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Aqua Publica and UN-GWOPA co-host webinar on water operators' response to COVID-19 emergency

On 2 June, Aqua Publica Europea co-hosted the UN Habitat's Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) webinar “Emergency response, business continuity and resilience of utilities” on the response of water operators to COVID-19 emergency. The webinar gathered 152 participants from 45 countries.

gwopa webinar

The webinar offered the opportunity to review emergency plans and measures adopted by water utilities from across the world in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Julie Perkins and Anne Bousquet (GWOPA) introduced the webinar as a part of wider series dedicated to "Water Utilities in the Fight Against COVID-19" a concrete initiative launched by GWOPA to help the sharing of experiences among water utilities in these difficult times.

speakersMilo Fiasconaro, Executive Director of Aqua Publica Europea presented a summary of the main measures adopted by the European public water operators in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. These measures have been collected in the framework of exchanges organised by APE during the last three months with the objective to help operators to draw useful lessons and further strengthen their capacity to manage emergency situations.

The webinar brought together water utilities and sanitation services’ managers from the cities of Bogota (Colombia), Bethlehem (Palestine), Zamboanga (Philippines), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Turin (Italy). The panellist shared their efforts to manage the crisis quickly, their challenges and outlooks for the future.

Amongst the different water utilities experts, Armando Quazzo (SMAT, Turin, Italy) introduced the Italian operator's strategy to address the emergency, being Turin one of the first European cities to be affected by the outbreak. In his closing remarks, Mr Quazzo pointed out that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on water operators has to be used as an opportunity to review traditional way of doing, and opportunity to improve internal organisation and increase efficiency.

The GWOPA webinar series confirms the importance of water operators’ partnerships as an effective approach to strengthen the capacity of a sector that plays a fundamental role in ensuring human health and wellbeing.


  • Aqua Publica Europea - European water operators response' to Covid-19 emergency: lessons learnt - Download