Much has been happening in the last 25 years and the combination of obsolete water systems and all the tougher demands and increasing stress has given the immediate acute situation where many municipalities are now building and renovating their systems for water and sewage.
"25 years ago already, the need for research and collaboration between various stakeholders in the water sector was significant. Today, it is even bigger if we are to meet the challenges we face now," says Maria Viklander, chaired professor in Urban Water Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.
Amongst the conference's invited lecturers, Tommy Giertz, Stockholm Vatten och Avfall, spoke about the possibility of using AI - Artificial Intelligence - in calculating maintenance needs of our water and sewer systems. Matthias Borris, Research Institutes of Sweden, compared Sweden's methodology for stormwater plants with the practice in China. Malin Suneson, Luleå municipality, and Ola Engström, NCC, spoke about the award-winning project Östra länken in Luleå, which is one of the city's largest construction projects throughout the ages. Erik Särner, Lund University, addressed the lack of water from a global perspective and how the summer's drought in Sweden affects our access to water.
The research carried out within the Urban Water Engineering group at Luleå University of Technology was also addressed. Inga Herrmann highlighted the importance of decentralized sewage systems and gave an insight into the research in this field currently going on within the group. Frieder Hamann from the Technical University of Dresden, who during spring and summer 2018 worked as trainee at the research group, presented a case study in Luleå carried out by using the tools B£ST and TEEB in order to evaluate the long-term benefits of blue-green infrastructure. It was shown that the methods used can also be applied in northern Sweden.
The conference culminated in an interactive workshop whith all conference participants together creating a exciting visionary picture of the water sector's future taking advantage of a video of children and young people's view of urban water systems, a presentation of our PhD students' vision of the urban water field in 50 years, interactive polls in the audience as well as views from discussion participants on the stage.
"This was a great opportunity to meet colleagues and partners in the VA industry. Even our students appreciated the opportunity to meet potential future employers," concluded Maria Viklander.
Wednesday, November 7
Thursday, November 8