MONTREAL, CANADA — The opening of the IWA World Water Congress on Sept. 19, 2010, saw around 3,000 water professionals from around the globe gather to debate and develop sustainable urban water management practices. The week will cover all facets of urban water management and focuses on finding solutions to challenges faced by the sector in the context of urbanization, population growth, and climate change.

Through key thematic areas, the congress seeks to build bridges between science and practice of water management across all regions of the world. One of the key themes, Cities of the Future, focuses on water security for the world’s cities and aims to harmonize and re-engineer the water management, treatment, and delivery systems that serve them.

“The intricate relationship between cities and water continues to evolve over time. We are at an exciting moment in history as we face the twin challenges of rapid urbanization and climate change that will impose severe stress on our ability to use resources like water efficiently,” said Khoo Teng Chye, chief executive of the Public Utilities Board, Singapore.

“The answer lies not just in integrated water management, but to see water as part of a larger urban system to which it can add tremendous value as an environmental as well as economic asset. I am glad that IWA has the vision to see this path to the future”, Khoo concluded. Khoo’s keynote speech on Cities of the Future will take place on Sept. 22.

William Cosgrove’s Sept. 20th keynote will address cities of the future in today’s developing countries. This provides another angle to the challenges faced by areas with rapid population growth and urbanization.

"If citizens of a large metropolitan city had to replace all of their water supply, sewerage, and surface drainage systems, would they do it using the same technology we were using 150 years ago? I say ‘No!” Cosgrove said. “They would rethink the whole system using the immense possibilities of science and technology developed since then. New cities in ‘developing ‘ countries and those largely without infrastructure can do this now. They can do better than we did, and build cities that better enhance the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

The other keynote on Monday, Recovering water services post-earthquake, will come from Pedro Pablo Errázuriz.

Highlights for Monday, Sept. 20, 2010:

• 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Keynote address: Cities of the future in today’s developing countries, by William Cosgrove, president, Ecoconsult, Inc., Canada
• 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Canadian-Danish Water Seminar, The Danish Minister for Environment, by Karen Elleman
• 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 Keynote address: Recovering water services post-earthquake, by Pedro Pablo Errázuriz, chairman, Essbio, Esval, Saesa, and Frontel, Chile
• 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Special viewing of poster presentations. Authors of more than 500 scientific posters will be available for questions at their posters
• All day workshop: Drinking water safety — from households to cities, chaired by Jamie Bartram, USA
• All day workshop: Accelerating innovation in the water sector, chaired by IWA president-elect Glen Daigger and Sudhir Murthy

The IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition is organized by the International Water Association (IWA) and in previous years has been held in Vienna, Beijing, Marrakech, Melbourne, Berlin, and Paris. Principal sponsors of the Congress are ITT, Suez Environnement, and Veolia Water. For more information, visit