Monday February 19, 2024

  • 12.30pm – 5.30pm // International Markets Workshop

    The UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT) will host an afternoon workshop on International Market Opportunities. See more details.

  • 7.00-10.30pm // Pre-Summit International Reception

    British Water will host a pre-summit international reception providing a platform for those involved in the global water market. See more details.

DAY 1: Tuesday February 20, 2024

09.00
Welcome Remarks

A warm welcome to the 2024 World Water-Tech Innovation Summit. Hear from the Rethink Events team on the key themes for this year’s summit, and what you can look forward to over the next two days.

09.05
Opening Plenary // Engaging Systems Thinking to Improve Sustainability Across the Watershed
  • As extreme weather events intensify, how can a systems thinking approach be used to improve watershed management and enhance resiliency?
  • As demand from industry, energy production and consumers rises, what are the key barriers that utilities and policymakers face when engaging in cross-sector collaboration for water management?
  • How can collaborative efforts between government agencies, research institutions, and technology companies be enhanced to ensure that systems thinking accelerates the implementation of technological innovations?
  • What examples are there of successful initiatives that have leveraged systems thinking to drive technological advancements for better watershed sustainability? What were the outcomes and lessons learned?

Moderator: 
Carly Perry, Managing Director, SPRING, UK

Speakers: 
Cintia Araujo, Superintendent, NATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION AGENCY (ANA), BRAZIL
Bernard Koh, Assistant Chief Executive, SINGAPORE PUB, SINGAPORE
Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, INTERNATIONAL WATER ASSOCIATION, UK
Mark Smith, Director of Water, RSK, UK
Martin Shouler, Associate Director, ARUP, UK

09.50
Fireside Chat // Equitable Access: Maintaining Affordability in the Face of Mounting OpEx Challenges
  • With the introduction of expensive regulations across Europe and North America and emerging environmental and public health crises prompting implementation of new treatment methods globally, how can we avoid rate hikes to keep water accessible to everyone?
  • The EU is in the process of tightening its UWWTD rules to address contaminants of emerging concern. This is likely to result in the necessary upgrading of many wastewater treatment facilities. How can the impact on the consumer be mitigated while ensuring utilities have the investment required to implement these changes?
  • Now that the UK is finalising AMP8 asset management reviews, what can we expect to see for the future of asset health from the developments planned? How is this going to impact the consumer?
  • With the introduction of expensive regulations across Europe and North America and emerging environmental and public health crises prompting implementation of new treatment methods globally, how can we avoid rate hikes to keep water accessible to everyone?
  • The EU is in the process of tightening its UWWTD rules to address contaminants of emerging concern. This is likely to result in the necessary upgrading of many wastewater treatment facilities. How can the impact on the consumer be mitigated while ensuring utilities have the investment required to implement these changes?
  • Now that the UK is finalising AMP8 asset management reviews, what can we expect to see for the future of asset health from the developments planned? How is this going to impact the consumer?

Moderator:
Cat Shrier, Founder & CEO, WATERCITIZEN, USA

Speakers: 
Randy Hayman, Commissioner & CEO, PHILADELPHIA WATER, USA
Vera Eiró, CEO, ERSAR, PORTUGAL
Ben Harding, Regional Vice President – UK & Ireland, VEOLIA WATER TECHNOLOGIES & SOLUTIONS, UK

10.30
Networking Coffee Break

Hosted by:

11.00
Panel // Water’s Net Zero Emission Mission: Carbon and Beyond
  • How can organizations effectively measure, manage, and reduce their Scope 1 carbon emissions, especially in cases where they involve complex supply chains and indirect sources of emissions? What successful strategies and innovations can minimize embodied carbon in infrastructure and operations?
  • Beyond carbon emissions, what technologies can be employed to address and mitigate emissions such as nitrous oxide and methane, and how do they factor into overall emissions reduction efforts? What is the capacity of bioelectronics and microbial electrosynthesis?
  • What are the key challenges and gaps that need to be addressed when accounting for emissions related to treatment chemicals, operational chemicals, and other indirect factors within the water industry’s operations?
  • What opportunities do AI and other smart technologies offer utilities and companies across the supply chain to measure and prevent emissions? How can these be harnessed to reduce the harmful GHG emissions at each stage of water distribution and treatment?
  • As wastewater treatment plants struggle with rising energy costs and net zero targets, what is the significance of automated treatment systems? What benefits can be realised by automating wastewater treatments such as aeration blowers and finetuning data access? What innovative technology is available for reducing the need for high energy treatment processes such as blowers?

