IFAT broke all Records: Environmental Technologies boom!


IFAT, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management, was again meeting point for experts from the industry from May 14 – 18 2018 and once again reports record figures. 3,305 exhibitors from 58 countries presented their products and innovations, which meant a great increase of seven percent towards the previous fair. In terms of visitors, the fair was able to reach new levels, too. 141,000 interested visitors from 160 countries attended in Munich, which is an increase of four percent in total towards 2016. Especially the number of foreign visitors grew, particularly attracting a large number of guests from Japan, Russia, Australia, China and Slovenia.

DWA, being a partner of IFAT, implemented its know-how within a variety of activities on-site. Next to the technical-scientific conferences, as well as the competitions, DWA participated in the fair with two booths in total. In the Entrance Hall West, visitors were welcomed by DWA and the co-exhibitors    

right behind the turnstiles. The booth was meeting point of national and international associations and delegations from universities, partner and institutions. Information on the industry and a bookstore attracted visitors and at the JOBCENTER, interested guest were able to look at job vacancies. Highlights also were the virtual reality spot and a photo Bulli.    


In Hall B2, within the heart of the fair, DWA and the co-exhibitors

were visited by a very satisfying number of visitors. New contacts were established, existing contacts cultivated and deals closed.

Monday morning started off with a highlight for DWA with the visit by the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Svenja Schulze and her Bavarian colleague Dr. Marcel Huber, Dr. Helge Wendenburg, Johannes Lohaus, Klaus Dittrich, Stefan Rummel, Otto Schaaf and Dr. Johannes F. Kirchhoff at the booth in the Entrance Hall West.

Also at an early hour, 50 DAAD alumni, 22 Young Water Professional’s, Dr.Ing. Bullinger (Wilo-Foundation), Mr. Bienefeld (DAAD), Prof. Vairavamoorthy (IWA) and representatives of DWA met on Monday morning. Professor Vairavamoorthy guided through the program.


The Monday continued with the Day of Municipalities. The lecture organized by DWA and the communal umbrella organizations, dealt with flood and heavy rain prevention in urban planning and design practice. Moderator of the event was Bernd Düsterdiek. All sessions were very well attended, with a total of 135 participants per sessions, and all parties were pleased with the good figures.

Also on Monday, DWA, UNU-FLORES and the TU Dresden invited to the session Water Reuse - A Permanent Source? Moderated by Dr. Serena Cauccin, were presented with lectures on

  • water reuse in Germany
  • international development in water reuse by the United Nations
  • DWA-Topics „Water Reuse“ – status of work


The event was very well attended and all participants were pleased.

On Monday afternoon, the International Forum took place, moderated by Stefan Bienefeld. Key topics were the water strategies of the German development cooperation in the light of international challenges. The event was organized by DWA, KfW, GIZ and DAAD. All organizing parties were very pleased with the satisfying number of attendees.

The Biogas Forum closed the lecture-series on Monday. Moderator was Dr. Friedrich Hetzel and the lectures dealt with changed market conditions and demands for operators. The forum was a joint event by DWA, FvB and DVGW.


After the yearly EWA council meeting, the day came to pleasant close with the EWA-reception in the Entrance Hall West. Roundabout 80 members of the association, as well as representatives of WEF and JSWA didn’t miss the opportunity have lively discussions and connect with other experts from the industry in an atmospheric environment.

On Tuesday, the sessions

  • International Innovations in the Water Management
  • Efficiency and Sustainability in Water Management
  • Morphodynamic

took place during the Innovation Forum Water Management. The Session was a joint event by DWA, DVGW, BMBF und DBU and was moderated by Dipl.-Biol. Sabine Thaler.

The University Forum, too, was very well attended. Moderator was Prof. Dr.-Ing. F. Günthert.

Also on Tuesday, the 6th EWA/JSWA/WEF Joint Conference "Resilience of the Water Sector", which took place from Tuesday to Friday, started off. Topics of the conference were  

  • Social, Economic and Human Challenges for a Resilient Water & Wastewater Sector (Moderation: Fabio Tatano, Karen Kubick)
  • Infrastructure Management – Optimization, Rehabilitation and Retrofit for Resilience (Moderation: Wendy Francken, Yuka Okabe)
  • Water and Wastewater Resilience to Geo-Environmental Hazards (Moderation: Jörg Londong, Dale Jacobson)
  • Urban Flooding and Climate Change - Smart Strategies and Responses (Moderation: Iain Blackwell, Yosuke Matsumiya)
  • National and City Approaches for Water and Wastewater Resilience (Moderation: Florin Arimia, Boryana Dimitrova)
  • Resilience Planning – Strategic, Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response (Moderation: Johannes Lohaus, Eileen O‘Neill)

All sessions attracted an international audience and led to interesting contributions to the follow-up discussions.

