Conference / Workshop, DWC/DWF
2023 Danube Water Conference
Organizer: IAWD and World Bank

The 2023 Danube Water Conference “Navigating Changing Waters: New ways to overcome emerging challenges of the water sector in the Danube region” will convene on 31 May to 2 June, 2023 in Austria's capital city Vienna, back to back with the UBP Danube Hub workshop to take place on 30 May. 

This conference is organised by the Danube Water Program, run by IAWD and the World Bank, and co-funded by the Austrian Government.

Navigating in a constantly changing environment, keeping the level of service provision despite rising energy bills and an aging workforce, and at the same time investing in performance improvement has become a constant stretch for water and wastewater utilities.

The Conference will draw more than 150 senior water sector representatives from the Danube region to discuss on existing and emerging challenges of the region’s water sector with sessions exploring best practice examples how to manage them and interactive discussions identifying new ways to overcome them.

The Conference's language will be English. Only physical participation will be possible. For further details on logistics, please consult the links below.

Regulations regarding Covid-19

Please consult the website of the Austrian Digital Government Agency for details on potential requirements upon the entry into Austria as well as ongoing restrictions in the country.

Conference Venue

The conference venue is the Federal Academy of Finance, which is kindly provided by the Austrian Ministry of Finance (Sonnwendgasse 13, 1100 Wien). The building is located in walking distance to Vienna's main train station with perfect connection to the Vienna airport.

Call for Submissions

Please note that the Call for Submissions is closed!

In 2023, the Danube Water Program celebrates its tenth anniversary. For the Danube Water Program team this is a sufficient reason to open the Danube Water Conference to an even broader audience and encourage the submission of an outline paper to present either a platform or poster presentation.

Thematic scope for Outline Papers

The Conference programme will cover the following themes: Utility management and operation; Integrated water management and planning; and Governance and policy. Contributions are sought inline with the outlined themes (and related to the sessions outlined in the Agenda) on best practice, applied research, policy developments and solutions relating to challenges faced by water professionals in the Danube region and can incorporate in particular the following topics: Circular economy, Climate smart approaches to water and sanitation, Digital transformation, Innovation in technology and policy, Nature-based solutions in water services, Inclusiveness and equality.

How to submit an Outline Paper

To submit a proposal, please use the template available here. Your initial submission must be in the form of an outline paper: 1-2 A4 pages of text (max. 1,000 words) plus up to two additional pages of tables/figures. The outline paper must persuasively summarise your proposed presentation and shall be submitted to before 15 April 2023.  

How are submissions selected?

Your submitted proposal will be peer reviewed by the Danube Water Program team. Presenters will be notified of acceptance / rejection by 30 April 2023. Selected presenter (both platform and poster) will be required to register as a paying delegate, who are eligible for a discounted registration fee. Presenters are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Registration Process and Fees 

The registration to the 2023 Danube Water Conference has been extended to 22 May 2023!

We thank our institutional partners and conference supporters who help us to make this meeting possible and keep admission fees affordable. We are able to offer you a two-day ticket for €250, with a 30% discount for members of IAWD. 

Type of participant Fee
Regular Attendee 250€
IAWD Member (Utility/Association) 175€
IAWD Member (Institution) 200€
Regular Presenter  175€
Invited Presenter  0€

IAWD members as well as  presenters will receive a Discount Code via email, which shall be applied during the registration process. 

The fee includes participation in the Danube Water Conference including the social events as well as lunch and coffee breaks. Please note that the registration to the conference does not include travel or accommodation.

To confirm your participation, please register by 22 May 2023 by clicking the "Register" button on this page. Further information on the registration process can be found in the "How to Register Guide" under the links below.

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. 

Conference Dinner

Next to interesting presentations and professional networking, the Danube Water Conference will also include opportunities for participants to enjoy themselves and socialize with fellow “water people” in a nice atmosphere.

Taking into account that two important anniversaries are to be celebrated, 10 years of the Danube Water Program and 30 years of IAWD, the Gala Dinner of the 2023 DWC will be special: On June, 1 after the second day of the conference, participants are invited to join a Danube river cruise. Starting at 7 pm, the conference will shift its location onto the water to take a roundtrip on Danube river and canal, including drinks, dinner and wonderful views of the city of Vienna.

Since there is limited space on the boat, tickest are provided on a “first-come-first-serve” basis via conference registrations. Make sure to register soon and tick the box for the Dinner, included in your conference registration fee, to reserve your seat on the ship.               

Hotel booking

Please note that the Danube Water Conference organizers have not pre-booked any rooms. Find a list of hotels in the Logistical Guidelines document (see links below) close to the venue. We recommend making your own accommodation arrangements at the hotel of your preference in a timely manner.               


