Water tops the agenda at global summit in Berlin

The meeting, at the Dorint Hotel (ex InterContinental), gathers together around 400 top executives to address the urgent issues and challenges facing the water and water-connected industries.

Among the luminaries due to speak are:

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  • Former IMF managing director Michel Camdessus gives his view on how this year’s public sector financial crisis will accelerate the search for new funding models for water.
  • Professor Jay Famiglietti from the University of California Centre for Hydraulic Modelling will present the results of a NASA study to look at the relationship between global warming and water supply.
  • Chandran Nair, founder of the Global Institute for Tomorrow, will look at how the rise of Asia is putting unbearable pressure on our existing resource-based economy and how the water industry will play a significant role in the new economic model.
  • Sanjay Bhatnagar, CEO of WaterHeath International, will explain how his company has developed a scalable model for delivering better water services to the world’s poor.
  • Other important themes picked up at the event will be the new technologies that may banish water scarcity forever, new approaches to sustainability for industrial water users, the political barriers to improving performance in the water sector, and the strong outlook for water services in Africa.

    The event will conclude with a debate which brings together the two sides of one of the great controversies that divides the water industry. Anti-privatisation activitists Wenonah Hauter of Food and Water Watch and Anil Naidoo of the Council of Canadians will take on David Zetland of Aguanomics and Dr Willian Muhairwe of the National Water and Sewerage Company of Uganda in an Oxford-style debate on the subject, ‘Is cost recovery pricing the best way to ensure the poor have access to good water services?’ On the one hand, cost recovery pricing ensures that there is money to invest in infrastructure, but on the other hand it means that poor people may have to pay for a basic human right.

    The Summit includes the Water Technology Idol 2011, this year featuring 5 new contenders for the title, and the major Global Water Awards ceremony, recognising the most important achievements in the water industry over the past year.

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