The International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition was held in Tokyo on 16-21 September, attracting a record 9,800 water-related professionals from 98 countries to debate on the world’s pressing water problems.
Australian Water Partnership (AWP) CEO, Professor Nick Schofield, and Senior Program Manager, Ashleigh Rhind, joined almost 90 other Australian delegates at the annual event, where AWP hosted the Australia Pavilion, providing a hub for networking and showcasing Australia’s water expertise in one of the largest international water events with over 250 exhibitors from around the world.
Partners joining the Australia Pavilion were the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), the University of Technology (Institute for Sustainable Futures), the University of Queensland (Australian Water Management Centre), and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
During the Congress, Prof Schofield participated in the launch of the Basin-Connected Cities Action Agenda, which focused on influencing and activating urban stakeholders to protect and invest in water resources with basin and catchment organisations. Following the launch of the Action Agenda, the Basin-Connected Cities Forum explored how cities, regulators, utilities, and industry can work with basin and water resource agencies to become better water stewards in their watersheds. Made up of two sessions, it featured perspectives from representatives from various cities around the world, engaging in roundtable and panel discussions on innovative practices and how to realise action.
Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, The Hon Richard Court AC, hosted an evening function as a special occasion for the Congress, which was attended by 40 AWP Partners. Mr Court noted the increasing profile of Australia’s water expertise internationally and AWP’s role in linking this expertise to needs of developing countries across the Indo-Pacific region. Mr Court also alluded to Japan’s achievements in managing its water resources, especially in the disaster risk management and international development spaces.
Our CEO Prof Nick Schofield with AU Ambassador to Japan the Hon Richard Court – thank you @AustraliaInJPN for hosting @WaterPartnersAU at #WorldWaterCongress, encouraging discussions on big #water challenges facing the region pic.twitter.com/SrdYCldJb9
— AWP (@WaterPartnersAU) September 20, 2018
Prof Schofield said that one of the clear highlights of the week was seeing CRCWSC’s CEO, Prof Tony Wong, receive the IWA 2018 Global Water Award. Prof Wong was awarded in recognition of the exceptional role he has fulfilled in working for over 30 years in the field of urban water, bridging gaps between sectors and disciplines.
“We congratulate Prof Wong on a very well-deserved award,” said Prof Schofield. “The achievements, leadership and innovation Prof Wong has demonstrated throughout his career are outstanding, and we are proud to have CRCWSC among our talented and highly valued Australian Partners.”