Tuesday, October 29, 2013

PRESTO facilitates cooperation between the German and Belarusian Water Associations

On 15-16 October 2013 the delegation from Belarusian Water and Wastewater Association (AQUABEL) paid a visit to the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) located in so called “Water House” in Hennef, Germany. The aim of the visit was to discuss the possibilities of future cooperation between Associations in the field of water management. Meeting was organized by the Union of the Baltic Cities and Technical University of Berlin in the framework of the PRESTO project (Project on Reduction of the Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea Today).

In the picture from left: Ruediger Heidebrecht (DWA), Matthias Barjenbruch (TUB), Oleg Gustcha (AQUABEL), Johannes Lohaus (EWA), Ilja Golovnev (Vitebsk), Agnieszka Ilola (UBC), Pekka Salminen (UBC)

“Every action involving water management requires effective cooperation between multiple actors whether at the local or international scale. DWA recognize this need and since 60 years facilitates the dialogue between water experts, research institutions and industry on national and international level. We also support our members with most efficient and cost-effective solutions in water technology. Great ideas have a very long life in the work of Association” says Mr RĂ¼diger Heidebrecht, Head of Department Training and International Cooperation of DWA.

The DWA is a politically and economically independent Association that works to promote research and development of water sector in Germany and on international arena. It closely cooperates with International Water Association (IWA), European Water Association (EWA) and numerous national water associations worldwide.
Visiting DWA library

Amongst a membership of approximately 14,000, there are municipalities, institutes of higher education, engineers, public authorities and companies. The number of members makes the DWA one of the largest organisation in this field in Europe, and its special expertise and competence give it a prominent place in standardization, professional training and public information in Europe. The DWA maintains a special library at its head office in Hennef with the 9,500 specialist books, 90 journals, papers from German and international institutes of higher education that are available to public. DWA is also providing a worldwide specialist advice with the build-up of national water associations and runs annually numbers of trainings and workshops for international experts. 

The Belarusian Water and Wastewater Association “AQUABEL” gathers around 30 active members consisting of water and wastewater companies. Association was established in 1992 and creates a platform for exchange of experience, information and best practices in the field of water management in Belarus. The main objective of the Association is to bring together water professionals and to promote the research and technology development through trainings, workshops and site visits.  Among others, AQUABEL contribute to the policy development and implementation of public policies in the field of water management and the protection of the water environment.

Recently the AQUABEL has been reinforced when the new executive director was nominated and strategic plan is under development. The Association aims at strengthening international cooperation and so far has been actively collaborating with Russia, Ukraine and Kazachstan. Recently, they are also interested in establishing cooperation with German Water Association and European Water Association. 

During the meeting the topics of establishing and operation of water association, standardization principle, water tariffs and charges regulation, training materials and e-learning, were discussed. Both Associations expressed their sincere will and interest in further cooperation especially in the field of preparation of trainings for wastewater experts and professionals. The representatives were invited to participate in the pilot course on modern wastewater treatment for Belarusian Universities and technology experts that is organized by the PRESTO project on 4-6.12.2013 in Minsk, Belarus.

Text: Agnieszka Ilola

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