Moderator: 
Tom Freyberg, Founder, ATLANTEAN MEDIA, UK

Speakers:
Márcia Barbosa, Secretary for Strategic Policies and Programs, MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION (MCTI), BRAZIL
Desirée Marín, Director – Innovation, Sustainability & ESG, AGBAR, SPAIN
Victor Ollivier, Managing Director – International Water Business Unit, PURECONTROL, FRANCE
Pier Vittorio Rebba, Global Head of Sustainability Business, Digital Energy Industries, ABB, ITALY
Alexis de Kerchove, Senior Director, Client Sustainability, XYLEM, SWEDEN

11.45
Case Studies // Energy Efficiency: Closing the Self-Sufficiency Loop

Hear from three global utilities as they share their strategies for circularity across the wastewater and distribution network. What can be learned? What can be improved?

Speakers:
Harry Sachinis, CEO, EYDAP, GREECE
Nuno Brôco, Chairman and CEO, ÁGUAS DO TEJO ATLÂNTICO, PORTUGAL

12.05
Networking Roundtables

One of the most interactive sessions of the programme, each roundtable discussion group is hosted by an industry expert on a specific theme offering you a valuable opportunity to network, brainstorm solutions and discuss ideas with your peers on shared areas of interest.

  • Proactive Planning: Service Continuity Through Disaster Modelling
    Host: Harry Sachinis, CEO, EYDAP, GREECE
  • Corporate Water Positivity: A Collaborative Opportunity For Utilities
    Host: Alyson Willans, Partner Manager, FIDO, UK
  • Unlocking the Potential of Integrated Water Management
    Host: Richard Behan, Associate Director, Water Strategic Advisory, WSP, UK
  • Applying Smart Technology to Pollution Monitoring & Prevention
    Host: Matthew Hawkridge, CTO, OVARRO, UK
  • Moving Utilities from Being Data-Rich to Knowledge-Rich
    Host: Katie Lloyd-Wilkinson, International Business Development Manager, ESRI, UK
  • Building Infrastructure That Can Weather Changing Climate
    Host: Phil Tomlinson, Commercial Director, METASPHERE, UK
  • Supporting Market-Driven Pilots to Meet Industry Needs
    Host: Bryan Stubbs, President and Executive Director, CLEVELAND WATER ALLIANCE, USA
  • Regulations as Opportunities, Not Challenges
    Host: Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector, DRINKING WATER INSPECTORATE, UK
  • Reducing Discolouration, Carbon and Corrosion with Fewer Chemicals
    Hosts: Dave Linville, VP & General Manager, AQUA SMART, USA & Doug Whitefield, Operations Director, SOUTH EAST WATER, USA
  • Energy Costs: The Hidden Burden of Desalination
    Host: Christos Charisiadis, Brine Innovation Manager, INDEPENDENT, The Netherlands
  • Automation and Data-Driven Microbial Water Surveillance
    Hosts: Anna Whittaker,
    Channel Manager – Europe, BNOVATE TECHNOLOGIES, UK & Ryan Cheswick, Optimisation & Development Scientist, ANGLIAN WATER, UK
  • The Role of AI in Water’s Future Workforce
    Host: Iain Humphreys, Operations Director, BINNIES, UK
  • Proactive Planning for Industrial Water Use
    Host: Mindy McLaughlin, Managing Director, Global Business, TEAM NEO, USA
12.45
Networking Lunch Break

Hosted by: 

13.45
Ofwat Innovation Fund // Water Discovery Challenge Winners Announcement

The Ofwat Innovation Fund will announce five winning start-ups of its Water Discovery Challenge. The winners will pitch their innovative solutions. Join us in congratulating the winners of Ofwat’s Water Discovery Challenge.

