Being a great ambassador for AIWW as a Programme Advisory Committee Member, we asked Professor Dragan Savic to give his view on the AIWW Conference 2019 themes and topics.
This year’s main theme is the ‘Implementation of integrated solutions by cities, industries, utilities and financiers: from cases to bankable projects.’
Q: How do you see the diversity of the water-related issues and what challenges does this present?
“There are many international organizations, such as OECD, World Economic Forum, UN, FAO, and Water Europe, that address various aspects of water challenges. Maintenance of water infrastructure and the financing of it is one of the key challenges, especially in countries with rapid urbanization. Recent work we carried out together with UNESCO also shows that water, the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 6, is linked to nearly all other SDGs. So the water-food-energy nexus is one of the topics that needs an integrated approach to optimally address the co-benefits of work on water infrastructure. The smart water / hydroinformatics / digital water transition will also help cope with this challenge.”
Q: To what extent do you see that challenges are shared around the world?
“Although there some minor differences in opinion, there is a clear tendency for a consensus on the water challenges at the global level.”
Q: In what ways do you see there is greater potential to share solutions around the world?
“At KWR we believe in a role for a broad diagnosis on Integrated Water Resources Management before starting with sectoral solutions. Many of us live in cities and so, if that is one of our priorities, city-to-city learning is the way to go, in order to optimally use the experiences and expertise of city leaders.”
Q: Is there a need and opportunity to adapt solutions to local conditions?
“Yes indeed. Think globally, act locally but in a coordinated manner. The tasks ahead of us are enormous and therefore collaboration is key.”
Q: Why should someone attend the Amsterdam International Water Week 2019?
“The key point of discussions at AIWW is the most important challenge of the century, and that is water. ”