The Water Institute of Southern Africa’s biennial conference and exhibition, WISA2020, is going virtual from December 7 to 11, under the theme hashtag AllHandsOnDeck.
The virtual conference aims to bring together experts, leaders, professionals, researchers and other stakeholders to debate urgent questions about water sustainability in Southern Africa.
The possibilities of water-shedding and water security and quality are also on the agenda for the drought-hit Southern African region.
“All of us, whoever we are, share a need for a reliable, clean supply of water and sanitation systems that work,” said WISA2020 technical committee chairperson and former WISA president Dr Marlene van der Merwe-Botha.
“The intention of our theme is to place the emphasis on doing, on action, on implementation. We want to bring together all the actors in the water sector and related sectors to engage outside of their boundaries but within a connected space, to ensure we create a sustainable water service and water future for South and Southern Africa.”
The agenda will comprise six topics, namely govern and regulate the sector; reduce water demand and increase supply; manage the resources for a capable ecology; develop skills and technology innovations and disruptors; manage and monitor effective water and sanitation services and infrastructure; and improve raw water quality and management.
Keynote speakers include political analyst and futurist Daniel Silke discussing the nexus between the water sector and global business, economic and political trends impacting on Africa and South Africa's future, as well as International Water Management Institute (IWMI) hydrologist Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook.
Young professional in the water sector Sivuyile Pezulu will discuss fresh perspectives on the emergence and advancement of young water professionals and entrepreneurs in the field.
Robust panel discussions and debates will also be hosted, where hard questions will be asked and answered by leading water experts.
“Our aim is to open the conference up to a mix of established professionals and academia, and to young professionals, to let the young voices be heard and give them a platform,” Van der Merwe-Botha said.