Ivan Ivanov newly appointed chairman of “Bulgarian VIK Holding”

Ivan Ivanov, the President of IAWD member Bulgarian Water Association (BWA), has been elected as the chairman of the “Bulgarian ViK Holding” EAD. The other two members of the Governing Board are the recent director of water utility of Shumen, Iliyan Iliev, and Ventsislav Todorov, past manager of Samokov region of Sofia water utility.

The resolution for the establishment of the “Bulgarian ViK Holding” EAD was taken by the Council of Ministers on 16 January 2020. This new structure has a significant influence on the development of the water supply and sanitation sector in Bulgaria, as it will improve the coordination and management control of the water utilities.

Further information

SAVE THE DATE: The response of the Danube region’s water service sector on the Corona crisis

Webinar Series

Objective of the series:

The objective of the webinars is to share useful and practical experience for managing water services and utilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to allow for an exchange between utilities on useful response mechanisms, as well as to exchange on how business continuity can be ensured under the ongoing circumstances.

Dates and topics:

7 May 2020, 15:00 – 16:15: Managing water services in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic

14 May 2020, 15:00 – 16:15: Exchange of experiences between water utilities in delivering services in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic

28 May 2020, 15:00 – 16:15: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic for ensuring business continuity of water services


Update and information on the Corona virus for water and wastewater utilities

Following the first reports of cases of acute respiratory syndrome in the Chinese Wuhan municipality at the end of December 2019, Chinese authorities have identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The outbreak has rapidly evolved affecting other parts of China and outside the country. Cases have been detected in several countries in Asia, but also in Australia, Europe, Africa and North America.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), so far all countries in the Danube region have recorded cases of infection with coronavirus. As with influenza viruses, the novel coronavirus is transmitted via direct bodily contact or via droplet infection. As far as we can judge at this moment, any transmission of coronavirus via public drinking water supply can be excluded.

Below you can find information (websites, documents, webinars etc.) provided by IAWD, our partners – the national water utility associations – and other relevant stakeholders in the water sector.


WEBINAR: The response of the Danube region’s water service sector on the Corona crisis

National water utility associations:

WEBSITE: Coronavirus: Informationen für die Betreiber von Abwasseranlagen

WEBSITE: COVID-19 and Water



Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS):

NEWS: Special edition of NALAS Digest: Local Response to COVID-19

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

WEBSITE: Status and updates on COVID-19 
LEAFLET: Handwashing poster 
INFOGRAPHIC: Minimise the spread

World Health Organization Europe (WHO Europe)

WEBSITE: Status and updates on COVID-19

World Bank Group

WEBSITE: World Bank Group and COVID-19

International Water Association (IWA)

WEBSITE: Information and resources on water and  COVID-19 
TASK FORCE: IWA set-up a Covid-10 Task Force 


Water Europe

POSITION PAPER: A Water Smart Society for a Successful post COVID19 recovery plan


European River Memorandum (ERM) adopted on World Water Day

Logos MemorandumThe ERM Coalition, a broad coalition of drinking water suppliers in the major European river basins Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Meuse, Scheldt and Ruhr inhabited by 188 million people in 18 European countries, is pleased to release the European River Memorandum 2020 on World Water Day.

The ERM sets out strategies for precautionary water protection in 10 theses as well as target values for watercourses, which are indispensable as minimum quality standards to secure sustainable drinking water supply. The more climate change is proceeding, the more safeguarding of the remaining drinking water resources is getting imperative in order to adapt.

⇒ Press Release ERM English 
⇒ European River Memorandum 2020



Danube Water Conference 2019

In its seventh year, the Danube Water Conference traditionally happening in May each year in Vienna, has again proved to be THE gathering of the Danube region’s water family.

This year’s conference on “Achieving resilience in water and wastewater utilities in the Danube region” brought together 180 people coming from 25+ countries representing all stakeholders of the water sector to discuss the way forward towards smart policies, strong utilities and sustainable services.

In her keynote speech Monika Weber-Fahr, CEO of the Global Water Partnership, pointed out that resilience is the ability to “bounce back” after a shock or negative development and talked among others about the importance of resilient leadership to build a resilient water sector.

Consequently, the investment in human capital was one of the guiding principles during the two days event. The State of the Sector update report identified the capacity of people as one of the remaining key challenges in the region and referred to the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP) as one of the possible options to improve the situation.

In the session on “Managing talents for resilient services”, Jasmine Böhm highlighted that the entire pool of talents needs to be sourced to ensure a diverse workforce and finally resilient water and wastewater services. Further on, the audience identified an inspiring leadership as the key element to attract talent into utilities and appreciated IAWD’s concept of a Utility Management Training, which is currently under development.

On the second day, Michel Sponar, Deputy Head of DG ENV C2 in the European Commission presented his speech on the "Evaluation and recast of EU water policies – status, challenges and lessons learned”. Although there are still some barriers preventing the full implementation of water policies, such as lack of political will or too optimistic deadlines due to lack of serious planning, the success is obvious due to a simple, clear and focused legislation as well as the EU carrot and stick approach (EU funds vs. infringement).

Other topics discussed in the two days include cooperation as a tool to achieve resilient services, financing for resilient water infrastructure projects as well as the upcoming component on water security, which is to be developed by the World Bank under the third phase of the Danube Water Program.

In the interactive closing of the conference the audience identified “Investment in people” followed by “Financing instruments should listen to bottom-up needs” and finally “Communication and collaboration between all stakeholders are essential to meet SDG targets” as the take home messages from this year’s conference.

Presentations of the conference are available here→.


Joint Final Project Conference of PROLINE-CE and CAMARO-D projects

In the framework of this Joint Final Conference the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism as Lead Partner of these two projects will organize a two-day Event.

Program overview:

3rd June 2019:

  • Presentation of the main PROLINE-CE and CAMARO-D Project outcomes
  • Panel Discussion: Protection of (drinking= water resources and mitigation of flood through the imolementation of innovative practices in land use and water Management - challenges, opportunities, possible steps for Joint actions

4th June 2019:

  • Roundtable: Challenges of Integration of land use and (drinking) water management
  • Signing of two declarations by notable representatives of each Partner Country to foster a Joint commitment towards an optimized and coordinated land use Management regarding water resources protection and improved flood risk prevention.
  • In the afternoon, there will be the possibility to participate in a guided tour through the nearby Belvedere Castle.


Conference agenda and registration


Partnership Agreement signed in the frame of 2nd Danube Hub Benchmarking Workshop and Conference

In the frame of the 2nd Danube Hub Benchmarking Workshop & Conference organized by IAWD in cooperation with City of Subotica and PUC Waterworks and Sewerage Subotica, a Partnership Agreement has been signed by four utilities and their municipalities, i.e. Subotica, Bijeljina, Novi Sad and Szeged, all of them participating in the Danube Hub operated under the D-LeaP Utility Benchmarking Program and three of them being IAWD members (Subotica, Bijeljina and Szeged).

Within the Agreement the signing parties commit to partner in the field of communal water management to exchange knowledge and experiences about good practices to

  • raise awareness of current and future users
  • strengthen capacities of local authorities and water and sewage companies
  • improve operational performance
  • achieve an integrated management of infrastructure and assets and
  • improve cooperation with service users and other stakeholders

The Agreement has been signed in the presence of representatives of IAWD and NALAS.

IAWD and NALAS as regional networks and strategic partners encourage and commend this initiative and positive example of cooperation between the local governments and public utilities in the water and sanitation sector.


Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe

GWP CEE and IAWD signs a Memorandum of Understanding

Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe

On 15 February 2019, Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) and the International Association Of Water Supply Companies In The Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding is an excellent opportunity to complement the expertise and partnerships that the two organizations have built in their networks.

Both organizations have extensive networks of partners/members, with which they work, and which could benefit from mutual experience and knowledge sharing. The missions of GWP CEE and IAWD are complementary, with GWP CEE focusing on advocacy for integrated water resources management and IAWD on sustainable development of water supply and sanitation services.

GWP CEE and IAWD agreed to strengthen a cooperation in knowledge sharing and capacity building activities. Both organizations have a strong commitment to youth and will continue working further towards more active involvement of young water professionals in water governance. Another area of mutual interest is the support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) processes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that will engage both networks of partners/members.

With IAWD’s extensive technology and engineering expertise, and GWP CEE’s water governance and stakeholder engagement knowledge, both organizations plan to join forces in identifying possibilities for joint project proposals to ensure a better water resource management in the region.


Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) is a network of GWP partners active in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. GWP CEE is an independent organization that has a legal personality. GWP CEE Steering Committee / Council is a decision-making body. Its focus is to bring together various sectors and interest groups to identify and discuss common water problems and to develop action plans based on integrated water resources Management.

10th DEX Summer School

dex summer school started in 2009 and was successfully continued since then with more than 200 young water professionals from more than 15 different countries. In 2019 the dex summer school will be held in Rottenbach/Austria at the premises of dex member VTA. The 2019 program follows the strategy of maintaining basic lectures enriched with new topic of interest. All teachers are internationally well recognised academics from Austria and Germany with long term scientific and practical experience in the field of their lectures and beyond. This years course will cover experiences and practical aspects for the design and operation of sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants, laboratory work on determining sludge parameters and microscopy, sludge treatment and disposal, anaerobic treatment and membrane technology as well as dynamic simulation and energy management of waste water treatment plants.

Folder dex summerschool 2019


2nd Danube Hub Benchmarking Workshop

The workshop will bring together the leading utilities from the Danube region to analyse and discuss current performance of utilities in the region, performance improvement options, and especially how cooperation between utilities and local governments can be improved toward even better water and sanitation services. In that regard, IAWD is further developing its cooperation with NALAS, the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe.

For more information please visit D-LeaP - Events