Wasser Berlin International 2013 took place from 23-26 April with the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) as the event's official partner.
ACWUA, in turn, partnered with PSIPW and the two organizations helped to establish this year's focus on the countries of the Middle East.
This is the first time the countries of the Arab world hosted a combined display at a European water industry trade fair. By securing the partnership of ACWUA, Wasser Berlin International -- one of Europe's most important trade fairs and congresses concerning water and wastewater -- ensured the participation of a critical region of the world when it comes to a focus on water resources.
Set up in 2006 and based in the Jordanian capital of Amman, the association numbers around 100 members. It represents 17 Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Due to its climate and geography the Middle East is a region where innovative water supply and wastewater disposal technology has good prospects for future use.
“With ACWUA we are delighted to have secured the involvement of an international partner capable of offering a great deal to service providers and systems and component manufacturers”, says Cornelia Wolff von der Sahl, the Messe Berlin project manager of this event. “Our collaboration to date has shown that the Middle East is keen to continue expanding its supply infrastructure. Against this backdrop WASSER BERLIN INTERNATIONAL provides an outstanding platform for coordinating supply and demand.”
Egypt’s Minister of Water and Sanitation Dr. Abdel Kawi Khalifa and Germany’s Federal minister Dirk Niebel opened the trade fair and congress on 23 April 2013 with numerous delegations from the Middle East in attendance. Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alsheikh, General Secretary of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, was one of the speakers to address this event.
The Arab Day at Wasser Berlin was held on Thursday, 25 April. It was presided over by the Secretary General of ACWUA, a member of the Board for the German Water Partnership, and the Yemeni and Egyptian Ministers for Water. Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh was one of two keynote speakers at the event. The other was Dr. Latif Rashid, Senior Advisor to the Iraqi President and formerly Iraq's Minister of Water Resources.
The day's program included intensive discussions about integrated water resources management, energy management for water utilities, and the experiences of various Arab countries in meeting the region’s challenges and developing solutions.