Water, climate, career and profession

DWA presents focal points at the IFAT 2020

28 January 2020. The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) is represented at the IFAT from 4 to 8 May 2020 with a varied, informative and entertaining programme. This includes technical and scientific forums, university and professional competitions, and accompanying offers such as the DWA association stand with bookstore in the Entrance West and the DWA company stand in Hall B 2, where DWA member companies present themselves. The European umbrella organisation, the European Water Association (EWA), is also contributing with many activities.

I. Technical and scientific forums

The DWA has reserved the event areas "Forum Wasser", "Experience Area Future" and the "Networking Lounge" in the Halls C 2 and B 4 for lectures, discussions and the exchange of information. The events in Hall C 2 will be simultaneously translated German-English, the lectures in Hall B 4 will be held in German.


The offers in the Forum Wasser in Hall C 2 include:

1. UNU-Flores/DWA Forum: Treated water for agriculture

The use of treated wastewater for agricultural irrigation is the subject of a forum of the United Nations University UNU-Flores and the DWA. This topic has recently received a great deal of support from the European Union, and there are also regions in Germany where treated wastewater is used directly in agriculture or as process water in industry. Several lectures and the discussion of case studies are planned. The DWA will also present its new Topics issue "Non-Potable Water Reuse".

Monday, 4 May 2020, 2 to 4 p.m.

2. International Forum: Water management as a key aspect for adapting to climate change

Drought and floods are two weather extremes that are currently occupying the world. To deal with both, the sustainable use of water as a resource is of the utmost importance. The International Forum will present several outstanding examples from all over the world of how the resource water can be preserved or used wisely.

The International Forum is a joint event held by the DWA together with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Corporation for International Cooperation - giz), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the KfW Bankengruppe (banking group) and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).

Monday, 4 May 2020, 4.15 to 5.45 p.m.

3. Water Management Innovation Forum

The Water Management Innovation Forum, an event dedicated to the principle “From research to practice”, which therefore spotlights current water management research priorities and their implementation, will this time be shining a light on the following topics: resource management and climate change, asset management, plastics and microplastics.

The first lecture block focuses on the sustainable use of water resources. What does urban drainage have to prepare for in order to avoid wasting energy, water and valuable substances in wastewater? Keywords that the Innovation Forum picks up on: “Water Sensitive City” and “Blue and Green City”.

Adaptation strategies will also be the subject of the second lecture block. Pollution caused by anthropogenic trace substances and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but also requirements resulting from climate and demographic change, require a continuous innovation process. Strategies and tools for dealing with the assets found in drinking water and wastewater systems are therefore necessary and will be presented here.

The subject of the third lecture block of the Innovation Forum is how the spread of plastic in the environment can be avoided and what role microplastic plays in urban drainage. Methods of analytics and the elimination of the smallest particles are discussed.

The Water Management Innovation Forum is organised by the DWA in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU (German Federal Environmental Foundation) and the Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water). The aim of the event is to promote the exchange between research and practice.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

The Symposium of the European Water Association (EWA) will bring together scientists and experts from the practical field for the 20th time to exchange information on new approaches to water management. Instead of the previous linear approach (water intake, water use, water treatment), the focus is to be put on the possibilities of a circular economy.

Four sessions on the topics “Value of water”, “Water reuse in Agricultural, Industrial and Urban Areas”, “Sludge Management and Use” and “Blue and Green Infrastructures in Urbanized Areas” will explore different perspectives worldwide. These include, for example, the United Nations’ Sustainability Goal No. 6, the topics of microplastics, water reuse and phosphorus recovery, and the handling of rainwater. For the DWA, Dr. Friedrich Hetzel, Head of the Department Water and Waste Management, will speak on the possibilities of how precipitation can be used in an environmentally compatible manner in Europe.

The EWA Symposium (JSWA: Japan Sewage Works Association, WEF: Water Environment Federation/USA) will conclude with an outlook on the seventh JSWA/EWA/WEF conference next year. It is to be held in Japan and bears the title “Resilience of Water Service”.

Thirteen nations from four continents are participating in the EWA Symposium. The speakers come from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, Croatia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Czech Republic, Hungary and the USA.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 9.30 a.m. to 1.45 p.m.

Thursday, 7 May 2020, 9.30 a.m. to 1.45 p.m.

5. Day of the Municipalities

The Day of the Municipalities, which is organised by the DWA in cooperation with the municipal umbrella organisations, deals with “Heat and water management. Challenges for town and country”. What do towns, rural districts and municipalities have to do to limit drought stress? What can the targeted use of water accomplish when it comes to avoiding heat spots? How can urban waters be made experienceable for the population? What are citizens and businesses themselves responsible for? Do action planners in the municipalities have to change their thinking? Which new professional qualifications are needed?

The event shows examples from practice and presents approaches to solutions. A panel discussion, which considers the next steps from the perspective of the Federal Government, the federal states and the local authorities, will conclude this item on the programme.

Thursday, 7 May 2020, 2 to 4 p.m.


The offers in the Experience Area Future in Hall B 4 include:

6. Vocation and career 1: Water management professions - effects of digitalisation on education and training in companies and vocational colleges/universities

Digitalisation is changing the world of work. What effects does this have on vocational training and lifelong learning? This lecture block is geared towards this question. What, how and where will we have to learn in the future - in initial education, in further training and development? How will study courses or training regulations change? How should the teachers of tomorrow be equipped?

