Sustainable water management to top the bill at IWEX

As the UK water industry gears up for its biggest trade show, due to open in Birmingham on May 1st, organiser Esther Stoffels previews some of this year's highlights.

For those operating in the water and waste water industry, the International Water and Effluent Exhibition (IWEX) is the UK's largest event for the sector. Top of the agenda for many attending this year's event will be identifying solutions to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the industry.

Taking place from the 1-3 May at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, this year's IWEX includes a number of new exciting features and promises to provide the knowledge, inspiration and answers to help those attending stay at the forefront of this dynamic industry.

New high level conference

As the new organisers of the event, one of the main changes we've made to this year's event has been the introduction of a new high level conference. Taking place on the first day of the exhibition, we believe its theme of Sustainable Water Management will cover the most salient issues affecting the industry today.

Co-hosted with the Environmental Industries Commission, the conference will open with a keynote address from Sir John Harman, chairman of the Environment Agency, on 'The Future of the Water Environment'. This will then be followed by sessions on the 'Periodic Review 2010 - 2015: end of boom and bust?' and 'Using Water Efficiently: Intelligent Water Conservation'.

Over the course of the day, attendees will hear presentations from some of the most influential people in the industry including: Pamela Taylor, chief executive of Water UK; Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water and Jacob Tompkins, director of Waterwise as well as speakers from Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency.

In addition to this new conference programme, a series of free seminars and practical workshops will run across all three days of the event. Sessions include 'Water Efficiency for Businesses', hosted by Water Technology List; 'Water Resource Efficiency and its Implications', hosted by the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP); 'Risk Management in the Multi-Utility Sector - better regulation, red tape or culture change?', hosted by Cranfield University and 'Barriers to Innovation in the UK Water Industry', hosted by British Water and UKWIR with PREST.

Major exhibitors we're delighted to announce have signed up for this year's event include ABB Ltd, Hydro International, NORIT and Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions. Joining them are over 200 other major organisations involved in and serving the water and waste water sector.

Water Industry Achievement Awards

The event will also see the showcasing and presentation of the Water Industry Achievement Awards for 2007. This new scheme by Faversham House Group publications WET News (WN) and Water & Waste Treatment (WWT) is designed to celebrate major achievements of the UK's water industry over the past 12 months.

2006 has been a tough year for the water industry, for reasons we are all familiar with, but there's been a lot of good work going on behind the scenes. So what better way to recognise, reward and celebrate some of the industry's most outstanding achievements over the past 12 months?

Entries have been received from water companies, water authorities and their suppliers, including consultancies, civil and process engineering contractors, equipment and technology manufacturers, service providers and research establishments. Six awards will be presented to recognise the following achievements:

  • Partnership Initiative of the Year

  • People Initiative of the Year

  • Best Information & Communication Campaign

  • Sustainable Development Award

  • Innovative Technology Award

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Water Industry

  • The presentations themselves will take place at a celebration dinner at the International Conference Centre, Birmingham, on the evening of May 2nd 2007.

    Drilling and tapping competition

    Also at this year's event, IWO will be holding its 19th annual drilling and tapping competition. For those not initiated, the event involves teams of two working against the clock to drill and tap a 150mm diameter ductile iron main, under pressure at 70-100psi, via a simulated service connection.

    The competition tests skill, dexterity and speed, while quality is paramount as time penalty points are added for leaks and infringements. Also new this year is the introduction of the Contractor's Cup. Those interested in entering a team should contact Lyndsey Campbell at the IWO by email lyndsey@iwo.org.uk or telephone 0191 422 00 88.

    Part of Sustainabilitylive!

    This year's IWEX forms part of Sustainabilitylive! - the UK's largest forum for excellence and innovation in water, environment, land and energy. For the first time, IWEX will co-locate with ET&ES - the Environmental Technology and Services Exhibitions, Nemex - National Energy Management Exhibition, and ICU - the International Clean-Up event tackling the issues of contaminated land, remediation and regeneration.

    For the first time everybody working in the water, environment, land and energy sectors will be able to find the knowledge, inspiration and answers they need all in one place. By bringing these events together, we hope to make it easier for people working across these sectors to maximise the value of their time out of the office.

    For those working in the water industry, there are a number of seminar sessions taking place at these other events which may be of interest, particularly those at ET&ES. These include a session from Defra on their 'Simplification Initiative' to implementing better regulations and Environmental Data Services will provide a legislative overview on 'What's Coming and What You Should Know'.

    We believe IWEX, and the other events that go to make up Sustainabilitylive!, will provide the best forum in 2007 for businesses to gather the latest industry and legislative insights, network with their peers and do business. I hope to see you there!

    Catherine Iredale is exhibitions director at Faversham House Group, the multi-media company behind Sustainabilitylive!

    For up-to-date news on exhibitors, the features programme and to register for free attendance, please visit: http://www.iwex.co.ukor call +44 (0)208 651 7140.

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