2015 Water and Development Congress & Exhibition

The IWA Water Development Congress & Exhibition 2015 took place
in the Dead Sea, Jordan.

Congress in Numbers






In October 2015, the Kingdom of Jordan hosted the International Water Association’s Water and Development Congress & Exhibition. The Kingdom of Jordan is recognised as one of the three most water-deprived countries in the world, and the Middle East and North Africa is home to 14 of the world’s most water stressed countries, most of which share water resources with one or more of their neighbours. With water scarcity expected to intensify over the next 25 years, water could be the spark that incites more conflict in a region already beset by a serious humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

The urgency of regional water challenges set the stage for the 1st West Asia and North Africa Water (WANA) Summit, a platform for regional water cooperation where to debate on how best to manage water resources and services, on the basis of innovative water solutions to be applied at scale. The Summit and Congress both aimed to further cooperation and to find practical and sustainable water management solutions to ease tensions created by water scarcity.

In addition to the WANA Summit, keynote speakers, dedicated Forums, technical sessions and workshops all provided for a diverse venue where to share new ideas, insights and foresight, on how to turn the tide and make water the catalyst and driver for development that it has always been.

Programme 2015

Keynote Speakers

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Nitin Desai

Former Under Secretary-General, United Nations, India


Susan Mboya

President, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Kenya

David Grey

Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Pamela Tshwete

Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Republic of South Africa

Charafat Afailal

Minister Delegate to the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, Morocco

Uygar Ozesmi

Director, CEO Good4Trust, Turkey

Thalappil Pradeep

Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Programme committee

The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2015 was a unique event focused on water solutions for developing countries and emerging economies. It brought together internationally renowned leaders in the sector to share knowledge and practical experiences; and to build new partnerships that accelerate change that delivers a sustainable water future.

The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2015 took place in Jordan, and covered 6 programme themes: From Water Conflict to Cooperation and Development; Turning the Tide on Water Resources; Rapid Urbanisation as Driver for Sustainability and Resilience; New Business Models for Water and Sanitation Services; Water and Cleantech as Opportunity for Growth and Development; and Growing Professional and Sector Wide Capacities.

From Water Conflict to Cooperation and Development

From Water Conflict to Cooperation and DevelopmentCreating the institutional fabric to scale up local initiatives, achieving universal coverage of services and managing water resources sustainably (in its economic, social and environmental sense) is critical for progressive development.Every step of socio-economic development is likely to increase the demand for water and hence requires institutions to organise water distribution, manage conflicts over water and build consensus on the way water is allocated, used and preserved. However, each step also creates new opportunities, through economies of scale, new technology and a greater resource base for good governance. What are key success factors for scaling-up successful local water service initiatives? How to develop needed regulation and the regulatory authority for the water sector? Can water actors move beyond national and regional issues?

Turning the Tide on Water Resource

Economic development is dependent on the wise management of resources. Serious floods and droughts can easily wipe out several percentages of annual GDP for a country. Skyrocketing insurance claims linked to water-related disasters undermine principles of risk sharing and investment policies in further developing the water, sanitation and wastewater infrastructure. Inefficient use of water, for example due to leakage, deprives others from a more beneficial use of water and increases costs of distribution and use. Depletion of groundwater is rapidly leading to irreversible situations threatening urban and rural areas alike. What are effective schemes of sustainable water resource management for farmers and industry to invest in? How to manage and control groundwater abstractions in large areas? How can cities connect to their hinterland and become a viable partner in investing in wise water management? How to tackle the rapidly growing pollution of national and local water ways?


Rapid Urbanisation as Driver for Sustainability and Resilience

Urban areas in many developing and emerging economies are rapidly growing. This growth often outpaces the capacity of local governments to plan for and guide the development. As a result unplanned sprawling cities emerge with inadequate services and development, often in areas prone to disasters. How to turn urbanisation into a force for rapid expansion and improvement of water and wastewater services? What are successful and scalable initiatives that can be replicated? What is the role of city planners and developers in delivering water and sanitation services in future mega cities? Can we go beyond a focus on service delivery towards integrated urban water resources management?

New Business Models for Water and Sanitation Services

Current models of water, sanitation and wastewater service delivery are inadequate for providing the billions of people who lack these services today. There is an urgent need to develop new business models that are likely to involve new technologies for delivery and other actors to provide the service. What are successful and replicable models for water and sanitation service delivery in slum areas? How to ensure new urban developments have quality services while treating wastewater to environmental and health standards? How to renovate and upgrade existing urban areas with a wide variety of water and sanitation demands? How to move beyond national goals and targets on water services coverage and achieve a progressive realisation of the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation nation-wide?

Water & Cleantech as Opportunity for Growth and Development

Large amounts of wastewater and other bio-solid waste are left unused and often even hardly collected. The water, energy and materials embedded in the millions of tons of organic waste are in fact a great source of re-usable water, renewable energy and recoverable materials. In some developing and emerging economies this has not gone left unnoticed and pilot schemes to capture the energy and resources from wastewater have been developed. Furthermore, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are revolutionising the water industry, for example in consumer relations or network operations. What is the potential for further developing wastewater – energy capture schemes in developing countries? How do the latest mobile APPS transform the water sector? How effective are decentralised wastewater – energy capture schemes?

