Current press releases - DWA

Current press releases

William Lindley Ring awarded to Catarina de Albuquerque

Water sector recognizes Portuguese human rights activist

April 2023. The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) is honoring Catarina de Albuquerque with the William Lindley Ring. The Portuguese lawyer and human rights activist is the sixth person to receive the association’s William Lindley Ring, which was first awarded in 1998. The DWA is bestowing this honor in recognition of the key role that she played in the United Nations General Assembly acknowledging access to safe drinking water and sanitation as human rights. Albuquerque also made an essential contribution towards these rights being added to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Catarina de Albuquerque is currently Chief Executive Officer of Sanitation and Water for All. Headquartered in UNICEF in New York, this multi-stakeholder partnership brings together partners around the globe in support of the goal of sanitation and water for all. The award ceremony will take place during the DWA’s Berlin Dialog, set to take place on September 18 and 19, 2023. At the event, she will also hold a presentation on the impacts of these human rights.

Catarina de Albuquerque attended the German International School in Lisbon before studying law in Lisbon. After earning a master’s degree in law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, she first came in touch with the United Nations. In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council appointed her as the first UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. In 2010, she played a key role in access to clean drinking water and sanitation being recognized as human rights by the United Nations General Assembly. Albuquerque began working for Sanitation for All in 2014 and became its first Chief Executive Officer in 2018. The Portuguese Parliament has awarded her the Human Rights Gold Medal, and the Portuguese President honored her with the country’s Order of Merit.

Catarina de Albuquerque speaks fluent German, among other languages, and is delighted to have been awarded the William Lindley Ring. Responding to the announcement, Catarina de Albuquerque said: “I'm honored to receive this recognition. It reflects not only my own achievements, but those of all the partners of Sanitation and Water for All, who are tirelessly advocating the human rights to water and sanitation. The realization of these rights is an ongoing joint effort – to increase political will, promote accountability, fight inequalities - and it matters with this work is publicly recognized and valued.”

The DWA’s President, Professor Uli Paetzel, paid tribute to Catarina de Albu-querque on behalf of the entire DWA: "Time and again, it is the strong commitment shown by individuals that moves the world forward and makes it a better place. It is largely thanks to Catarina de Albuquerque that access to drinking water has become a human right. All of us, not just our fellow human beings in the global South, owe her and like-minded people a great deal. We recognize Catarina de Albuquerque as a prominent figure on behalf of ourselves and others.”

William Lindley – a pioneer in technical hygiene

The William Lindley Ring is awarded in memory of engineer William Lindley (1808-1900). Born in London, Lindley built river tunnels, railways, gas and waterworks, public baths and wash houses. He is mainly known for his work on sewage systems and drinking water supply in response to the cholera epidemics seen in the first half of the 19th century. He moved to Hamburg in 1824, where he built the first sewer system in mainland Europe in 1842. Later, he performed additional pioneering work to advance sanitation in Frankfurt am Main, Warsaw, Pest, Düsseldorf, Basel and on Helgoland before finally retiring to London in 1879.

Promoting talent, also internationally

German wastewater team takes part in Operations Challenge in Louisana

29 September 2022. Only in May, the national WaterSkills of the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) took place during the IFAT industrial trade fair in Munich, and now the DWA is sending a German team of wastewater professionals to the professional competition of the American sister organisation Water Environment Federation (WEF) in New Orleans. From 9 to 12 October 2022, the German wastewater professionals will compete with their US colleagues in the Operations Challenge during Weftec, the largest technology trade fair in the USA, in order to draw attention to the various activities in the environmental technology professions, but also to committed employees, and thus to promote the industry.

