On 1 December 2016 a delegation of senior representatives from water utilities in the Republic of Srpska visited Vienna Water and IAWD. The visit was part of a study tour organised by the Water Utility Association of the Republic of Srpska to Switzerland and Austria. The aim of this visit was to support managers in utilities to learn about management practices in other utilities. In addition to discussion on Vienna water management the utilities were also informed on the possibilities and benefits of becoming member of IAWD. After a morning filled with presentations and information about Vienna Water and IAWD the technical visit was completed with a tour through two „watermarks“ of Vienna: Vienna Water Tower and the Wienerberg Reservoir.
The Budapest Water Summit 2016 conference and exhibition was held between November 28 and 30
In the representation of nearly 120 countries, about 2000 scientists, politicians and experts consulted on today’s perhaps most pressing issue, one of the key element of the environmental sustainability, the protection of our water and water resources during the three days of Budapest Water Summit.
Participants of the conference agreed that it must be prevented by all possible means to let a water crisis develop in the world. Representatives of the world nine largest development banks also participated on the event and committed themselves to double the amount spent for water related investments over the next five years. The final document of the event - the Budapest Water Summit 2016 Messages and the Policy Recommendations- is also emphasizing the appreciating role of water preservation in the future. See more here:
The Roundtable of Water Utility Associations convened in Vienna on 27-28 October 2016. The focus of the meeting was the final establishment of the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP). Ten representatives of water utility associations as well as the team of the Danube Water Program, and GIZ, reviewed the final drafts of the D-LeaP Governance Documents, included comments and proposed final changes. Furthermore, the state of D-LeaP offerings was presented and potential hubs declared their interest in one or more of the offerings. The Technical Partners for the Commercial Efficiency (Valu Add) and Energy Efficiency (Econoler) programs have been selected following the meeting and the development of the curriculum of these topics has begun.
IAWD has played a central role over the past two years in bringing Water Utility Associations from the Danube region together to discuss topics of common interest. The most recent meeting of this "Roundtable of Water Utility Associations" took place in Vienna on October 27-28, 2016. The focus of the meeting was the establishment of the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP) which the Roundtable of Associations has been promoting since its first meeting in September 2013. Ten representatives of water utility associations as well as the team of the Danube Water Program, and GIZ, reviewed the final drafts of the D-LeaP Governance Documents, and provide comments and final changes to the documents. IAWD is playing a central role in facilitating the formation of the Danube Learning Partnership and the meeting confirmed the commitment of the Associations to use cooperate with IAWD in this initiative. As an expression of commitment many of the Associations expressed their desire to join IAWD as Extraordinatry members.
The first of these - OVGW and the Hungarian Utility Association MAVAZ have already done so with more expected shortly.
On 25-26 September 2016, Ms. Eszter Torda, Program Manager of IAWD participated and gave a presentation on the Water Operators’ Partnership (WOP) and the strategic cooperation with UN-Habitat/GWOPA in the panel discussion on water at the annual conference of the Institute of the Regions of Europe in Salzburg.
The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Hasenleithner from Energie AG Oberösterreich Wasser GmbH who recently joined IAWD.
Ms. Eszter Torda underlined, that UN is committed through UN-Habitat Programme to an integrated urban water management as it has a direct impact on urban ecology, economy, resilience and equity. With the idea of twinning water operators that have expertise to share with those who would benefit from that expertise, WOPs constitute a win-win solution for capacity development worldwide.
Ms. Eszter Torda stressed, the Danube river is an international highway between major urban areas of Europe with essential economic and human resource opportunities for business, innovation and technological challenges. The concept of the strategic cooperation with UN recognizes and puts emphasis on these factors and the underlying possibilities.
She recognized, that in this century water needs to be at the heart of the conversation.
IAWD Secretary General, Walter Kling, also participated in the event, using the opportunity to promote future cooperation with IRE on water related topics focusing on the Danube Region.
There were approximately 200 participants at the conference. It was a great opportunity to promote the work from Austria and South-Eastern Europe-wide, on local government level.
For more information visit: http://ir000044.host.inode.at/de/activities/past-events/
Every two years the IWA Benchmarking and Performance Assessment Specialist Group (BPA SG) organises a conference to present experiences, learn about other benchmarking and assessment project around the world. The PI Conference is also a traditional forum where ideas and methodologies are exchanged. The next PI Conference will be hosted by the International Association of Waterworks in the Danube Catchment Area (IAWD) from 15 – 17 May 2017 in Vienna.
For further information visit the official conference webpage.