Introduction by:
Marc Hannis, Principal, OFWAT INNOVATION FUND, UK
Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen, Programme Manager, CHALLENGE WORKS, UK

14.10
Fireside Chat // Tackling the Highs and Lows of Hydrogen
  • As concerns around energy efficiency and net zero emissions rise in the face of climate change and energy price volatility, what role can hydrogen production play in the water sector and what impact could it have on water utilities?
  • What strategies and incentives can be adopted by utilities to become their own customer in the hydrogen production process, and how can this self-sufficiency impact sustainability and cost-effectiveness?
  • To engage a broader spectrum of stakeholders, what collaborative approaches can be employed by the water industry to influence energy policy effectively? How can we become more proactive rather than reactive in the face of energy policy that influences the water sector?
  • Considering environmental factors such as water scarcity, how does the choice of geographical location affect the feasibility and efficiency of hydrogen generation initiatives? What other factors should be considered when determining optimal production sites?

Moderator: 
Andrew McLeod, Associate Director, Bioresources, ATKINSREALIS, UK

Speakers: 
Gordon Reid, General Manager Zero Emissions, SCOTTISH WATER, UK
Maarten ter Keurst, Managing Partner, NATURAL VENTURES, UAE

14.35
Innovation Spotlight // OT/IT Conversion: Building Enterprise Solutions That Work

Hear speakers’ insights around global trends in the digital space, data and the challenges it brings, and the imperfect marriage of OT and IT.

Moderator:
Sophie Borgne, WWW Segment President, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, FRANCE

Speakers:
Alex Gray, Head of OT, THAMES WATER, UK
Jerry Trowbridge, Operational Technology & SCADA Manager, NORTHUMBRIAN WATER, UK
Shafiq Garda, Growth & Projects Director – Digital Advisory Services, WSP, UK

15.05
Fireside Chat // Valorising Side Streams: Resource Recovery Across the Supply Chain
  • What opportunities exist for extracting valuable resources like bioplastics, biochar, and other materials from wastewater, and how are investments being made to harness these solutions effectively?
  • What innovative strategies are being adopted to maximize the utilization of resources from wastewater, ensuring both economic viability and environmental sustainability?
  • How can wastewater treatment plants optimise heat recovery and generate revenue from excess heat? What technology and capacity can be harnessed to make it economically viable?

Moderator:
Tom Arnot, Co-Director Water Innovation and Research Centre, UNIVERSITY OF BATH, UK

Speakers:
Andrea Aliscioni, Director of Integrated Water Service Division, MM SPA, ITALY
Lacey Reddix, CEO, OLOKUN MINERALS, USA
Christos Charisiadis, Brine Innovation Manager, INDEPENDENT

15.35
Networking Coffee Break
16.05
Ministerial Address – Expanding Water Access in Tanzania

Speakers:

Maryprisca Mahundi, Deputy Minister of Water, TANZANIAN PARLIAMENT, TANZANIA
Dorisia Zakayo Mulashani, Director of Planning, Coordination and Environmental Management, MINISTRY OF WATER, TANZANIA

16.15
Panel // Freshwater Health: Protecting Our Waterways from Contaminants
  • What pioneering solutions are currently being utilized to enhance real-time monitoring and reporting of contaminant levels within freshwater systems? What role does research and development (R&D) play in advancing the understanding and management of these contaminants on a global scale?
  • What are the latest advancements in concentrating, and ultimately destroying emerging contaminants in water sources, and how can these be integrated into comprehensive water quality management strategies?
  • How can non-point source contaminants such as agricultural and industry outputs be addressed? What barriers do policy makers face when working towards the banning of PFAS, pharmaceutical and toxic industry outputs into freshwater systems? How can these barriers be overcome?
  • What are the latest regulatory changes and standards for PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water quality, and how are water utilities and treatment facilities adapting to meet these updated requirements?
  • In terms of wastewater discharge, what recent regulatory updates have been implemented to monitor and control PFAs and pharmaceutical discharges into the environment, and how are utilities and municipalities ensuring compliance with these regulations?
  • How can protecting natural water sources become a cornerstone strategy for meeting the increasing demand for potable water, and what conservation measures can be implemented to safeguard these vital resources?

