Water security and drought headlined a global agenda at the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), last week.
Considered the world’s largest meeting for water practitioners and researchers, the Congress returned to Australia after a 10 year absence, with the world’s eyes on Australia’s and Queensland’s leading research and management of water and water conservation.
More than 2,000 water professionals and thought leaders from industry, government, regulatory agencies and research organisations, of which 65% are globally based, met in Brisbane to offer new insights into leading science, technology, innovation and best practice to shape our water future.
Water scarcity and drought affects four billion people, impairs cities, industry and the environment and during four days of critical debates global experts shared their knowledge on the latest trends in best practice, innovative technology and pioneering research and science.
The International Water Association (IWA) together with its organising partners, the Australian Water Association, devised a program dedicated to drought action and delivering a sustainable water future for the world’s population.
BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said it was an honour to host the world’s foremost experts on water security and sustainability, issues critical to future generations. “This Congress provided a great opportunity to highlight Brisbane’s science expertise and BCEC’s capabilities to host these world class scientific events.”
The Centre partnered with the IWA World Water Congress to launch a new educational initiative, BCEC Career Development Hub, working with conferences to connect tertiary students and graduates to potential employers and assist with career choices in the various sectors.
For the World Water Congress BCEC worked with the IWA, Ozzacom+ and Moreton Hire in facilitating face to face encounters by students and some of the world’s leading water professionals attending the Congress.
Keith Robertson, Innovation and Learning Director at the IWA, said, “The Career Development Hub provided the IWA with the opportunity to reach out beyond our delegates, and enable young water professionals from Australia to participate in the Congress. This is a great opportunity for them to meet and connect with water professionals from around the world, many leaders in their fields. It’s also an opportunity to develop their soft skills in the learning sessions offered at the hub.”
BCEC works in close collaboration with Brisbane’s research and scientific communities through its very successful Convention Advocates Partnership, a group which comprises some of Australia’s leading scientists and academics with long-time Advocate, Emeritus Professor Paul Greenfield, President of this week’s World Water Congress.
“As the conference organiser, Ozaccom+ was delighted to have the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in our home town after having worked around the world managing IWA events for the previous 10 years,” said Ozaccom’s Liza Watt.
“It is an exciting opportunity to be able to showcase all that Brisbane has to offer, and to strengthen the ties between Ozaccom+ and IWA for future Congresses.”
Brisbane Convention Bureau General Manager Rob Nelson said the World Water Congress & Exhibition 2016 once again demonstrated Brisbane’s ability to secure key knowledge-based conferences.
“The Brisbane Convention Bureau was proud to work closely with BCEC and our partners to secure the Congress and it will result in the city’s water expertise being showcased to thousands of professionals from around the world,” he said.
Brisbane’s reputation as a welcoming city was also highlighted with iconic city assets such as the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall lit blue during gala evening celebrations welcoming delegates to Brisbane.