13 September 2023 / Vienna, Austria
For Those Who Weren't There – and Those Who Want to Reread - the 2023 DWC Conference Report
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
13 September 2023

The 2023 Danube Water Conference was noteworthy in many respects: a record audience, exciting new session formats, distinguished speakers, exciting and inspring insights, an encouraging share of young water professionals both on the stage and in the audience, and a conference dinner not by, but ON the Danube, with a double Birthday party celebrating three decades IAWD and ten years Danube Water Program. We have compiled a full conference report, both for those who could not attend, and those who would like to reread the most important takeaways. Here it is. Just follow the link at the bottom of this story.

You will find plenty of food for thought, a look at huge challenges ahead, but also reason for optimism. Titled “Navigating Changing Waters”, the conference covered a huge range of topics, ranging from insights into the World Bank's Utilities of the Future program and its brand new Center of Excellence in Tirana, Albania, over the amazing success of a long-time water sector reform in Portugal down to first experiences with Artificial Intelligence in the operation of wastewater treatment facilities.

Some presentations produced a direct impact: Olivia Becher, Researcher at the University of Oxford, presented a global framework for drought risk assessment for water utilities, and the Danube Water Program recently announced its participation in this effort.

Others left the audience deep in thought, like the talk on workforce recruiting and retainment by Josh Newton, founder of Josh's Water Jobs, a web platform that advertises jobs, consultancies, internships and scholarships in the worldwide water sector.

Sarah Keener, Senior Social Development Specialist and Global Thematic Lead Social Inclusion in Water at the World Bank, presented Equal Aqua – A Framework for Creating and Sustaining Diverse Water Institutions in the Danube Region, stating that “Gender is not about gender. It's about performance!”

And Diellza Muriqui, Communications Officer of the Kosovo Chapter of the Young Water Professionals network, introduced her organization and its objectives, adding the perspective of the next generation.

The last session of the conference was dedicated to communication, presenting various approaches to solve the problems of a sector that often struggles to engage with decision-makers and a wider public.

But read for yourself and browse the event's page below for the report, all session recordings and summaries – and stay tuned. We are currently busy organizing the follow-up event: Date and location of next year's Danube Water Forum will be announced shortly. We are looking forward to meeting you there.

VoD - 2023 Danube Water Conference

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...