The presentations of the sessions can be downloaded timely from the website of the European Water Association (EWA).


A very special highlight also was the designation of Dale Jacobson (WEF) of the honorary membership of EWA. The certificate was handed out by Jose Matos, president of the association.


Tuesday evening climaxed in the Bavarian Evening at the Löwenbräu. DWA-president Otto Schaaf traditionally tapped the beer barrel. Afterwards, the participants ate delicious food, had great conversations and danced frisky.


On Wednesday it was time for the future forum Waste – Water – Women

Moderated by Anett Baum and Barbara Sundermeyer-Kirstein, women from various fields of the industry introduced their exiting professions. They introduced various opportunities for women, but also difficulties and possible approaches to solve these. Aim of the session was to advertise the professions of the industry for women and offer a platform for an exchange of questions, ideas and lively discussions. After the session, a get-together at the DWA-booth in Hall B2 took place.

IFAT, too, took upon the topic of women in the water and waste industry and created a short video about according activities at the fair.  


On Thursday, DWA organized the forum Human Resources Development in Water Management, hosted by Dipl.-Ing. Hélène Opitz. Participants listened to the lectures

  • Personnel Management Topic Booklet
  • Learning in Competition – Experience Report from the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 and the new “Water
  • Technology” Skill from the View of an Expert and a Competitor
  • Human Resource Development on the Example of Drainage Department – City of Munich
  • Studying in Germany and transfer Services to the Home Country with the Example of the Institute of Tropical Technology Cologne (ITT)


Also on Thursday, the forums Reservoirs and Flood Retention Basins Strategies for Climate Change Adaption, moderated by Dr.-Ing. Hans-Ulrich Sieber, and Environmental Professions with Future, moderated by Dipl.-Ing Robert Schmidt, took place.


In the evening, all attendees had a good time at the DWA-booth party, eating delicious food, drinking local beer, chatting and dancing. At a late hour, no one could resist and danced. It was a fully joyful evening and great end for the last evening.


On Friday, the WASH forum, Sustainable Water and Sanitation Services for everyone – Which new Partnerships, innovative Solutions and Capacities do we need to achieve the SDG’s, took place. At the joint event by DWA and WASH, Sascha Gabizon guided through the sessions

  • Water and Sanitation Safety Planning (WSSP) in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus – a community-based Approach to achieving SDG 4, 5 and 6

  • Sustainable Services Initiative – a new Approach for the WASH Program Design

  • Reaching the unserved: Boosting Capacities of local Utilities – facilitating long-term Operator Partnerships and the important role of DWA in Rule-Setting, Education and Information

The forum was well attended with up to 70 participants- a good result for everyone!


From Monday to Thursday, a brief lecture on the German Water Industry took place, twice per day. Within 90 minutes time, young experts, lateral entrants to the industry and foreign experts, who were interested in an overview on water resources, implementation the of technical standards and rules in the drinking- and wastewater sector in Germany, were provided with a brief overview, including finance and organization, skilled workers, law and the overall structure of the water industry. All lectures were well attended by an interested audience.

Who wants to dive deeper into the topic should visit the DWA-seminar “The German Water Sector”. During the three-day seminar, participants are provided with a detailed overview on the German water sector, with all its complexity. The seminar takes place twice per year and attendees have the opportunity to provide a project fact sheet of current projects so they can be touched-upon on-site. An excursion rounds up the seminar.



Next to the technical-scientific forums, DWA has a special interest in supporting young experts from the industry. Therefore, the professional competition of skilled workers, the WORLD WATER SKILLS took place. Trainees proved their skills and knowledge thoughout the WATER SKILLS GERMANY. 28 teams in total travelled to Munich to compete against each other, inter alia teams from Jordan, USA, and Egypt. Click here to find out more.


The WORLD UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (WUC) took place at IFAT Munich, too. The competition for young academis aims to support young engineers of the industry and draws them into the attention of important employers. 15, partly international, teams attended within the competitions

  • Integrated Water Ressource Managament (IWRM I)
  • Integrated Water Ressource Managament (IWRM II)
  • Measuring, Steering, Regulating
  • Virtual Reality

The winning team studies at the Technical University Vienna, followed by the teams from Dokuz Eylul University Izmir (Turkey) and Kassel University.

Click here for more information

See you in 2020!

DWA was very pleased with the fully successful fair, full of new records, interesting visitors, great conversations and expert lectures and already looks forward to the next edition, which takes place from May 4.-8. 2020.

Click here to be forwarded to the next IFAT Munich fair.