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EVENT | Building a circular society:The need for a collective effort to achieve sustainability - Brussels, 17 October 2019

17 October 2019 13:30–19:30


Aqua Publica Europea, the European Association of Public Water Operators has the pleasure to invite you to our conference

The need for a collective effort to achieve sustainability 

Organised on the occasion of Aqua Publica Europea’s tenth anniversary celebration, the conference will discuss how different institutions and stakeholders in Europe are working to build a more sustainable society.

The great challenges of our time, such as climate change and demographic shifts, affect society as a whole, and put pressure on our common resources. They also showcase the importance of strengthening coordination across services within public administrations as well as amongst different industrial sectors in order to boost the shift towards a more circular use of resources.

The conference will start with an analysis of how growing challenges and technological transformation are affecting the way water resources are managed. The conversation will review legislative and economic considerations, the role of civil society and scientific research, to define how the essential service of water supply and sanitation is expected to evolve in the next years. The discussion will focus on the need to combine sustainable resource management and the equitable access to water.

We will then broaden the discussion by gathering different sectors around the same table to share perspectives and solutions in the move towards a society that is effectively circular in the way it uses its resources. The final part will focus on the conditions – in terms of coordination, industrial synergies, innovation and regulatory adaptation – to foster the collective effort that such a move requires.


13.30 – 14:00    Registration and welcome coffee

14:00 - 14:05     Welcome address: 

  • Bernard Van Nuffel, President of VIVAQUA

14:05 – 14:20   Introductory Remarks:

  • Célia Blauel, President of Aqua Publica Europea, President of Eau de Paris and Deputy-Mayor of Paris 

14:20 – 15:40 Session I: The future of water services in the context of growing challenges and emerging opportunities

•    Caroline Whalley, Water Industries and Pollution Expert, European Environment Agency
•    Marco Beros, Lead Engineer, Water Management, European Investment Bank
•    Christian Minelli, Coordinator, WAREG (European Water Regulators)
•    Sergiy Moroz, Senior Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau 

15:40 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 18:00 Session II – Working together today for a sustainable tomorrow: towards an integrated approach to circularity

Panel 1: Wastewater as a resource: participatory approaches and coordination of local services in view of sectoral integration 

  • Presentation of Gruppo CAP’s BioPiattaformaLab project by Alessandro Russo, President of Gruppo CAP
  • A discussion with: 
    • Adriano Battilani, Secretary General, Irrigants d'Europe
    • Dominique Nalpas, Coordinator, Etats Généraux de l’Eau 
    • Gert De Block, Secretary General, European Federation of Local Energy Companies (CEDEC)  
    • Dirk Pauwels, Blockchain R&D Project Manager, Fujitsu

Panel 2: Sustainable water management in urban areas – combining green infrastructures, new technologies, and innovative governance

  • Presentation of HAMBURG WASSER’s Rain InfraStructure Adaption (RISA) plan by Julia Döring, Integrated rainwater management, HAMBURG WASSER
  • A discussion with: 
    • Olivier Bastin, Manager, NATUREM
    • Marcel Roy, Secretary General, European Association of Public Banks
    • Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General, Housing Europe

18:00 – 18:15 Closing remarks

18:15 - 19:30 Networking Belgian Apéro