designs, systems and communications.

Many initiatives, such as Waterville, the smart water network, Route 360, the pop-up on-site recycling system for PET bottles and aluminium cans, and Camp2Camp, which gives abandoned camping materials new life, have all been developed and optimised in interaction with the People of Tomorrow.

Alongside the classic 3 Ps of People, Planet & Prosperity, Pleasure is always at the heart of Love Tomorrow’s activations, as this is key to driving positive change when influencing behaviour. It is Love Tomorrow’s ambition to breathe life into solutions for outside the festival environment and partner with governments, universities, businesses and innovators to co-create a wholesome future for our planet.

Marjolein Weemaes

Marjolein Weemaes

Aquafin

Director Business Development and Innovation

Marjolein Weemaes was originally a researcher at Aquafin, before going on to manage its R&D department.

Aquafin was founded by the Flemish government in 1990 for the purpose of expanding, managing and prefinancing supra-municipal sewage treatment infrastructure. The company also offers its expertise to Flemish cities and municipalities, and more than 100 of these have taken up the opportunity to collaborate with Aquafin for their waste and storm water management.

Aquafin has always had a strong R&D department. In 2018, this was anchored in the new Business Development and Innovation department to help accelerate new ideas’ and concepts’ routes to market. The company’s innovation department develops new solutions for creating business opportunities and for the realisation of Aquafins mission: streams and brooks full of life, and a living environment in harmony with water.

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.

Closing remarks

Jan Jambon

H.E. Jan Jambon

Government of Flanders

Minister-President

Since September 2018, Jan Jambon has been the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy, Culture, IT and Facilities. Before that, he was a Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and the Interior of Belgium.

Jan Jambon began his professional career as a Systems Engineer and Account Manager at IBM, where he worked from 1984 to 1992. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and an MBA from the University of Antwerp.

Deep dive session

Innovative water technologies