September 18, 2017 Development

Accelerating innovation, driving change, delivering solutions

Buenos Aires, Argentina - October 30, 2016: Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos aires with tourist in a sunny day.

Water security is one of the most critical issues confronting countries and cities today. The pressures of rapid urbanisation, declining water quality, growing water demand and climate change, are driving water to the top of the political agenda. Leaders around the world recognise that getting water ‘right’ can be catalytic for raising the standard of living, and promoting development well beyond the water sector.

The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2017 is a unique event that focuses on water solutions for developing countries and emerging economies. The Congress brings together internationally renowned leaders in the sector to share knowledge and practical experiences; and to build new partnerships that accelerate change that delivers a sustainable water future.

Water security forms a key ingredient for economic and societal wellbeing, and Argentina has prioritised delivering sustainable water and wastewater services for all. Its ambitious National Water Plan includes significant investment in water infrastructure as part of its commitment to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Water is now seen as a key enabler and connector for the critical issues of our time: security, sustainability and resilience. This is a key moment for the country’s water sector.

Latin America is the most urbanised region on the planet, with over 80% of the population living in cities. It offers many examples of urban water solutions for the international water sector, but is also eager to learn from the rest of the world. The Buenos Aires metropolitan area alone is home to 15 million people, more than a third of Argentina’s total population. Faced with many challenges, it is emerging as a forward-looking city that embraces innovation as it seeks to establish itself as a ‘smart city’.

The Congress and Exhibition will provide an opportunity to see up close how this dynamic city has developed its economy, services and infrastructure. This is important for urban leaders from other developing regions such as Africa and Asia. In these regions, many countries are rapidly transforming into emerging economies and grappling similar challenges. Simultaneously, they themselves are becoming suppliers of alternative approaches, innovative water solutions, new water technologies and business opportunities.

The international focus on the Sustainable Development Goals will drive us to ambitious outcomes, and the global water community must be ready to meet these goals. At the Water and Development Congress & Exhibition, we will organize the Regulators Forum to discuss policies and regulations that support the SDGs.

We will also bring together international financiers, such as the Inter American Development bank, and city and utility asset managers, to look at financing mechanisms for infrastructure that enables efficient water supply, and sanitation collection and treatment. And in this UN-Water year or Wastewater, IWA will bring together city and utility leaders for a special forum on wastewater management, that will chart a way forward for cities to take the lead in halving the amount of untreated wastewater and reusing it.

Some 2,000 water professionals from all areas of the water sector will converge in Buenos Aires to debate and discuss leading edge solutions to the major water challenges we face over the next few decades. This is the global event on water solutions for emerging economies and developing countries, bringing together the best from the science, practice, industry and business of water to accelerate change towards a sustainable water world.


Join us, and over one thousand water professionals from around the world, and be part of the change.

The Water and Development Congress & Exhibition is held in Buenos Aires, Argentina (13 – 16 October 2017)

Tom Williams

Programmes Director
Tom Williams has been with the International Water Association (IWA) since 2003 and as their Programmes Director since January 2013. At the IWA Tom is coordinating their thematic programmes, which aim to address and respond to some of the significant... Read full biography