What a year 2020 has been! It has been so challenging for many of us, due to the pandemic. Looking back makes me feel both proud and thankful. Proud of our resilient team, making use of the remaining and new opportunities for cooperation and co-creation. And thankful, for you being a dedicated member, offering continued support. You have our highest gratitude and appreciation.

More than ever, 2020 highlighted the importance of our field, the water sector. Reflecting our strengths, we reinforced our concept of mix, meet and match. Whereas we preciously focused on the event itself, we are now working towards a 24/7 community. As Amsterdam International Water Web we’re in the process of upscaling our online presence, with our community platform in the heart of a media mix containing news, blogs, video and in the coming year podcasts and webinars. By sharing and interacting, together we can bridge the gap between todays challenges and future needs, with water as an accelerator for sustainable solutions.

The past year AIWW organised and facilitated several online events, working towards our AIWW2021 event, to be held 1-3 November 2021. AIWW2021 will be hybrid or online, but no matter the form: we’ll be bringing experts from cities, industries and utilities together with scientists to discuss integrated solutions, new paths and coalitions. The new theme has been established: ‘Blue-Green deals with Integrated Solutions’. The theme is a plea to always explicitly include water in sustainable change. Whether it is transport, agriculture, housing or the energy transition.

As we’ve seen in 2020, climate change doesn’t care much about Covid-19. The massive wildfires in Australia and California, heavy downpours in southeast Asia and floods in southern France, northern Italy and China bear witness to this. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warns of the extinction of 1 million plant and animal species. So of course, AIWW stays focused on the SDG’s, with horizon 2030 on SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (climate action). Our Amsterdam Agreements – like ‘Drinkable Rivers’ and ‘Smart Blue-Green Rooftops’ – contribute to the realization of those ambitious goals, but we need new dreams. Dreams from the heart.

We hope to meet you all live again in 2021 to share dreams, personal experiences as well as new ideas, good practices and new solutions. For now, I’d like to wish you happy holidays and all the best for the New Year. Stay safe.

With kind regards,

Kees van der Lugt
Project Director AIWW

On behalf of the AIWW team,
Monique Bekkenutte, Eleanor Treadwell, Quirine Winkler, Anniek Corporaal, Pepijn van Loon, Nupur Jain, Wouter IJsselmuiden, Suzanne Wijker and Rasha Hassan