Partnership in wastewater technology

DWA has been involved in competitive learning since 2010. In 2015, it sent its first team to the American competition, and two US teams have since taken part in WaterSkills in Munich. In return, this year four German professionals will have the opportunity to prove their skills with the Americans. Lukas Kohl and Marco Lederer (Stadtentwässerung und Umweltanalytik Nuremberg), Sophia Nerrether (Berliner Wasserbetriebe) and Achim Ziethen (Stadtentwässerungsbetrieb Düsseldorf) will be accompanied by team captain Michael Dörr and jury member Peter Albrecht (both DWA expert committee "Professional Competitions").

Same goals and learning from each other

The Operations Challenge of the WEF and the Water Skills of the DWA pursue the same goal: they want to promote professional motivation, set quality standards and promote continuous training, because wastewater specialists bear great responsibility for the protection of water bodies. The activities of wastewater specialists are varied and involve a lot of high-tech. This is also reflected in the competition, which takes place in several disciplines: Control of a wastewater treatment plant process, use of virtual reality, wastewater analysis, occupational safety, maintenance of work equipment and connecting pipes (pipe-tapping). The idea of organising professional competitions in wastewater technology came from the Water Environment Federation. The DWA has taken up this idea and brought it to Germany.

Industry support needed

Competitive learning is becoming more and more common in the wastewater sector. Without the support of the sending companies or financial help from sponsors, however, the vocational competitions would not be possible. The DWA would therefore like to thank the companies Huber SE, KSB SE & Co. KGaA, Pallon AG, Reid Lifting and Milwaukee.

Impressions of the Operations Challenge for wastewater technology professionals are also available on the DWA's social media channels: Facebook (, LinkedIn, Twitter (dwa_ev) and Instagram (dwa_waterskills). From 5 October 2022, DWA will publish the competition times and a link to the live stream on its homepage (

Contact: Ann-Kathrin Braeunig, phone: 02242 872-240, email:

Editor: Alexandra Bartschat

DWA Dialogue Berlin. Water management and climate change

Experts discuss weather extremes and adaptation strategies

25 August 2022. Climate change and climate protection are the focus of this year's DWA Dialogue Berlin organised by the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA). The experts and executives of the German water industry will meet in the German capital on 26/27 September 2022 to exchange ideas with scientists and politicians on strategies for overcoming the climate crisis. Among them: Dr Bettina Hoffmann (Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment), Alexander Baumann (Mayor of Ehingen), Dr. Christine Wilcken (Association of German Cities) and Muhanad Al-Halak (Member of the German Bundestag, Environment Committee). The keynote speech on the consequences of climate change will be given by Professor Dr Markus Rex, head of the Arctic expedition MOSAiC.

The motto of the event "Water Management in Times of Climate Change" runs through the entire conference programme. A panel discussion will highlight questions on the topic of "Water in the City of Tomorrow". This will be based on the keynote speeches "Examples of a forward-looking blue-green infrastructure in Germany" and "Approaches to the further development of the sponge city concept in Germany and abroad". In addition, the "Challenge of Climate Adaptation" will be classified and discussed on the basis of the "Effects of Climate Change on Weather Extremes", "Consequences of Climate Change on Water Ecology" and "Action Strategies for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures in Times of Climate Change". Another focus is on "Water Management on the Way to Climate Neutrality", here in particular "Climate Neutrality. Relevance and potentials of urban water management" and "Practical examples: Water utilities on the path to climate neutrality".

Young DWA is also actively involved in the programme again this year. Among other things, the young DWA members will moderate the panel discussion on Monday afternoon. The Young DWA group meeting is at the start of the Dialogue event on the morning of the same day. The DWA Dialogue Berlin itself starts with the opening by DWA President Professor Dr Uli Paetzel at 2.30 pm. It ends in the afternoon of the following day with the 75th Annual General Meeting of the DWA.

Parallel to the conference, selected companies will present their products and services for the industry. It is also possible to participate in the conference online.

Participation in the DWA Dialogue Berlin costs 620 euros, DWA members pay 520 euros, members up to 35 years 140 euros.

The venue is the Umweltforum Berlin, Pufendorfstraße 11, 10249 Berlin.