Moderator:
Chloé Meyer, Senior Research Director, BLUEFIELD RESEARCH, FRANCE

Speakers: 
Tony Harrington, Director of Environment, DŴR CYMRU / WELSH WATER, UK
Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector, DRINKING WATER INSPECTORATE, UK
Fajer Mushtaq, CEO & Co-founder, OXYLE, SWITZERLAND
Ronit Erlitzki, Director of Strategic Business Development & Innovation, CHARTWATER, USA

17.00
Emerging Innovator Showcase

Meet our pick of the most exciting water-tech innovators. Each presenting company will pitch to a panel of investors, who are keen to ask questions and dig deeper into their value proposition.

Session Chair:
Taylor Evans, Senior Innovation Manager, Financing, IMAGINE H2O, USA

Speaker:
Helge Daebel,
Partner, EMERALD TECHNOLOGY VENTURES, SWITZERLAND

Presenters:
Stéphane Evanno, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, SAMP, FRANCE
Levien de Lege, CEO, TORWASH, NETHERLANDS
Martin Gross, Founder, President, & CEO, GROSS-WEN TECHNOLOGIES, USA
Jean-François Guiderdoni, Co-Founder & Business Development Director, ACWA ROBOTICS, FRANCE

18.00
Drinks Reception

DAY 2: Wednesday February 21, 2024

09.00
Welcome Remarks
09.05
Opening Keynote: Water Investment: Learning From The Past to Deliver for the Future

Speaker:
Helen Wakeham, Director of Water Transformation, THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY, UK

09.15
Panel // Driving Climate Resiliency with Smart Infrastructure
  • How can the implementation of smart water infrastructure contribute to more efficient water resource management, particularly in regions affected by climate change-induced droughts?
  • In what ways does smart infrastructure enhance the resilience of water systems to extreme weather events and provide early warning capabilities to address climate-related challenges? How can early drought planning solve water shortage problems?
  • What impact does the integration of smart water solutions have on reducing water leakage, and how does this contribute to climate change mitigation and resource conservation efforts? How can IoT, satellite and AI allow for utilities to pin-point network stresses and asset health to avoid NRW?
  • What impact can smart systems such as smart metering have on customer awareness about water reduction and reduction of water waste through leaks? How can scale be achieved across the globe effectively?
  • As the UK is set for AMP8 asset management reviews, what can we expect to see for the future of asset health from the developments planned? How is this going to impact the consumer?

Moderator: 
Alexandra Barnes, Programme Director, BRITISH EXPERTISE INTERNATIONAL, UK

Speakers:
Karl Cilia, CEO, WATER SERVICES CORPORATION, MALTA
Bryan Stubbs, President & Executive Director, CLEVELAND WATER ALLIANCE, USA
Sascha Kuflik, Business Unit Director, Water, SEBAKMT, GERMANY
Kumi Premathilake, SVP – Advanced Metering Infrastructure & Utility Automation, ACLARA, USA

10.00
Panel // Expanding Reuse in the Face of Water Scarcity
  • How can innovative water recycling technologies overcome regulatory and public perception challenges to promote broader acceptance and adoption of recycled water in various sectors, including agricultural and industrial applications?
  • In terms of resource intensity, what environmental impacts, such as emissions, chemical usage, and energy consumption, are associated with water reuse? What technological advances are addressing these challenges?
  • Are water reuse technologies scalable for widespread adoption, and what is their cost-benefit profile? How well do they align with the needs of water companies and municipalities?
  • What role do emerging technologies play in optimising the quality and safety of recycled water, to ensure it meets stringent health and environmental standards?
  • What is the global landscape of regulation governing water reuse, and what gaps still exist in this evolving field of sustainability and resource management?

