Beyond Utility Reach? How to Close the Rural Access Gap to Wastewater Treatment and Sanitation Services
Organizer: Danube Water Program, World Bank and ICPDR

Building upon previous work on this topic by the World Bank, under the Danube Water Program, and the ICPDR, this workshop aims to contribute to understanding, issue awareness, potential approaches to overcome constraints and to create an enabling framework for sustainable and decentralized solutions for wastewater treatment in rural areas.

The workshop will focus on issues of wastewater management in small agglomerations (below 2,000 PE), with an emphasis on decentralized sanitation and wastewater treatment systems in rural areas, individual (IAS) and low-cost solutions, and will bring together policy makers, government and utility representatives, academia, consultants and international institutions engaged in field of rural wastewater.

The Organizers

The 2021 Rural Wastewater Treatment Workshop is organised by:





Session 1
Setting the Scene – Policy context and regional analytical work in the field of rural wastewater management

19 January, 13:30 - 15:00

Overview of existing framework, status and analytic review on rural wastewater management in the Danube region
(Günter Langergraber, Institute for Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)

EU wastewater legislation and relevance for wastewater management in rural areas
(Michel Sponar, Deputy Head of Unit, Marine Environment and Water Industry, European Commission, DG Environment)

Regional overview on water quality and wastewater situation in the Danube River Basin
(Elena Tuchiu, Director of Department, National Administration Romanian Waters and Chairperson of ICPDR Pressures and Measures Expert Group)

Approaches and lessons on sanitation service provision in rural areas – in the Danube and beyond
(Susanna Smets, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, Washington DC)

Session 2
The enabling environment: approaches to wastewater management at national level (legal, financial, regulatory)

19 January, 15:15 - 16:30

Austrian experience in rural wastewater management
(Heide Müller-Rechberger, Head of Department, Directorate-General I – Water Management, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Austria)

Wastewater solutions for settlements under 2000 PE in Hungary
(Gabriella Krempels Muranyine, Head of Department, Directorate of River Basin Management, Ministry of Interior, Hungary)

Challenges and solutions for rural wastewater management in Romania
(Gheorghe Constantin, Director, Directorate for Water Resources Management, Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, Romania)

Session 3
Good practices at the municipal level

20 January, 13:30 - 14:45

Rural wastewater management in Serbia
(Prvoslav Marjanovic, Advisor to Director, Institute for Water Resources Development `Jaroslav Cerni`, Beograd, Serbia)

Rural wastewater treatment provided by a water cooperative in Upper Austria
(Wolfgang Aichlseder, General Manager, OÖ WASSER Genossenschaftsverband, Linz, Austria)

Organization and costs of wastewater treatment in low density area of Portugal
(Nuno Broco, Executive Vice President of Águas de Portugal Serviços Ambientais, Lisbon, Portugal)

Session 4
Technical solutions and developments in rural wastewater management

20 January, 15:00 - 16:15

Overview on small-scale/decentralized wastewater treatment technologies and their performance
(Günter Langergraber, Institute for Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)

VillageWaters – Sustainable Solutions for Small-Scale Wastewater Treatment in Baltic Sea Region
(Jari Heiskanen, M.Sc in Chemical Engineering, SYKLI Environmental School of Finland, Helsinki, Finland)

Presentation of nature-based solutions, constructed wetlands in Slovenia
(Anja Potokar, Engineer, Limnos Ltd., Company for applied ecology, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Session 5
Wrap up and Closing

20 January, 16:15 - 16:45

Summary, conclusions, lessons learned and potential future actions
(Günter Langergraber, Institute for Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)


Institutional Partners

The organization of the 2021 Rural Wastewater Treatment Workshop has been made possible through institutional support from:




Start date 19 Jan 2021 , 13:30 CET
End date 20 Jan 2021

Language English
Contributed by Voice of the Danube
Workshop Report (English)