Conference / Workshop, Exhibition / Fair, Event, DWC/DWF
2021 Danube Water Conference
Organizer: IAWD and World Bank

The 2021 Danube Water Conference “Building a Resilient and Water Secure Danube Region” will be convened on October 18-20 followed by Business Meetings on October 21 (by invitation only).

Given the continuous insecure situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Danube Water Conference, which is the flagship event in the frame of the Danube Water Program, will be held virtually. The Conference will provide an international forum with the objective to share lessons learned and to discuss approaches on how to build a resilient and water secure Danube Region. The event will continue to focus on the water services sector, while also expanding the scope to the broader water management agenda with experts and representatives from the region and beyond.

The Conference Management Platform Swapcard

Keeping in mind the ever-growing webinar fatigue, we have decided to introduce a new type of virtual event, hosted on the leading-edge digital conference management platform Swapcard -- this is not your average webinar. At the virtual Danube Water Conference, you can customize your schedule and create a personalized profile for networking with participants, panelists, and exhibitors.

Pick and choose what is relevant to you! Join an exciting two-track conference covering water security and water supply and sanitation services. Spend three inspiring afternoons attending short, crisp sessions in a variety of engaging session formats. Sit down with colleagues in the virtual space for safe 1-on-1 networking and take a tour of exhibitor booths. Enjoy a nearly real-life conference experience without having to leave your chair.



Employing latest virtual conference technology comes at a cost, and we thank our corporate partners who help us to make this meeting possible and keep admission fees affordable. We are able to offer you the three-day ticket for €80, with a 35% discount for IAWD members. If, for any reason, you would like to join the Conference, but the registration fee prevents you from doing so, please reach out to us ( and we will try our best to accommodate on an exceptional basis.

For speakers and panelists the registration fee will be waived. 

Both IAWD members and speakers/panelists will receive a Discount Code via email, which shall be applied during the registration process. 

Registration is now closed! If you wish to join the conference on a last minute basis, please drop a note at!


2021 Danube Water Conference: 
Opening Session

18 October, 12:30 - 13:30

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Welcome words
Mr. Winston Yu, Practice Manager, Water Practice, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank, US

Welcome words
Mr. Walter Kling, IAWD President, Austria

Welcome words
Ms. Elisabeth Gruber, Director for International Financial Institutions, Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria

Keynote "Building a Resilient and Secure Water Sector – Needs and challenges ahead"
Dr. Kala Vairavamoorthy, CEO, International Water Association, UK

Feedback on Keynote
Dr. Monika Weber-Fahr, Senior Advisor, World Bank, Austria

Feedback on Keynote
Mr. Jiri Paul, Managing Director, VAK Beroun, Czech Republic



Taking the pulse:
A Water Security Diagnostics for the Danube Region

18 October, 14:00 - 15:15

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World Bank Water Security Initiative
Mr. Raimund Mair, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, World Bank, Austria

A Water Security Diagnostics for the Danube Region
Dr. Taher Kahil, Research Group Leader, International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), Austria

World Bank analytical work as a basis for reform and investment decisions
Mr. Simon David Ellis, Program Leader, Western Balkans CMU, World Bank, Austria




Explore the D-LeaP tools for efficient water services

18 October, 14:00 - 15:15

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Knowing your data and knowing your assets - the Utility Benchmarking Program
Dr. Katerina Schilling, Communication and Program Manager, IAWD, Austria

Knowing your data and knowing your assets - the Asset Management Program
Dr. Petros Kolovopoulos, Executive Director, Hydro-Comp Enterprises, Cyprus


Droughts and climate change:
An increasing threat, is the Danube Region prepared?

18 October, 15:45 - 17:00

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Toward a more drought resilient Danube region: outcomes of the Danube Drought Workshop
Ms. Sabina Bokal, Senior Program, Global Water Partnership CEE, Slovakia

Future of water in agriculture in the Balkans – the Irrigation and Drainage Eco(system) Approach
Dr. Ranu Sinha, Irrigation and Drainage Specialist, World Bank, US

Reliability and climate resilience of water supply in Croatia’s coastal areas 
Mr. Stjepan Gabric, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, Croatia


How the Utility Management Training supports you to become a Utility of the Future

18 October, 15:45 - 17:00

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Utility of the Future - Igniting transformation in water and sanitation utilities
Mr. Camilo Lombana Cordoba, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, US


Plenary Session
Innovative technology for Water Security

19 October, 12:30 - 13:45

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Digital water – key water management tool for 21st century
Prof. Vladan Babovic, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore

Israel experiences in developing and implementing innovative technology in WSS
Mr. David Balsar, General Manager of innovation and ventures Mekorot Israel National Water Company

Corporate innovation acceleration and competitive environment in the water sector
Ms. Leona Aslanova, CEO, Innovation Starter Box, Bulgaria



Do you speak Danubian?
Breaching new communication paths for promoting the water sector in the Danube region

19 October, 12:30 - 13:45

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Elevator Pitch: Do you speak Danubian?
Mr. Konstantin Ivanov, Regional Coordinator, Global Water Partnership (GWP) Central and Eastern Europe, Slovakia


Plenary Session:
Smart Utility Management for resilient water service provision 

19 October, 14:15 - 15:30

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Transboundary water cooperation:
Progress and emerging challenges

19 October, 14:15 - 15:30

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How the UNECE Water Convention supports transboundary water cooperation in the Danube region and worldwide
Ms. Sonja Koeppel, Secretary of the Water Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The draft 3rd international River Basin Management Plan for the Danube River Basin
Ms. Edith Hödl, Permanent Secretariat, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), Austria

The draft 2nd international Flood Risk Management Plan for the Danube River Basin
Mr. Igor Liska, Permanent Secretariat, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), Austria


Ask me Anything:
Everything you wanted to know about water

19 October, 16:00 - 17:00

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Mr. Gustavo Saltiel, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, US


Stakeholder consultations:
Water Security Diagnostics

19 October, 16:00 - 17:00

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Water Security in the Danube Region
Mr. Raimund Mair, World Bank, Austria


Plenary Session:
Fostering an innovation culture to support utility modernization

20 October, 12:30 - 13:45

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Innovation needs in the water service sector
Ms. Andrea Gysin, Thames Water, UK


Plenary Session: Integrating Green and Grey Infrastructure for Water Security and Climate Resilience

20 October, 12:30 - 13:45

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Harnessing nature for sustainable water resources management
Ms. Irene Lucius, WWF Central and Eastern Europe

Natural solutions for rural wastewater treatment
Dr. Günter Langergraber, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Austria

Plenary Session: Cooperation as key to sustainable water services

20 October, 14:15 - 15:30

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Is cooperation the key to sustainable water services?
Mr. Daniel Bruderer, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland

Example of Montenegro
Mr. Dusan Raicevic, Mayor of Bar and NALAS Vice President, Montenegro

Second year of COVID-19 crisis - Impacts and mitigation measures in the WSS sector

20 October, 14:15 - 15:30

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Impact of Covid-19 on LGUs and PUCs in the Western Balkan region
Mr. Hari Shutoski, German Society for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ)

2021 Danube Water Conference:
Closing Session

20 October, 16:00 - 17:00

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Can we build a resilient and water secure Danube region?
Mr. Winston Yu, World Bank, US


Institutional Partners




Start date 18 Oct 2021
End date 20 Oct 2021

Language English
Cost € 80.00
Contributed by Voice of the Danube