The conference programme and additional information can be found at www.dwa. de/dialog-berlin.

Contact: Sabrina Prentzel, phone: 02242 872-116, email:

Sustainability and circular economy

DWA presents main focus at IFAT 2022

15 März 2022. The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) will be present at IFAT from 30 May to 3 June 2022 with a varied, informative and entertaining programme. This includes technical and scientific forums, university and professional competitions, as well as accompanying offers such as the DWA association stand with bookstore in the West Entrance and the DWA joint stand in Hall B 2, where DWA member companies will be presenting themselves. Its European umbrella organisation, the European Water Association (EWA), will also be involved with many activities. New proposals by DWA: solution tours to various trade fair stands with different thematical focuses.

I. Forums and Sessions

The DWA has reserved the event areas "Forum Water/Wastewater" and the "Innovation Stage" in the Start-up Area in Halls C 3 and B 4 for lectures, discussion rounds and the exchange of information. All events - except for the Municipalities Day - will be held in English.

1. Water/Wastewater Forum: Water Reuse, Sewage Sludge Treatment and Phosphorus Recycling, Digitalisation in the German Water Industry

In order to prevent conflicts over the use of water resources during longer periods of drought, the reuse of treated wastewater is also an option. The first part of the Water/Wastewater Forum shows which technologies and concepts are available and which opportunities and challenges arise for providers and users of treated water. This also includes hygiene aspects, which play an important role. A lecture and discussion of case studies is planned. The DWA will also present its thematic volume "Non-Potable Water Reuse".

Monday, 1 June 2022, 12.15 to 13 h, Hall C 3

The digitalisation of the German water industry is subject of the second part of the Water/Wastewater Forum. Many work processes are already IT-supported. Building Information Modelling, abbr. BIM, new devices such as the Hololens or VR glasses will change the industry. What new opportunities will result from this? How will the digital transformation affect future jobs, how will it affect the need for qualifications? What needs to be done to protect the water industry from cyberattacks?

Monday, 1 June 2022, 15.55 to 16.40, Hall C 3

The third part of the forum is about phosphorus recovery from wastewater and sewage sludge. As part of the European INTERREG project "Phos4You", various recycling methods have been analysed. One of them is the EuPhoRe technology, which uses sewage sludge incineration to produce a P fertiliser. The forum presents experiences and results from the operation of the EuPhoRe pilot plant of the Emschergenossenschaft in Dinslaken.

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 2.05 to 2.50 p.m., Hall C 3

Phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge and ash is the topic of the fourth part of the Water/Wastewater Forum. Phosphorus is vital for all biological organisms, but it is a finite resource. The oldest method of phosphorus recycling is the use of human and animal excrements. Wastewater and sewage sludge are therefore an important source for the recovery of this chemical element. But what technologies and concepts are available for this? What are the opportunities and challenges for suppliers and users of recycled material?

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 3 to 3.45 p.m., Hall C 3

2. International Forum: Climate adaptation and the role of associations

Drought and floods are two weather extremes currently affecting the world. In order to cope with both, sustainable management of water resources is of utmost importance. The International Forum Part I "Water Management as a Driver for Climate Adaptation Measures" shows some innovative approaches at home and abroad on how the resource water can be conserved or used sensibly. Against the background of the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals SDG 6 and SDG 13, the session presents strategies and projects of the climate adaptation in the water sector.

The International Forum Part II "The role of technical-scientific associations in the development of the water sector" will provide information on the importance of the DWA for the wastewater sector in Germany. How does a self-organised professional association work that develops rules for planning, construction and operation that specify quasi-legislative requirements? At the same time, the forum provides insights into the work of the DWA as a hinge to the international professional world. The International Forum is a joint event of the DWA with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (giz), the KfW Bankengruppe and the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR).

