05 August 2020 / Vienna, Austria
Save the Date: The Danube Water Forum Goes Virtual
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
08 August 2020

The Danube Water Forum is the year's most important meeting of stakeholders in the region's water-service sector. Due to the Corona situation, the much-anticipated 2020 edition will happen in cyberspace. Which actually fits the Forum's theme: data, their importance and value in the digital age.

Originally, the Danube Water Forum 2020 would have convened on April 27-29 in Banja Luka, gathering representatives from the Danube region's national and regional governments, regional utility associations, national water and municipal associations, regulatory agency platforms, EU, GIZ, SDC and the World Bank, academia, private companies, Young Water Professionals and many more.

Along came COVID-19, and like almost everybody on the planet, the organizers needed a plan B. Luckily they had one at hand. The organizing body is the Danube Water Program, run by IAWD and the World Bank and funded by the Austrian Government.

A mainstay of its pandemic crisis response is a series of webinars for utilities and interested water service sector professionals. The success of these events encouraged the organizers to move the Danube Water Forum 2020 online, replacing the physical meeting with a three-day series of webinars. The Forum's theme is the key role of high-quality water sector data as a basis for smart policies, strong utilities and sustainable services.

Day one will start with a welcome from the original host city Banja Luka, followed by a keynote speech offering a global perspective on the theme and showcasing how data availability helps to evaluate improvements of the water service sector in the Danube region. This introduction will be complemented by a presentation on water sector data in the intersectoral context, taking into account Integrated Water Resources Management and water security aspects.

Two sessions on day two will address the interrelation between sound data availability and smart policy decisions and the value of sound performance indicator data for financing water services.

On day three, the Forum will address the relevance of data collection as a basis for utility performance improvement and summarize the key findings of the Forum in a high-level panel discussion.

Thankfully, all involved parties agreed to this decision: The municipal authorities of Banja Luka, who enthusiastically supported the event, will keep up their support. All originally scheduled speakers agreed to make their contributions digitally. Most importantly, personal contacts showed the audience's unbroken interest in the theme and the Forum as such. 

Further details, including the details on the webinar registration, will be available in due time.

The organizers encourage everybody with an interest in this event to save the date and to monitor the Voice of the Danube event section.

VoD - First Danube Water Forum

The Danube Water Forum will convene on October 27-29, 2020 and given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the event will go virtual, holding its premiere edition as a three-day series of webinars....