Water, sanitation, and climate resilience – keys to a water-wise future

The International Water Association’s Water and Development Congress & Exhibition (WDCE) 2023 will once again deliver a comprehensive programme focused on the water-related needs of low- and middle-income countries.

With an overarching theme of water, sanitation, and climate resilience – keys to a water-wise future, the 2023 edition will present solutions spanning water and sanitation services, the role of water in urban areas, the links between cities and basins, and the opportunities to achieve climate resilience.

Huge investments are being directed towards water and sanitation infrastructure, particularly in the Global South, and the event will encourage participants to share knowledge on innovations in science and practice, highlighting the opportunities of securing new and effective solutions in water and sanitation policy, technology, and management.

The event will feature keynote addresses by leading sector figures, specially invited to share their experiences in shaping and delivering solutions. The programme will also provide a unique platform for water professionals to present and share their recent findings and insights. This will give you an opportunity to:

  • Create new, inspiring solutions to the world’s water development challenges
  • Validate and disseminate work by presenting it during a world-class Congress
  • Learn and grow professionally through privileged access to the best content, cross-sector knowledge, and diverse experiences
  • Expand your network and meet new professional partners by engaging with the leading water experts


Overview of the technical sessions, workshops and key features to plan your week in Kigali

Technical Sessions and Workshops

See the Technical Programme and Workshop agenda. For the most up to date information, please refer to the official App for the event.

All reasonable precautions have been taken to reflect the accuracy of the programme at the time of publication. However, due to changes and other circumstances affecting the programme, some details may be inaccurate.

Programme Features

Programme features include a High-Level Summit, the Utility Leaders Forum, the Regulators Forum, the Emerging Water Leaders Forum, and a special new-format activity focused on innovation. For a glimpse of the programme’s outline and to plan your week accordingly, please see the programme overview.

Business Forums

The Business Forums are a component of the Congress Programme and provide a series of sessions where delegates can interact with national delegations, commercial and non-profit organisations to discuss and learn about the innovations and new developments (projects, services, research, challenges, and strategic direction). Business Forums are accessible for free also to trade visitors. See the schedule below!

10.30 – 11.15 Danco

Shaping the future of Water & Sanitation

11.15 – 12.00 Metito

Kigali Water Ltd: A success Water PPP in Kigali

12.15 – 13.00 IWA SanitAction Innovators Expo
13.30 – 14.15 Sommer

Revolutionize Your Water Measurement Network with Cutting-Edge No-Contact Radar Sensors!

14.15 – 15.00 GWP/AGTIWAS

Innovative Capacity Building Concepts – The African Water and Sanitation Academy (AfWASA)

15.30 – 16.15 Cambi
16.15 – 17.00 Wilo

Sustainable solutions for the global challenges of our time: Solutions for drinking water extraction, water pumping, water transportation and processing of sewage

10.30 – 11.15 WaterFund

Financing for Impact: Enhancing Water and Sanitation Access in Urban Low Income and Peri-Urban Areas

11.15 – 12.00 Welysis

Local Chlorine production for use in drinking Water. A success story

12.15 – 13.00 IWA SanitAction Innovators Expo
13.30 – 14.15 MOLECOR

Pvc-O Dn800: Efficient Transformation from Soil to Irrigated Land

14.15 – 15.00 ITRON

Mitigating Non-Revenue Water: Strategies for Sustainable Water

15.30 – 16.15 Netherlands Pavilion
10.30 – 11.15 WaterAid

Implementation of Water Sanitation and Hygiene targets in the National Determined Contributions: Experiences from East African countries and Ethiopia

11.15 – 12.00 WaterAid

Implementation of Water Sanitation and Hygiene targets in the National Determined Contributions: Experiences from East African countries and Ethiopia

12.15 – 13.00 IWA SanitAction Innovators Expo
13.30 – 14.15 ASN (TuV Sud)

Building Resilient Futures: Climate-Resilient Sanitation Solutions

15.30 – 16.15 Workshop GWP-GAPWAS “ATE”

Increasing urban climate resilience with early warning systems and water reuse options for treated municipal wastewater

16.15 – 17.00 Workshop GWP-GAPWAS “ATE”