At the General Assembly in May IAWD welcomed three new members to the organisation: Compania Apa Brasov SA and Apaserv Satu Mare in Romania and Vodovod Subotica in Serbia. Each of these utilities are active members of their national associations and have been active in improvements to their operation as well as engaged in international activities. In joining IAWD General Manager Danutiu Stegerean of Apaserv pledged “to contribute resources and expertise to the successful development of regional collaboration with other water companies in the Danube area”. Subotica has demonstrated its commitment to cooperation by agreeing to participate in a Water Operator Partnership together with long-time IAWD member Budapest Waterworks. Darius Bör from Apaserv Satu Mare said "IAWD serves as the dynamic knowledge hub for water utilities to establish their own foothold".
In addition to new utility members IAWD is also very pleased to have a new extraordinary membership from the Austrian Water Association (ÖVGW). Also the General Secretary of the Hungarian Water Association MaViz attended the General Assembly of IAWD in May and expressed that the “delegation was very satisfied and we are very committed to be involved in the work of IAWD as an upcoming extraordinary member.”
In March 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between IAWD and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) through the Global Water Operator´s Partnerschips Alliance (GWOPA) to establish Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) in the Danube region. The aim is to develop new opportunities for IAWD and its members, improve the service quality in the region with the support of UN. The first WOP was launched in April 2016 between Budapest Waterworks and the Waterworks of Subotica in Serbia - a new IAWD member.
Budapest Waterworks, the mentor in this programm has already gathered much expertise in peer-to-peer support during the (profit-oriented) globalisation initiative launched by the Hungarian government. The non-profit-oriented WOP is now drawing benefit from this expertise. Csaba Haranghy, Head of Budapest Waterworks and Vice-President of IAWD, explains the interests of his enterprise in the WOP. „A particularly positive aspect ist hat we are able to maintain a high level motivation among our staff. After many decades, work tends to become a routine, and it is always good to have some change! At the same time, we get an insight into other international aspects of our so fallen water world. Last but not least, the mentor also learns from the mentee“
The established WOP has also given rise to mutual „fact-finding missions“ in each other´s operation and a number of workshops. Budapest has also provided manuals in Hungarian and English language. A WOP last for 14 months and can subsequently be extended.
NALAS brings together 16 associations which represent roughly 9000 local authorities, directly elected by more than 80 million citizens of this region. NALAS promotes the process of decentralisation in cooperation with central governments and international organisations, considering local self-government as a key issue in the current process of transition affecting the various countries in the South-East Europe.
During the XI NALAS (Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe) General Assembly, held in Pristina on 14 and 15 April 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NALAS and IAWD. "I am happy that I was able to attend NALAS conference yesterday and learn about the challenges of local governments in the Region when it comes to investments. We are here to join actions, develop capacities and improve services to citizens", said Mr. Walter Kling on behalf of IAWD.
"In the past several years, with the support of the GIZ Open Regional Funds - Modernisation of Municipal Services, NALAS has been working intensively to improve the conditions in the water and waste water sector, supporting municipalities to provide well managed, good quality and sustainable water services to their citizens. During this process, we have met a valuable partner, IAWD, and have started an exchange of knowledge and expertise, being aware that municipalities and their integral part, the public utilities, must work closely together in improving the services and planning investments. Today, by signing the MoU, we are bringing the existing cooperation with IAWD at a next level", said Mayor Naim Ismajli, the new NALAS President.
Further information on NALAS can be found here.
The purpose of this IAWD CEO Meeting is to initiate and establish a regular opportunity for Leaders of the water sector in the Danube region to share information and experience with one another on topics of mutual interest related to utilitity management. IAWD is planning to convene at least one such meeting every year as part of its offer of benefits to utilities for participation in the organization.
On March 4 2016 Senior Executives from Water Utilities in the Danube region were invited to the launch of a new initiative of IAWD to expand exchange between Senior executives of utilities in the region. The first CEO Meeting was held in Vienna with the aim for senior executives of key water utilities in the Danube region to share information and experience with one another on topics of mutual interest related to utility management. The kick-off event featured a presentation from the CEO of Budapest Waterworks Csaba Haranghy that triggered intense discussion among the participating executives.
The Managing Director Vienna Waterworks, Wolfgang Zerobin, stated at the end of the meeting that seldom “have I had such a chance to exchange with other leaders of utilities in such a friendly and engaging atmosphere.”
The development of this web site was supported by German and Swiss Cooperations through the Regional Dialogue Platform project, implemented by IAWD and GIZ Open Regional Fund for Modernization of Municipal Services.