Leadership Forums

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

4th International Water Regulators Forum

Wastewater Reuse Forum

Water Scarcity and Drought Forum

Africa Forum

Emerging Water Leaders Forum

Basin Action Agenda

Tuesday 14 November

4th International Water Regulators Forum

The interdependence between regulatory functions and the relationship of regulators to key stakeholders, including service provides, governments and consumers are of increasing importance in the context of resilient and water sensitive cities.
The Forum offers a platform to bring together leaders of regulatory authorities with economic, quality of service, public health and environmental responsibilities related to water, wastewater and sanitation services.
This is a unique opportunity for regulators working across the entire water cycle to gather in an international setting, share their experience and create working relationships that support their leading role in the sector.

Tuesday 14 November 10:30 – 15:00

Africa Forum

Response to Water Scarcity & Drought

jointly organised by IWA & AfWA

KEYNOTE: Rafik Hirji

Rafik Hirji
Senior Water Resource Specialist – World Bank, Washington DC

Global approach to water scarcity

Dr Rafik Hirji, a leading water resources expert on Africa and with over 30 years of experience in water resources and environmental policy, planning, development and management and climate adaptation research at the global, regional, national and local levels, will focus on challenges and opportunities for building drought and climate reliance in Africa.  The keynote address will first distinguish between water scarcity and drought. Drawing from global knowledge and experiences from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, Dr. Hirji will propose a structured climate adaptation framework for the water sector for building drought and climate resilience in SSA.  Recent experiences from Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe will be used to highlight ongoing water resources development and management challenges and the opportunities for developing drought and climate resilience.  Finally, emerging innovations for developing robust and climate resilient water supplies will be presented.

A number of countries in Africa continue to be victims of the effects of climate change. The latest is the drought that has been experienced in the region for the better part of this year. Water scarcity and floods has brought immense challenges to water utilities as well as Governments as they try to fulfil their commitment to ensuring that water and sanitation service for all as a human right. The first session will be looking at Africa’s response to climate change in as far as drought and water scarcity has affected the water sector and how some countries have managed the challenge.

The second session will be about the on-going challenge of management/reduction of NRW in the African Utilities. With an already on-going water scarcity, it has become even more important to manage whatever water is available efficiently. The session will include presentations from utilities who have recorded positive results as well as discussion of on-going and future initiatives for intervention.

Learn more

Session 1

Rafik Hirji, Senior Water Resource Specialist – World Bank, Washington DC

Global approach to water scarcity

Joseph Mwanamvheka, Malawi Minister for Water

Addressing national water scarcity, challenges and experiences in Malawi: Policy matters

Gildo Timoteo, Aguas Região de Maputo

Drought challenges of Urban water provision from the utility perspective


  • How to develop practical national strategies for handling water scarcity and floods
  • How does a country attract sustainable funding to hundle water scarcity and floods

Session 2

Utilities in Swaziland and Cote d’Ivoire


  • Increased awareness of the status of NRW in Africa
  • More informed NRW interventions in Africa
  • Understanding of African utilities’ commitment to tackle NRW, leading to increased innovative financial support on NRW reduction interventions
Wednesday 15 November

Wastewater Management and Reuse to build Water Wise Cities

Innovative Solutions for Engagement, Planning and Investment

Co-organized with World Bank, CAF and IFC

The Wastewater reuse Forum will involve participants in discussing innovative solutions for engagement, planning and investment.

The Forum will take place in three sessions that will lead to the development of a framework to be carried forward and presented at the World Water Forum in Brazil in 2018.

The first session will set the scene on The wastewater challenge and reuse opportunity, with focus on planning and implementing wastewater management to meet the SDGs; and resource recovery potential and scalability.

The second sessions will focus on Unlocking barriers and enabling reuse and recovery – Innovative Solutions/Cases: Technical, financial and contracting innovations; and Multi-stakeholder engagement for success – social and political innovations.

Finally, the third sessions is themed A vision and roadmap for wastewater management and reuse to 2030. Which will be an interactive 90 min session where an outline of a draft framework is developed with participants that can then be launched/ presented at the World Water Forum in Brazil in 2018 and/or other similar forums.

