30 October 2020 / Vienna, Austria
Danube Water Forum 2020: Fully Virtual, Exceptionally Lively
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
02 November 2020

You really should have been there. As a matter of fact, we all should have been, but for the safety of everybody involved, the first Danube Water Forum did not happen live. We settled for three afternoons of fast-paced webinars, and that worked amaziningly well.

The first Danube Water Forum, Spring 2020 in Banja Luka. Brought to you by IAWD and the Danube Water Program with the generous support of the host city Banja Luka and the Repulika Srpska to bridge the gap between the biennial Danube Water Conferences in Vienna, a live event that rotates through the Danube Region, bringing people, utilities and countries together. It wasn't to be.

A virtual Forum

Corona hit, the Forum was postponed, Corona stayed on, and after encouraging experiences with webinars on crisis response, it was decided to hold a series of webinars. Host city and region kept up their most valuable support, high-profile keynote speakers stayed on board, and even the crowd showed up: At peak times the count showed more than hundred qualified attendees from as far as Asia and the Americas.

A worldwide audience

Altogether six sessions on three days covered all aspects of data gathering, benchmarking and data sharing in the water sector, with keynotes from Joachim d'Eugenio, Policy Assistant in the Directorate for ‘Quality of Life’ (ENV C) at the European Commission's Directorate General Environment on the current very data-centered reorientation that the EU is undergoing, quietly reinventing itself as a “Next Generation EU” and building a world where digital technologies help to build a healthier, greener society and Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, the Global Lead for Disruptive Tech at the World Bank, who showed what is now possible in the data word, and closed his presentation with an encouraging “Disrupt – or be disrupted”.

Amazing stories and exciting perspectives

Do you want to find out how a utility company started out believing it operated 2.500 kilometers of network and found out it was actually 4.000 kilometers? How meticulous performance indicator work identified large-scale petroleum theft in another company? How voluntary benchmarking efforts became law in the Netherlands, or what may be in for your company in a 1,5 billion Green City investment program? Visit the Danube Water Forum event page for full reports on all that was asked and said at the first Danube Water Forum.

A really nice point reached

Winding three exciting days down, David Michaud, Practice Manager for Water Global Practice at the World Bank stated his appreciation of the incredible journey the DWP has had over the last seven years: “Here at the Forum I have seen a whole new quality of conversation. Seven years ago we wondered if we would and really should... - Now we are discussing how we do it. We have reached a really nice point!”

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....