As we are approaching AIWW2023, we like to introduce you to our much appreciated PAC members. Meet Christopher Gasson, publisher of Global Water Intelligence and chairman of the Global Water Leaders Group.
You are involved with Amsterdam International Water Week from the start. Why is it important to you?
“The Netherlands is leading the world in water in a number of ways. It has some great utilities and it is well ahead in terms of circular economy and climate change issues such as coastal protection. But that is not why I find AIWW so exciting. It is the creativity of the Dutch when it comes to thinking about water. There is no better place to look for new ideas.
But it is not just about the Dutch. AIWW always attracts the top thought leaders from across the world. That’s because the Amsterdam Waternet plays such a big role in the global water industry, both in terms of its partnerships with major global cities like Berlin, Paris and New York and in terms of World Waternet’s activities in the developing world. It is a great place to connect and to be inspired.”
What are your expectations for this year’s AIWW?
“The event always starts with a theme that sounds quite general but when it comes closer, it all falls into place. And by then we know what the world wants to talk about and that is what is presented on stage. I think this year we will see more talk about climate change adaptation than mitigation. I sense that this is the way the dialogue has been moving since COP 27 in Egypt. AIWW is a great venue to discuss water’s role in this new narrative because the Netherlands is so much on the front line of water management in the face of climate change. All leaders, from utilities, cities and industries need to be involved and consider strategies for dealing with the fact that water contributes only 2% to climate change, but it represents 70% of adaptation.”
Why should any water expert visit AIWW2023?
“As a news magazine publisher my job is to find the real new, new thing. That is why I go. I am sure others are interested in this too. Will we find it again at this year’s AIWW? I am sure we will. Things are moving fast, both in terms of the new challenges the water sector is facing, and in terms of the rate of innovation. The big themes are likely to be nature based solutions, the circular economy, and public engagement. I think that the latter is possibly the most important. That is because the biggest challenge we face as an industry is to get public support for the investment that we need to meet future demands on infrastructure. “