Mastering water treatment and water quality testing in remote locations

11.15 – 12.00 GWP-GAPWAS

Innovative Capacity Building Concepts – The African Water and Sanitation Academy (AfWASA)

Meet inspiring thought leaders

Jacob Amengor

Young Water Professional & Award Winner, Ghana
EWL Programme Committee member

“Our planet continues to show the negative impacts of climate change in various ways, with water being one of the hardest hit. But, young people have been identified as crucial innovators and changemakers in solving the climate change problem. During the Emerging Water Leaders Forum in Kigali, we will engage in a multisectoral and intergenerational dialogue to develop impact-driven solutions for a climate resilient water and sanitation sector.”

“I think there are many aspects of progress in water and sanitation services that we can showcase… The conversation at the Congress will provide important opportunities for stakeholder dialogue. The plenary sessions and the technical sessions are really important for stakeholders and partners to learn the principles and connect with one another. The Congress creates an incredible energy, and this is something we can build on to progress change…

Africa is not waiting for landline solutions. We now have digital platforms and infrastructure that almost everyone can access. Africa has the opportunity to rethink and find new solutions to complement or close the gap when centralised services are not the best response. As we innovate, we must also build in resilience to climate change.”

Doulaye Kone

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
Programme Committee chair 

“Countries in the Global South are at different stages of development, with some currently facing severe water crises. The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition offers a platform for countries in the Global South to engage in mutual learning and exchange. The wealth of their first-hand experiences and lessons learned can ignite sparks of inspiration and serve as seeds for innovation in other nations.

“I look forward to a successful event that will foster greater consensus on water-related issues, generate actionable plans, and create abundant opportunities for collaboration.”

Min Yang

National Engineering Research Center of Industrial Wastewater Detoxication and Resource Recovery, China
Programme Committee member

“The Water and Development Congress & Exhibition is significant, particularly for low- and middle-income countries which struggle with water scarcity. The event congregates a diverse pool of water and sanitation experts, practitioners, and entrepreneurs, providing an opportunity to examine challenges, share success stories, discuss the latest technologies to address climate change, and build partnerships. The event will also highlight evolving policy, governance and financing mechanisms for international development. ”

Osward M. Chanda

African Development Bank, Côte d’Ivoire
Programme Committee member

I can’t wait for service providers and researchers to get together and discuss practical strategies to improve water and sanitation services among the poorest. Innovation combined with pragmatism is what we need to make these services universal and equitable.

Caroline Delaire

Aquaya, France
Programme Committee member

“The IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Rwanda will be a fantastic opportunity to make progress on water and sanitation in low- and middle- income countries. Lots of investments are being channelled towards water and sanitation infrastructure in the Global South, so it’s necessary to focus on reliable technologies, good policies, and efficient management. The Water and Development Congress in December will be an excellent place to gain relevant knowledge and experience. ”

Marcelo Kenji Miki

Sabesp, Brazil
Programme Committee member

“The upcoming congress holds promise as a nexus of innovation and knowledge-sharing. With a focus on innovations that address access disparities, tackle the climate change challenge head-on, and foster social change for an equitable and sustainable sanitation landscape, the event is poised to be an incredible learning opportunity. Envision learning directly from the trailblazers. Anticipation is high, and I eagerly await the chance to absorb insights, strategies, and innovations that will undoubtedly shape the future of sanitation, with you all.  ”

Isha Basyal

Global Water and Sanitation Center, Thailand
Programme Committee member

Topics & thematic tracks

The programme will showcase global best practice, applied research, policy developments and solutions relating to challenges faced by water professionals in low- and middle-income countries. The topics and five broad thematic tracks are listed below:


  • Circular economy
  • Climate smart approaches to water and sanitation
  • Digital transformation
  • Intermittent water supply and the quest for 24/7
  • Inclusive urban sanitation
  • Inclusiveness and equality
  • Innovation in technology and policy
  • Nature-based solutions in supply, sanitation, and stormwater
  • Partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Water and sanitation safety plans


  • Drinking water treatment and supply
  • Wastewater treatment and sanitation services
  • Integrated water management and planning
  • Utility management and operation
  • Governance and finance
Supporting Partner