Moderator:
Reinhard Huebner, CEO, SKION WATER, GERMANY

Speakers:
Hisham Gaafar, Senior Water & WasteWater Adviser, MINISTRY OF HOUSING, UTILITIES, AND URBAN COMMUNITIES, EGYPT
Rubén Fernandes, CEO, AGUAS DO PORTO, PORTUGAL
Emily Timmins, Director of Water Recycling, ANGLIAN WATER, UK
Mark Shepherd, Global Portfolio Director, Integrated Water Solutions, GWF UK, UK

10.40
Networking Coffee Break

Hosted by:

11:10
Strategic Priorities for Saudi Arabia’s Water Sector

Speaker:
Motaz Alsolaim, General Manager – Innovation & Modern Technology, MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER & AGRICULTURE, SAUDI ARABIA

11.20
Case Studies // Combatting NRW: Smart Systems in Action

Hear from a cohort of organisations who are leading the charge against nonrevenue water, with time for Q&A.

Moderator:
Piers Clark, Chairman, ISLE UTILITIES, UK

Speakers:
Javier Fernandez Delgado, CTO, CANAL DE ISABEL II, SPAIN
Hannah Wardle, Head of Leakage, THAMES WATER, UK
Tony Gwynne, Leakage Solutions Sales Director, OVARRO, UK
Daniel Mediano, Head of Product and Technology, AGANOVA, SPAIN
Cristóbal Madero de Miguel, NRW Manager, EMASESA, SPAIN

12.05
Panel // Accelerating Digitalisation for Stormwater Management and Overflow Reduction
  • How can utilities prepare assets and infrastructure for an influx of additional water, wastewater and biosolids? What are the most exciting innovations for managing this cost effectively?
  • With restrictions due to tighten across Europe on spill frequency and pollutant levels in the upcoming year, how can utilities prepare and what are the success stories and learnings?
  • As utilities become smarter and employ larger numbers of remote sensors, how can this data be harnessed to analyse events and make real-time decisions? How can utilities move from being data rich and knowledge poor, to optimising the data being gathered?
  • How does the integration of AI and smart systems in flood control align with broader sustainability and climate resilience goals, and what future developments are anticipated in this field?
  • How is AI integrated into smart systems to enhance real-time monitoring and control of water levels during flooding events, and what advantages does it offer over traditional approaches? What is the capacity of AI applications in enabling predictive modelling and early warning systems to allow for more proactive flood control measures?
  • What is the potential for wastewater plants to enhance non-grey infrastructure to cope with influxes of rainwater? How can utilities work with city planning, government and policy makers when addressing the enhancement of CSOs and aging infrastructure?

Moderator:
Paul Horton, CEO, FUTURE WATER ASSOCIATION, UK

Speakers:
Andrew Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management, US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA), USA
Robert Bornhofen, Director of Innovation, DC WATER, USA
Phil Tomlinson, Commercial Director, METASPHERE, UK
Christa Campbell, Director of Industry Solutions: Water, ESRI, USA

12.50
Networking Lunch Break

Hosted by: 

13.50
Ofwat Innovation Fund // Water Discovery Challenge Winners Announcement

The Ofwat Innovation Fund will announce five winning start-ups of its Water Discovery Challenge. The winners will pitch their innovative solutions. Join us in congratulating the winners of Ofwat’s Water Discovery Challenge.

Introduction by:
Marc Hannis, Principal, OFWAT INNOVATION FUND, UK
Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen, Programme Manager, CHALLENGE WORKS, UK

14.10
Fireside Chat // Nature Based Solutions for Effective Catchment Management
  • As increased rainfall wreaks havoc in highly urbanised areas, how can nature-based solutions be applied to assist in a ‘sponge city’ capacity?
  • How do nature-based solutions compare to traditional infrastructure approaches? What CapEx and OpEx are associated with building green infrastructure as opposed to grey? How can finance be attracted to this more nascent form of water sustainability?
  • How can nature-based solutions be integrated with traditional infrastructure to optimise water utility operations and enhance resilience? How can nature-based solutions be incorporated into development strategies going forward?
  • What strategies or models exist for including local stakeholders, such as councils, businesses, and farmers, in the planning and implementation of nature-based solutions to ensure their effectiveness and support sustainable water management practices?
  • What innovative engineering techniques are being used to design and implement nature-based solutions in the water industry?