Session 1
Setting the Scene: The sector's challenges in a time of multiple crisis

31 May,16:15 - 17:45

Mr. Raimund Mair, Senior Water Resource Management Specialist, DWP Program Leader, World Bank, Austria

Ms. Katerina Schilling, Head of Secretariat, IAWD, Austria

Welcome words
Ms. Verena Hagg, Deputy Director for International Financial Institutions, Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria

Welcome words
Mr. Ramon Munoz-Raskin, Program Leader for Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, Western Balkans Region, World Bank, Austria

Mr. Walter Kling, IAWD President, Austria

How to address the water sector’s challenges in a time of multiple crisis?
Mr. Gustavo Saltiel, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, US

Ms. Monika Weber-Fahr, Senior Expert, Austria

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

Mr. Christian Minelli, Head of Secretariat, WAREG, Italy

Ms. Vesna Muslic, President, AQUASAN Network, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Ylberine Baliu,YWP representative, Kosovo

Session 2
Mission (im)possible: Keeping up sustainable service delivery in an economically turbulent environment

01 June, 09:00 - 10:30

Radoslav Russev, CEO, Wadata, Bulgaria

Ms. Amela Basic, Engineer, AQUASAN Network, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Financial sustainability of a utility in a changing environment
Mr. Teodor Popa, CFO, Compania APA Brasov, Romania

Adapting to the changing conditions: Leveraging AI in the Operation of Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Ms. Erika Varga, Project Manager, Purecontrol, France

Introduction of the “Utility of the Future Centre of Excellence”
Mr. Camilo Lombana, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, US

Reforms and developments of the Portugal water sector
Mr. Diogo Faria de Oliveira, President, Portugal Water Strategy, Portugal

Session 3
The wider perspective: Building a water secure sector in the face of the climate emergency

01 June, 11:15 - 12:45

Mr. Raimund Mair, Senior Water Resource Management Specialist, DWP Program Leader, World Bank, Austria

Ms. Eszter Nagy, Assistant Professor, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

Drought risk assessment for water utilities
Ms. Olivia Becher, Researcher, University of Oxford, UK

Session 4
Hidden figures: Attract and retain a diverse and engaged workforce

01 June, 14:00 - 15:30

Ms. Elisabeta Poci, Association Development Manager, IAWD, Austria

Ms. Elsa Belba, Engineer, AKUM, Albania

The future of water jobs
Mr. Josh Newton, Independent Consultant and Founder, US

Equal Aqua - A Framework for Creating and Sustaining Diverse Water Institutions in the Danube region
Ms. Sarah Keener, Global Thematic Lead, Social Inclusion in Water Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank, US

Recognizing and addressing the workforce issues: the perspective of a water utility
Ms. Evis Gjebrea, Deputy General Director, Tirana Water and Wastewater Utility, Albania

Engaging and empowering youth - the Young Water Professionals Chapter in Kosovo
Ms. Diellza Muriqi, Communications Officer Kosovo YWP, Kosovo

Session 5
Think outside the box: New ways to overcome emerging challenges in the water sector

01 June, 16:15 - 17:45

Ms. Kathia Havens, Program Analyst, World Bank, Austria

Ms. Ana Badhofer, Consultant, World Bank, Austria

Session 6
Poster breakfast

02 June, 09:00 - 10:00

Ms. Emilija Milunovic, Project Officer, IAWD, Austria

Ms. Antonia Püspök, Assistant, IAWD, Austria

Water Recourses Management of the Danube with ISME-HYDRO
Ms. Mariana Damova, Mozaika, Romania

Use Data to Improve your Performance: Join NewIBNET!
Mr. Marco Antonio Aguero, World Bank, US

Session 7
Communication & cooperation: Joining forces for a water secure Danube region

02 June,10:00 - 11:30

Ms. Jelena Janevska, Program Director, NALAS, North Macedonia

Mr. Jakub Sochor, Cochair, YWP chapter, Czech Republic

Examples of Awareness Raising Campaigns to strengthen water and sanitation services
Ms. Emilija Milunovic, Program Officer, IAWD, Austria

Examples of Awareness Raising Campaigns to strengthen water and sanitation services
Mr. Zvonko Naumoski, GIZ, North Macedonia

Communicating with your Consumers – the example of Vienna Water
Ms. Astrid Rompolt, Head of Public Relation and Communication Department, Vienna Water, Austria

Communicating with and for your members – the example of Aqua Publica Europea
Mr. Milo Fiasconaro, Executive Director, Aqua Publica Europea, Belgium

The NewIBNET partnership: helping utilities take action on their performance
Mr. Marco Antonio Aguero (tbc), Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank, US

Session 8
Wrap-up and good-bye: 2023 Danube Water Conference closing

02 June,11:30 - 12:00

Mr. Raimund Mair, Senior Water Resource Management Specialist, DWP Program Leader, World Bank, Austria

Ms. Katerina Schilling, Head of Secretariat, IAWD, Austria

Conference wrap-up
Mr. Walter Kling, IAWD President, Austria


Institutional Partners



City/LocationVienna, Austria

Start date 31 May 2023
End date 02 Jun 2023

Language English
Cost € 250.00
Contributed by Voice of the Danube