Growing Professional and Sector Wide Capacities

With increasing coverage and levels of services there is a need to develop the capacity of individual water professionals, organisations and the national water sector. Very few countries have invested in, or developed a deliberate strategy for developing their nation-wide water sector capacities. Also very few nations have developed curriculum and qualifications for different occupancies for water professionals. What are successful models to organise the water sector professionals at the national level? How to stimulate cooperation between research institutions / universities / vocational training institutes and water operators? Who is to lead on the development of standard list of qualifications for water professionals? What are successful training/ learning models for academic and vocational training?

Tom Williams (Chair), Netherlands

Rifaat Abdelwahaab, Egypt

Ghazi Abu Rumman, Jordan

Nishat Ainun, Pakistan

Samir Bensaid, Morocco

Nayef Hammad, Jordan

Rose Kaggwa, Uganda

Muwaffaq Saqqar, Kuwait

Fadi Shraideh, Jordan

Jorge Triana, Colombia

Andreas Ulrich, Germany

Uta Wehn, Netherlands

“The resilient water supplies of the future, and promoting cooperation rather than conflict over water, will only be achieved if we surpass the SDG targets. The Water and Development Congress aims to be an important stepping stone towards that goal.”

Ger Bergkamp, Past President, International Water Association

Leadership Forums

The Congress includes a number of important Forums that connect you to science and industry leaders. This is an opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of current trends, latest research, guiding strategies and leading practice.

Young Water Professionals Forum

This forum provides an opportunity for Young Water Professionals to discuss/ debate future challenges in the water sector, as well as to examine the solutions to these challenges, and their role as young professionals can be pivotal in addressing them.

Utility Leaders Forum

The place to discuss utility pathways to water security,  including investment in institutions, information and infrastructure.


Business Forums

The Business Forums provide an opportunity to participate in a series of sessions where delegates can interact with national delegations, commercial and non-commercial organisations to discuss and learn about the innovations and new developments (projects, services, research, challenges, and strategic direction) of single companies and countries.

Central & Eastern European Water Forum

Divided into two sessions on Water and Wastewater services in the Danube Region and Improving Water Services and Responding to Future Challenges in the CEE Region, the Forum will explore the opportunities and priorities for the water sector in the region over the next 20 years.

Africa Water Forum

This forum looks at Africa’s establishment of effective policy and regulatory frameworks for drinking water regulation and human resource capacity development strategies.

The Congress convened more than 3000 participants from 82 countries to share knowledge and practical experiences; and to build new partnerships that accelerate change to deliver a sustinable water future.

Technical Tours

Connecting you to leading practice and large-scale applications in some of Jordan’s renowned water treatment facilities

Wadi Ma’in, Zara and Wadi Mujib Desalination Project

This desalination project began pumping water to Amman in August 2008 and is now managed by the Miyahuna Company. It transfers approximately 47 million cubic meters of drinking water to Amman in order to meet the needs of nearly a million inhabitants.

Wadi Musa Wastewater Treatment Plant combined with a visit to Petra

The Wadi Musa Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uses treated wastewater and bio solids in agriculture to reduce the strain on Jordan’s overtaxed aquifers, and to effect poverty relief in one of Jordan’s poorest regions. The WWTP also helps to ameliorate the strain of tourism on the environment at Petra, Jordan’s most important tourist attraction. It is a significant contribution to the development of the Petra Region and to Jordan as a whole.

Exhibitors, Partners and Sponsors

A unique strength of the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition is the seamless integration of the conference’s leading-edge science and technology focus, with world-renowned water companies, utilities, governments, NGO’s, research institutes an civil society organizations participating in the exhibition.

Networking Events

The IWA Water and Development Congress and Exhibition is a unique opportunity to network with the world’s best water professionals with a focus on development solutions. 

IWA Development Awards

IWA is committed to recognising the special contributions and achievements of its members and water sector professionals, and the invaluable contribution they make to key innovations in water science and management.

2015 Winners

IWA Development Award: Practice

This award recognizes an outstanding contribution to science which has led to demonstrable impact in low and middle income countries.

Mamadou Dia has played a key role in transforming the water sector in Senegal to be a leader in Africa. Amongst his many notable achievements he was awarded the IWA Development Award for Practice for increasing access to water services, particularly amongst poor communities; improving the quality of water services; and contributing to the International Water Association’s work on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation…

IWA Development Award: Research

This award recognizes an outstanding contribution to best practice in water management which has led to demonstrable impact in low and middle income countries.

Pay Drechsel was awarded the IWA Water and Development Award for Research for increasing our knowledge on low-cost safety options along the farm to fork pathway. This work directly supported the World Health Organization’s multi-barrier concept for safe wastewater irrigation. His research has played an important role in developing options for safe wastewater use in countries where treatment capacities are low and informal wastewater use is a common feature of irrigated urban and peri-urban agriculture in support of urban food security.



Browse through the photography coverage of the event!