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 9.30 to 11 a.m.

7. Future Forum: Waste - Water - Women. Gender equality. Use all potentials! DWA/VKU women’s forum and networking talk

For the third time, the DWA - again with the VKU – is offering the women of the water and waste management sector the opportunity to exchange professional experience at the IFAT. Under the guiding theme of gender equality, both male and female specialists will discuss the extent to which equal treatment guarantees sustainable water and waste management and how it can contribute to eliminating the shortage of skilled labour. The aim is to identify stereotypes and make water management interesting as an employer for all genders.

After the forum, the participants will also have the opportunity to meet and network personally at a get-together at the DWA stand in Hall B 2.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 11.15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

8. EWA Meet & Greet the EU Commission

Pavel Misiga, Head of Unit Circular Economy and Bio-based Systems at the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission and Dr. Christian Alecke from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) present information on water research in Europe and Germany. Afterwards there will be the opportunity for mutual exchange.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 5 to 6.30 p.m.

9. Profession and Career 2: Personnel management - mastering demographic changes

The challenges posed by demographic change will be described in specialist lectures and a subsequent panel discussion. A shortage of skilled labour, loss of knowledge due to retirements and the recruitment of new employees determine the day-to-day work of the HR department. What is the industry doing to meet this challenge?

Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 9.30 to 11 a.m.


The offers in the Networking Lounge in Hall B 4 include:

10. Individual coaching for career entrants

How can I present myself well in my CV and covering letter? Especially career entrants do not yet have wide-ranging professional experience. Which makes it all the more important to present your personal strengths, individual motivation and up-to-date knowledge from your studies and training. “Storytelling” is an important keyword here. What matters most in a job interview? The interview usually follows a fixed procedure, which is explained in the lecture. Good preparation for the interview is important if you want to convince as a candidate. Participants are given concrete tips on this in the lecture.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 11.30 to 12.15 a.m.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 12 to 12.45 a.m.

11. DWA personnel talks

To attract qualified personnel, companies also use the services of recruitment agencies, head hunters and personnel consultancies. Ingo Schmittmann, Partner of Stanton Chase Executive Search, presents the benefits for client companies. He describes various recruitment services for companies, irrespective of the provider, and is available for one-to-one discussions with company representatives.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 12.30 a.m. to 1.15 p.m.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 12 a.m. to 1.15 p.m.


II. Competitions

12. Student competition: 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 stimulating demonstrations. The World University Challenge, an international student competition for aspiring academics, is to be held for the third time. German and international teams of students compete against each other in various disciplines and demonstrate their skills in developing strategies for the sustainable use of water as a resource.

Preliminaries were held at the IFAT locations in Africa, China, India and Turkey. The winning teams of the regional competitions will be invited - supported by the Wilo Foundation - to the World University Challenge in Munich. German and international teams wishing to take part can also apply directly to the DWA (www.dwa.de/hochschulwettbewerb).

With the World University Challenge, the DWA aims 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).

Venue: West Entrance Hall, behind the DWA stand

Wednesday/Thursday, 6/7 May 2020, 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, 7 May at 5 pm at the DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall.

13. Professional competitions: World Water Skills and Water Skills Germany

The professional competitions World Water Skills (WWS) for sewage engineering technicians and Water Skills Germany (WSG) for trainees in the sector will be packed with action. The Open German Championship in Wastewater Technology is now entering its fifth round.

In the competition for operating personnel, a prospective 35 teams from Germany and around the world will demonstrate the diversity of their work in wastewater technology and the resulting qualification requirements for this profession. Among others, participants from the USA, Russia and Jordan are expected.

The championships serve to make the profession and the industry better known, to retain committed young professionals and to attract new recruits. The tasks of the familiar four stations Occupational Health and Safety, Maintenance and Repair, Measuring and Controlling and Process Control will be updated. They once again challenge the participants to apply their knowledge from their training and profession.

Once again, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) has assumed the patronage of the competitions.

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

Monday to Thursday, 4 to 7 May, 9.15 a.m. to 5 p.m., opening on Monday at 1 p.m.

The award ceremonies for the individual disciplines will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5.30 p.m. at the DWA stand in the West Entrance Hall or, in good weather, in the Atrium.

Information about the competitions: www.dwa.de/berufswettbewerbe.


III. Accompanying offers

14. Introduction to the German Water Industry

The 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 for larger groups appointments are also possible in Spanish or German.

Room B 12, above Hall B 1

15. Young Water Professionals’ Programme

The DWA offers young professionals from Germany and abroad the opportunity to visit the IFAT, to expand their network and to meet potential employers. Information and registration: Himani Karjala, karjala@dwa.de.

16. DWA Association Stand

The association stand provides 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 find discussion partners. Moreover, individual educational guidance is available. In the bookstore, the DWA rules and standards, specialist books, educational software and other software products, the digital subscription and the latest DWA products are presented. All the products can also be purchased there.

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

17. DWA Company Stand

The DWA and 16 of the DWA’s member companies will be presenting themselves at the joint stand. In addition, the DWA educational programme will be available to view or take away. Individual qualification counselling is possible.

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

An overview of the DWA’s trade fair presence can also be found at www.dwa.de/ifat.

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