Thursday 16 November

Water Scarcity and Drought Forum

This Forum is by invitation only. If interested please email Sushmita.Mandal@iwahq.org

Addressing drought requires global leadership. The World Economic Forum ranks the water crisis as the top global risk facing societies, economies and businesses over the next decade. 4 billion people throughout Africa, Asia and South America are affected daily by severe water scarcity and drought. The Forum will deliberate on tackling water scarcity and drought management focusing on:

  • Policy and institutional reforms: review of policy and regulatory frameworks across sectors impacting on water scarcity;
  • Technological solutions: effective demand and supply management through portfolios of solutions;
  • Process oriented efforts: the culture of water use, efficiency, ethics, managing and improving water availability and mechanism to enhance these;
  • Public and private investments: mobilizing local, national and international financial resources for investments in infrastructure required

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  • Benedito Braga, President World Water Council
  • Anthony Slatyer, Special Adviser on Water to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Rafik Hirji, Senior Water Resources Specialist, World Bank
  • Daniel Nolasco, Director & Fellow, IWA
  • Kari Vigerstol, Director of Water Security Science and Innovation, TNC


  • Facilitate and strengthen cooperation and partnership to increase exchange of knowledge and experience.
  • Mobilize and accelerate necessary public and private investments to upgrade existing, and create new water institutions and infrastructure.
  • Support policy, regulation and institutions that create resilient water systems and prevent drought. Redefine the role of business facing this public issue by establishing portfolios of technologies and approaches to reduce water use, reuse water and replenish ecosystems


Towards a platform on best practices for tackling water scarcity and drought. It will work towards:

  • Build consensus on steps to be taken across department/disciplines addressing water scarcity and drought
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange between policy makers, scientists, civil society and solution providers to address the challenges of water scarcity and drought.
  • Sharing experiences and build new partnerships;
  • Provide platform and be a knowledge aggregator on what works and does not work from across the world in tackling water scarcity, especially in the context of South America.

Through the session, participants will build on informing better policy that engage in multi-pronged strategies to address water scarcity and drought.

Water scarcity and drought affects four billion people, and impairs cities, industries and the environment.  In all these areas building resilience to drought and scarcity requires global leadership from a range of stakeholders. DroughtAction initially comprise the leadership from 20 companies, governments in 12 countries, organizations, civil society and academia.

Thursday 16 November

Emerging Water Leaders Forum

An opportunity for young water professionals – the emerging water leaders – to contribute to the development of an action agenda for tackling prioritised water sector challenges. YWPs from multi-disciplinary backgrounds will discuss the solutions to these challenges, discuss the competencies required to build those solutions, and come up with actions for academia, industry, and for themselves. Together with senior professionals they will reflect on the proposed.

If you have any questions please send an email to Kirsten de Vette.

Learn more

What do we need to do to ensure we reach goals set for when we lead the Sector?

Young water professionals will be able to position themselves as Emerging Water Leaders and contribute to the outcomes of the congress. This platform provides a space to take a professional dive into 4 themes considering all the challenges coming our way drawn from the Congress – Enabling Environment through Regulation and Policy, Wastewater as a Resource, Water Scarcity and Drought and City planning and Urban Settlement – with the angle, what do we need to do to achieve all goals set for 2030 and beyond.


To provide an enabling platform that allows for professional input into solutions that are being developed (in the form of briefs to be taken up by IWA programmes and be profiled formally.

Chair: Arlinda Ibrahimllari, UKKO (Albania)

Thursday 16 November 13h30-15h00

Basin Action Agenda

Against The Flow: Engaging Urban Stakeholders in Water Resource Management

Connecting Cities and utilities (and industries) with their basins. Do you represent a city, industry or water and sanitation services? Do you represent a basin organisation, the agricultural or mining sector? The IWA invites you to participate in a workshop to explore how your sector and organisation can be a water steward for healthy and sustainable basins.

Interested in contributing to the Basin Action Agenda?