16 March 2023 / Vienna, Austria
The Most Exciting Place This Week was Sofia: IAWD Board Meeting and UMT residential week
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
17 March 2023

Thank you, Sofia Water: Last week, IAWD member and Bulgaria's largest and most innovative utility company hosted a double-billed event with sizeable impact on the sector in the region: The IAWD met to discuss future strategies – and the D-LeaP's Utility Management Training kicked off its second training cycle.

On 13 March, the IAWD board members and staff gathered in Sofia for a three-day program including the regular Board Meeting, a subsequent Strategic Retreat and a field trip to the Sofia Wastewater Treatment Plant, a pioneering installation when it comes to energy efficiency and circular economy.

Next door, 16 water professionals from 6 countries sat down for the initial residential week of the second edition of the Utility Management Training, a comprehensive professional training course that is a mainstay of the D-LeaP capacity building initiative. It provides water professionals with latest strategies and tools to improve the performance, safety and service quality of the region's utilities.

But back to the IAWD event. While the Board Meeting was more or less a standard procedure, the Strategic Retreat dealt with nothing less than the future of our community. Those who were there describe the discussions as lively and fruitful.

At the end of the program Sofia Water, both host of the IAWD meeting and utility host of the UMT residential week, invited the participants to a field trip to the Sofia Wastewater Treatment Plant. Commissioned in 1984, this plant has undergone frequent improvements and modernizations, making it a showcase for circular economy and energy efficiency. Today, it turns out dry sludge in fertilizer quality and produces 23% more energy than it consumes.

Sofia Water also hosted a dinner event that brought the IAWD crew, the UMT participants and Sofia Water staff together for a pleasant social occasion.

We thank the host of this important week, wish the UMT class of 2023 the deserved success and return to the future and the strategies we need to stay on top.