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WECF at the World Water Week 2014

World Water Week, hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), takes place every year in Stockholm, with over 3000 professionals participating.

02.09.2014 |Claudia Wendland

Grietje Zeeman, member of WECF's Board speaking at the World Water Week, Stockholm

Every year, over 200 collaborating organisations convene events at the WWWW. In addition, individuals from around the globe present their findings at the scientific workshops. Each year the World Water Week addresses a particular theme to enable a deeper examination of a specific water-related topic.

While not all events during the week relate to the overall theme, the workshops driven by the Scientific Programme Committee and many seminars and side events do focus on various aspects of the theme. 2014 it is Water and Energy which are key themes for WECF as well.

Humanitarian Aid in the WASH Sector
On the 3rd of September, 09:00-12:30, the German WASH Network and the German Federal Foreign Office host the seminar "Streamlining Strategies for Humanitarian Aid in the WASH Sector". WECF is one of the founders of the German WASH network.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and the interconnected energy and food security aspects are essential ingredients for human survival, particularly during or after the occurrence of natural or man-made disasters. Fast and effective humanitarian aid - with limited resources - requires quick but reliable needs assessments and well-coordinated collaboration among all actors. Together with the seminar participants the strengths and weaknesses of existing humanitarian aid strategies are discussed and boiled down to specific recommendations in support of on-going national strategy development processes (e.g. Germany). Dialogue is to be fostered between governments and non-state-actors in order to specifically increase coordination and collaboration, building upon the 2013 seminar called “Aid Effectiveness in the WASH Relief to Development Transition”, which called for actively drawing more humanitarian WASH actors to Stockholm than have been present in past years.

Water Award to eThekwini Water and Sanitation and Neil MacLeod from Durban
One of the countries in focus this year is South Africa as the Stockholm Industry Water Award goes to eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) for its “transformative and inclusive approach to providing water and sanitation services”. EWS has the responsibility of providing water and sanitation services to more than 3.6 million people, regulating and treating the discharge of industrial effluents, and monitoring the conditions of rivers and beaches in the municipality. The recovery and reuse of water and nutrients from sanitation systems is becoming an emerging challenge. One of Neil MacLeod`s successes is the world's largest ecosan project with 90,000 installations.

A key aspect of all EWS initiatives is that they take a holistic approach which links water and sanitation services with health, job creation, energy and food provision. Water conservation and water demand management aspects also drive these projects.  The EWS approach is unique in that it is customer orientated, data driven (decisions are made based on facts) and research guided.

In the related seminar, Grietje Zeeman, Professor at Wageningen University and Member of the WECF board, presents new sanitation examples focusing on resource recovery. Next to high tech urban solution from the Netherlands, she presented the ecosan system implemented by WECF and partners where no water is wasted to flush toilets and nutrients are recovered.

The seminar was webcasted, please watch here.
For more information on the ecosan systems by WECF, please see here.

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