On Monday, October 18, the digital congress was formally opened. Mayor Katja Dörner spoke together with UN Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gilbert Houngbo, Chair of UN Water, and numerous other prominent speakers.
Over the next two weeks, a variety of discussions, workshops and learning platforms will provide an opportunity for exchange, shared learning and new collaborations. The focus will be on good examples, recommendations on how to better deal with challenges through partnerships with other operators, and how to make water operators' services even better for local people.
Mayor Katja Dörner: "The GWOPA members represent public utilities providers, who are mandated by and accountable to the citizens in their territories. With Stadtwerke Bonn, our city also has a publically owned water provider. Our civil engineering department is part of the city administration - responsible for our sewage system and plants, as well as for technical flood protection. A huge quality of local governments as water operators is their routine in balancing conflictual interests – resulting in an excellent judgement of what could work and what is needed to improve and accelerate impact – a precondition to successful water management! Some of our Bonn solutions will also be presented at this conference."
For example, on Wednesday, October 20, at 1 p.m., the City of Bonn and the German Association for Wastewater Management will jointly present the training kit and the innovative QR code for wastewater treatment that were developed at the Bonn Civil Engineering Office. On Thursday, October 21, the Bonn Water Network, an alliance of scientific institutions, the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations founded in 2020, will present its joint study, the Bonn Water Story. The network is also involved in several other sessions of the conference program.