Moderator:
Thomas Sagris, Associate Director, ARUP, UK

Speakers:
Franziska Meinzinger, Head of Infrastructure Development, HAMBURG WASSER, GERMANY
Thomas Jensen, Director for Wastewater Operations, HOFOR, DENMARK
Jan Goojier, Innovation Manager, VITENS, THE NETHERLANDS

14.40
Ministerial Address // Agricultural Water: The Importance of Sustainable Irrigation

Speaker:
Zakaria El Yacoubi, Head of Irrigation, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROCCO

14.50
Collaboration Spotlight // Leveraging Wider Industry Participation
  • How can the water industry collaborate with food and beverage brands to ensure sustainable water use in their production processes, and what technologies are available to optimise water efficiency within this sector?
  • What strategies and technological innovations can facilitate partnerships between the water industry and pharmaceutical companies to address water quality and conservation challenges, especially in pharmaceutical manufacturing and wastewater treatment?
  • In the context of agriculture, how can the water industry leverage technology and collaborate with farmers to promote responsible water use, reduce water waste, and enhance water quality in irrigation and crop production?

Moderator:
Lila Thompson, Chief Executive, BRITISH WATER, UK

Speakers:
Victoria Edwards, CEO, FIDO, UK
David Smallbone, Managing Director, KPMG, UK
Sam Wilkinson, Industry Strategy Director, Food & Beverage, SIEMENS, UK
Muriel Jaujou,
Water Strategy & Water Stewardship Consultant, FRANCE

15.30
Closing Panel // Sustainable Financing: Maintaining Investment Momentum
  • As investment in the water sector continues to grow, what key developments or innovations are contributing to the sector’s ability to attract and sustain funding? Where are the next big funds going to arise from and what will likely be their focus?
  • How are strategic investors increasing their participation in early-stage funding and what specific trends or factors are driving this increased interest?
  • Why are early-stage water sector ventures facing greater challenges in securing financing, and what are the main obstacles they encounter in comparison to more established players? How can start-ups strategically position themselves for successful funding despite this?
  • What initiatives or strategies are helping the water sector overcome barriers to investment and facilitate its growth?
  • What is the value proposition of private investment for infrastructure maintenance and improvements for utilities?
  • What innovative financing strategies and models can be adopted to secure sustainable funding for infrastructure development and modernization in the water sector, ensuring its long-term viability? What is the potential for increased ESG spending in water resiliency?

Moderator: 
Rafael Simon, Partner, THALES WATER ADVISORS, USA

Speakers:
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, CEO, EARTH CAPITAL, UK
Alexander Mass, Head of EMEA Sustainability & Climate Transition Investing, GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, UK
Gaetane Suzenet, Co-Founder, EUROPEAN WATER TECH ACCELERATOR, FRANCE
David Balsar, General Manager Innovation & Ventures, MEKOROT, ISRAEL
Dylan Perales, Investment Manager, PURETERRA VENTURES, THE NETHERLANDS

16.15
Closing Remarks and Summit End

Thursday February 22, 2024

  • 08.00am – 5.30pm // Tour: Anglian Water’s ‘Shop Window’

    Maximise your time at the summit by joining our post-summit tour to explore Anglian Water’s ‘Shop Window’ on Thursday February 22. During the tour, you’ll hear from teams at the frontier of greenhouse projects, sewage treatment works and carbon reduction, amongst many other exciting developments and award-winning projects. You will also meet face-to-face with some of the most prominent technology companies that have been part of this journey with Anglian Water. See more details.