IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition

Sustainable solutions for emerging economies

To achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 6 of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, will require a massive effort by the water and sanitation practitioners, especially those in low and middle income countries. We are beyond a simple model of expanded investment in infrastructure, there are numerous challenges and they are linked in often complex ways. For example, progress in the sector is significantly hampered by an overall shortage of appropriately skilled people in the workforce. IWA has published a preliminary analysis from 15 countries in 2014. Developing and emerging economies have made efforts to cope with the challenges, training, establishing competency frameworks, organizational development and implementing institutional frameworks. This is only one issue for which the fifth Water and Development Congress & Exhibition creates an opportunity to share, mutually reinforce and accelerate work in progress.


The overarching goal of IWA’s Water and Development Congress series is to catalyse transformational change and support transition to new ways of managing water resources and delivering water services. The Congress is explicitly solutions-focused, based on the already well-documented diagnosis of constraints, challenges and problems in the sector. Performance indicators for these conferences include the level of effective networking, knowledge exchange and the generation of new ideas shared by the participants. Success is expressed as numbers of participants who can leave the conference with new ideas and inspired to take these back to their colleagues and own areas of work.

Transformational change is needed to transition to a water-wise world through a wise implementation of the SDGs. Participants will be asked to learn about and share solutions at four levels:

  1. Enhancing water and sanitation services,
  2. Strengthening the role of water in city design,
  3. Fostering the connection between cities and basins, and
  4. Promoting the engagement of people so they are enabled to take action.

These four levels of actions are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. The breakdown allows for the challenges to be tackled one by one, while keeping a holistic approach. Five building blocks for implementation – vision, governance, capacity, planning tools, and financing & contracting tools – will be covered throughout the different sessions, so that participants may plan their learning experience based on what they need the most.

Who will attend?

  • Practitioners – Utility managers and consultants
  • Governments
  • International organisations
  • NGOs
  • Academics
  • Financial institutions


The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition is a unique opportunity to network with the world’s best development water professionals. Join selected opportunities to engage with specific communities of the IWA network. The welcome reception and gala dinner provide the opportunity to engage and network. And if you are interested in sponsoring an event during our 4 day programme please send us an email .


The information contained in this website is believed to be correct at time of publication. The organisers reserve the right to alter or remove information as circumstances dictate. The organisers take no responsibility for any errors, omissions or changes. The organisers assume no responsibility for opinions or facts expressed by contributors to the programme. The organisers take no responsibility for engagements taken by any parties based on information related to the congress such as travel arrangement or others. Any changes to the programme will be published on the website and on the Congress app at the earliest possible opportunity.

About the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition

The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition is a biannual event that gathers the leading water professionals with a focus in development solutions. Water solutions require diversity and knowledge to reach a water wise world.

The world is facing floods and droughts. The growing population, economic development and impacts of climate change such as extreme weather are increasing the demand on water. Water scarcity makes people sick, reduces productivity and increases gender inequality. Visit the last edition of the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition.

IWA is a global organization that works with an interdisciplinary network of water professionals and partners to create a water wise world. Our experts collaborate and combine their knowledge to spread practical know-how throughout the entire water cycle to help us reduce, reuse, and replenish water resources.

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