Monday, 30 May 2022, 3.55 to 4.40 p.m. and 4.50 to 5.35 p.m., Hall C 3

3. Innovation Forum Water Management: Cycles and Climate

The Innovation Forum on Water Management, an event dedicated to the guiding principle "From Research to Practice" and therefore highlighting current water management research priorities and their implementation, deals with sustainable water management. It is about closing cycles, climate neutrality and climate adaptation. Phosphorus reserves are finite. This requires concepts and technologies for recovering this resource from wastewater.

The first lecture block is therefore dedicated to the question of how this should be done in order to close cycles in this way.

Climate neutrality is the topic of lecture block two. The focus is on the CO2 footprint of the water industry and on measures to reduce it.

The third lecture block deals with measures for adapting to the consequences of climate change in order to reduce its impact. How can extreme water events be mastered with the help of digital twins? What measures does the flood risk management support?

The Innovation Forum on Water Management is organised by DWA in cooperation with the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). The aim of the event is to promote exchange between research and practice.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022, 9.30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hall C 3

4. EWA Symposium: Integration of the Water Sector in the Circular Economy

For the 20th time, the symposium of the European Water Association (EWA) brings together scientists and practitioners to exchange ideas on new approaches to water management. Instead of the previous linear approach (water withdrawal, water use, water treatment), the focus will be on the possibilities of a circular economy. Four sessions on the topics "Value of water", "Challenges in Water Sector", "Sludge Management and Use" and "Blue and Green Infrastructures in Urbanised Areas" will deal with different perspectives worldwide. These include, for example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 6, the topics of micro-pollutants, water reuse and phosphorus recovery or the handling of rainwater. An outlook on the seventh JSWA/EWA/WEF conference of Japan Sewage Works Association, European Water Association and the American Water Environment Federation in November 2022 will conclude the EWA symposium. The conference will be held in Sendai, Japan, and is entitled "Resilience of Water Service". Twelve nations from four continents are participating in the EWA Symposium, with speakers coming from Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the USA.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022, 9.30 a.m. to 1.45 p.m., Hall B 2, room B12

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 9.30 a.m. to 1.45 p.m., Hall B 2, room B12

5. Municipalities Day: Water in the City of Tomorrow

The Municipalities Day, organised by the DWA in cooperation with the municipal umbrella associations, focuses on "Water in the City of Tomorrow". What must cities, districts and municipalities do to limit drought stress? What can a targeted use of water achieve when it comes to avoiding heat spots? How can urban stretches of water be promoted to the population? What is the responsibility of citizens and businesses? Do planners of measures in the municipalities have to rethink? What new professional qualifications are required? The event will present practical examples and possible solutions.

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Spange Room B 11

6. Future Forum: Waste - Water - Women. Future. Colourful. Diverse.

DWA Women's Forum and networking talk For the third time after 2016 and 2018, DWA is offering women in the water and waste management sector the opportunity to get in touch with each other and network at IFAT. Under the guiding theme "Future. Colourful. Diverse. Female and male experts will discuss the advantages of gender-appropriate working and how this influences the corporate culture in the water and waste management sector. In addition, the DWA expert committee BIZ-14 "Women in Water and Waste Management" presents its working methods and some of its current projects. The faces behind the main committee Education and International Cooperation explain how and why they want to provide give women in the industry greater visibility.

After the forum, participants* can also get to know each other personally and network during a joint get-together in Hall B 2 at the DWA joint stand.

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 9.30 to 10.20 a.m., Hall B 4, Start-up Area, later at DWA stand Hall B 2

7. EWA/DWA Innovation Workshop: Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and its Variants in Waste Water

In this workshop, the European Water Association (EWA) and DWA are dealing with wastewater monitoring in the European Union. In March 2021, the EU Commission published the "Commisssion Recommendation 2021/472" on a common approach to introduce systematic monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewater. The workshop will give an overview of the implementation of this recommendation, describe the cooperation between the environmental and the health sector and refer to different approaches in several European countries.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022, 2.30 to 6 pm, Hall B 2, room B 11 II.

