It’s about water!

The Bonn Water Network successfully held four events in October that gathered a large international audience. DIE is one of the co-founders of the Bonn-based network established in 2020.

Logo: Bonn Water Network


Upon invitation of the City of Bonn, host of ICLEI’s (Local Governments for Sustainability) “Daring Cities” conference, Dr. Annabelle Houdret (DIE) organised the session „It’s about water! Local water action for climate change adaptation in urban areas“. Invited experts debated success factors of local water action to increase climate resilience, including examples from mangrove conservation in Ecuador (Diego Jara, IUCN), on urban drainage for flood resilience in Colombia (Abby Ortega, ZEF), as well as lessons learned from eco-system based risk reduction around the world (Simone Sandholz, UNU-EHS) and on how to best face negative impacts of climate change on drinking water (Thomas Kistemann, IHPH). In her concluding remarks, ICLEI’s Deputy Secretary-General Kobie Brand highlighted the excellent exchange between research and policymakers during the session.

Screenshot: “Daring Cities” conference


Bonn Water Network also engaged in three sessions of the UN-Habitats’s Global Water Operators Congress. First, together with the BWN member GWOPA (the Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance), DIE’s senior researcher Dr. Saravanan Subramanian organised a high-level exchange on the challenges water utilities in Southern Africa face in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Second, in a joint BWN presentation, Saravanan Subramanian, together with Katja Hoereth (GIUB Bonn University) and Nathalie Saenger (UNU), highlighted how flood prevention was strengthened in Bonn through concrete actions in affected areas. Finally, a double-session on ‘Innovative Approaches on Water Reclamation and Integrated Resource Recovery’ allowed for an in-depth exchange on how efficient wastewater recycling can contribute to adaptation to climate change. Solomie Gebrezgabher (IWMI, Ghana) showed how different business models can contribute to water recycling, Natalie Páez Curtidor (TU Munich) analyzed how this can alleviate pressure on the water-energy-food nexus in India, N C Narayanan (Indian Institute of Technology) showcased locally adapted solutions to wastewater treatment and Birgit Kemmerling (BICC) explained how context-sensitive implementation can contribute to improved circular economy in Morocco. The second sub-session focused on public-private partnerships in this context and presented innovative approaches from Ghana (Ossei Assibey Bonsu, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly) and India (Manas Rath and Sibasish Dasgupta, Udaipur Municipal Corporation).

Learn more about the research on water at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in our web special.

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