About the conference

The IWA Specialist Group on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication

Diffuse pollution of water is a major impediment to meet objectives for water quality, aquatic ecosystems and related biodiversity. Management of diffuse pollution sources in a sustainable way is a key success factor to obtain good water quality, which is important for all ecosystem services that depend on enough and clean water. Despite many efforts to reduce pollution, still many waters suffer from pollution and eutrophication, drinking water resources are threatened, bathing waters suffer from toxic algae, irrigation systems get polluted and sewer systems contain increasingly residues of pharmaceuticals and drugs. Climate change, increasing food production and new emerging substances put increasing pressure on water resources.

The IWA SG on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication aims at addressing a variety of issues associated with contamination of rural and urban water resources. Main topics of the group are: Quantification of pollution sources by monitoring in tandem with modelling, developments and new approaches for pollution control and best management practices (BMPs), technical solutions, sustainable urban drainage systems, reuse and resource efficiency, climate-smart agriculture practices, green technology, and natural retention measures.

IAWD hosting the conference

IAWD (International Association of Water Service Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area) has not only hosted several IWA events, among them the World Water Congress 2008, but has more than 25 years of experience of working with water utilities and national water utility associations in the Danube region. Since 2013, IAWD has been implementing the Danube Water Program, which is a capacity-building program for the Danube region water supply and wastewater sector to achieve smart policies, strong utilities and sustainable services, jointly with the World Bank.

The Danube River basin is the second-largest river basin in Europe and one of the most international rivers of the world, covering more than 800,000 square kilometres (km2), with a total population of more than 133 million people in 19 countries, a diverse landscape, and significant differences in water resources quality, quantity, and climate throughout the basin. With groundwater making up most of the Danube region’s drinking water supply, protecting it from diffuse pollution and over-abstraction is a top priority in the region.

The 4th IWA Regional Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication will focus on protecting the region’s water resources from diffuse pollution and eutrophication to safeguard the ecological status as well as safe drinking water services. This is further supported by a cooperation with the IWA Specialist Group on Health-Related Water Microbiology, which is actively engaged in the development of the conference programme. Thus, the conference will also contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

Conference Topics

  • Diffuse pollution from agriculture
  • Urban and industrial diffuse pollution
  • Modelling and global change related studies (including microbial transport modelling)
  • Soil and groundwater contamination
  • Surface waters quality and eutrophication
  • Microbial source tracking
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Integrated and transboundary river basin management
  • Microbial risk assessment and management
  • Policies, governance and education on diffuse pollution and eutrophication
  • Public participation and sustainable development

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