II. Competitions

8. World University Challenge

The DWA is not only represented at the fair with technical and scientific information, it is also active on site with entertaining and challenging presentations. The World University Challenge, an international university competition for prospective academics, is taking place for the fourth time. German and international student teams compete in various disciplines and demonstrate their skills in developing strategies for the sustainable use of water as a resource. With the World University Challenge, the DWA wants to promote young talent and make companies aware of qualified young professionals. The patron of the university competition is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

German and international teams can still apply to the DWA for participation until 29 April 2022:

Venue: Hall Entrance West, behind the DWA stand.

Wednesday/Thursday, 1/2 June 2022, 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, 2 June at 5 p.m. at the DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, 2 June at 5 pm at the DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall.

9. World Water Skills and Water Skills Germany

The professional competitions World Water Skills (WWS) for wastewater technology specialists and Water Skills Germany (WSG) for trainees in the sector will be action-packed. The Open German Championship in wastewater technology is now in its fifth round. In the competition of the operating personnel, 25 teams from Germany and all over the world are expected to show the diversity of work in wastewater technology and the resulting qualification requirements for this profession. The championships serve to raise awareness of the profession and the sector, to retain committed young staff and to attract new ones. The tasks of the familiar four stations of occupational health and safety, maintenance and repair, measurement-control-regulation and process control technology are updated. They again demand the participants' knowledge from their training and profession. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) is once again the patron of the competitions.

Venue: Atrium (outdoor area between Halls A 1 and B 1).

Monday to Thursday, 30 May to 2 June 2022, 9.15 a.m. to 5 p.m., opening on Monday at 1 p.m.

The award ceremonies for the individual disciplines will take place on the respective Tuesday and Thursday evening at 5.30 p.m. at the DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall or, weather permitting, in the Atrium.

Information on the competitions:

III. Other Offers

10. Solution tours: water reuse, digitisation, sewage sludge and phosphorus recovery

New this year: DWA is offering guided solution tours to various trade fair stands on different key topics. The tours take up topics of the Forum Water/Wastewater and bear the title: Solution Tour Water Reuse, Solution Tour Digitalisation in the German Water Industry and Solution Tour Sewage Sludge and Phosphorus Recovery. The tours provide targeted insights into exhibitor offers on these topics.

Monday to Thursday, 30 May to 2 June 2022, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and/or 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Start: DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall. Info:

11. Introduction to German Water Sector

DWA offers an introduction to the German water industry for young professionals, career changers and foreign guests. The lecture provides an overview of German legislation and standards, technical solutions, certifications, organisational forms and vocational training. The language of the lecture is English, but appointments in Spanish or German are also possible for larger groups.

Monday, 30 May 2022, 12.30 to 2 p.m.

Tuesday to Thursday, 31 May to 2 June 2022, 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Friday, 3 June 2022, 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Registration: Milena Seidel, Info:

12. Young Water Professionals‘ Programme

DWA offers the opportunity to young professionals from Germany and abroad to visit IFAT, expand their network and meet potential employers. Impressions of past meetings:

Information and registration: Milena Seidel,

13. DWA Association Stand

The associations' stand offers information on the DWA and the industry. National and international associations present themselves in the immediate vicinity of the DWA. Delegations from universities, cooperation partners and institutions will find discussion partners. Individual educational counselling is also available. The Bookstore presents the DWA rules and regulations, reference books, learning software and other software products, the digital subscription and the latest DWA products. All products can also be purchased there. VR glasses and hololenses can be tested in the "digital corner".

West Entrance Hall, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

14. DWA joint stand

The DWA and 17 DWA member companies will be presenting themselves at the joint stand. There will also be "digital corners" to test virtual glasses. The DWA education programme and other materials can be viewed. Individual qualification consultations are possible.

Hall B 2, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An overview of the DWA trade fair presence can also be found at

Day tickets are available free of charge with the code "DWA-Presse":

Contact: Sabrina Prentzel, phone: 02242 872-116, email: