Obligation of the water profession for our common future
September 27 - 28 / 2007, Berching / Germany - Europahall
Change of Paradigms !?
Climate change, population growth, migration and urban sprawl are factors forcing us to reconsider the traditional approach to urban water management. The water supply and sanitation infrastructure currently in use worldwide was developed in and for countries which are relatively wealthy, and which have access to plenty of water. Unfortunately, conditions like this are not common in other parts of the world, and they may become uncommon even in many of the industrialized countries.
Is it really wise to build the same kind of infrastructure and to apply the same methods and processes in regions with different climatic, ecological and economical conditions? Should we maintain our flush and discharge sanitation concepts while freshwater is becoming a limited resource? Aren’t there smarter, more environmentally sound methods to use and safeguard our precious water resources? Are water authorities, city planners, architects, regulators and politicians ready to accept innovative solutions deviating from those described in text books?
Questions like these were raised during the symposium, and it was jointly searched for answers. In vivid discussions all participants were encouraged to open and controversial discussions and it got clear that wastewater should no longer be viewed and treated as waste, but as a valuable resource.
More than 450 visitors from all continents attended this very successful international event. The subject water was looked at from a global point of view and from different technical angles. But also the connection between water and music and religion was shown in presentations and an evening concert.
What remains is the commitment of all working in the water sector to explore new technologies in order to achieve the MDGs and ultimately provide the world with water and adequate sanitation.