Panels & Plenaries



Parallel Panel Session:   The Water, Energy and Food Nexus, and the Impact of Desalination, Water Reuse and Circular Economics (2:00-3:20p)

UNESCO will present this year’s United Nations World Water Development Report, which focuses on wastewater as the untapped resource.  Taking this as a starting point, the goal is sharing practical knowledge and applying it to optimizing food production especially in the countries with lacking or scarce water resources.

Moderator(s):  Prof. Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, Ms. Shannon McCarthy  

Plenary Panel Session:    Water Reuse and Desalination World Changing Projects Explained by Developers (4:30-5:30p)

This session will present five cases from different world regions. Prominent CEOs have been invited from the Middle East, China, Australia, Europe and America, each coming from public utilities or private corporations to provide a 360-degree perspective of projects and planning. Among the distinguished invited panelists are the new Governor of SWCC of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Moderator(s):  Mr. Carlos Cosin


Parallel Panel Session:  Legislation and Regulation for Reuse and Desalination in Brazil (9:00-10:40a)

This panel will be coordinated by the National Water Agency (ANA) with the participation of the Health and Metropolitan Areas Ministry, federal and state authorities as well as representatives of industry. This discussion will focus on how existing regulations and legislation may either facilitate or hinder the potential for a broader use of water reuse and desalination as a solution to the water scarcity in Brazil.  There will also be discussion on what further legislative effort may be required to complement/ adjust existing regulations.

Moderator(s): Ms Maria do Socorro, Mr. Christopher Gasson

Parallel Panel Session:  Desalination and Reuse in Northeast Brazil (11:10a-12:30p)

In this panel, coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, representatives from the States of Northeast Brazil will discuss the existing experience in water reuse and desalination and plans for the future (in particular in the States of Ceará e Rio Grande do Norte).  Additionally, representatives from the federal government and community leaders will discuss the Agua Doce (Potable Water) Program, which provides sustainable basic potable water supplies in remote communities, now focusing on the use of solar energy.  The co-chairman of the Global Solar Council will reflect on the Agua Doce approach within the global perspective of increasing solar energy applications in remote communities.

Moderator(s):  Ms. Sue Murphy, Mr. Renato Ramos

Parallel Panel Session:  The Water Challenge in the State of São Paulo (2:00-3:20p)

High level representatives of government, academia, public and private companies will discuss the challenges of providing reliable and safe water supply to one of the largest – and still growing – cities of the world.   Situated relatively close to the sea, but at 800 meters of altitude, São Paulo relies on reuse as one of the strategic solutions to its increasing water demands.   Sabesp, one of largest utilities worldwide, has already taken the lead in Brazil in the application of UF for treating municipal water supplies, with MBR for sewage treatment in the iconic city of Campos de Jordão and by participating in the Aquapolo project providing reuse water to an industrial complex.  However, this is seen as just the beginning of a much wider use of these technologies.

Moderator(s):  Mr. Gesner Olieira, Mr. Maurice Neo

Parallel Panel Session: Energy and Environment Blue Paper: The Challenges of Desalination and Renewable Energies (2:00-3:20p)

This session will focus on the main conclusions from IDA’s International Energy and Environment Forum, which took place in late 2016 in Miami, Florida. The session will include discussion about the main topics from this conference.

Moderators:  Dr. Richard Stover, Mr. Leon Awerbuch

Plenary Panel Session:  Water Reuse: Drivers, Innovations, and Public Perceptions (4:30-5:30p)

This session will launch a market research report produced by Water. desalination + reuse. A panel of industry experts will provide discussion and insight on key market drivers, the latest technology innovations, and leading-edge thinking on WATER REUSE project design.  Topics covered: Water reuse markets: challenges and opportunities.

Moderator:  Ms. Liz Bury


Parallel Panel Session:  Transformation, Renewable Energy and the Future Direction of the MENA Region (9:00-10:40a)

The panel will address the current trends and transformation in desalination strategies.  It will focus on privatization of water and power utilities, address the use of renewable energy to operated desalination plants, as well as discuss the trends in technology and the future research and development needs in the MENA Region.

Moderator(s):  Mr. Leon Awerbuch, Mr. Antonio Casanas

Parallel Panel Session:  Desalination and Water Reuse in the Water Security Agenda: World Bank Partner’s Experiences (11:10a-12:30p)

Water security is at the center of economic and social development and therefore at the core of World Bank operations. Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict. Desalination and water reuse technologies can significantly contribute to alleviate this situation, but only when used under appropriate governance structures and financially sustainable service delivery schemes. The panel, integrated by experts and government officials from Mexico, Peru, Israel and Cyprus, will present international best practices in the creation of such structures.

Moderator(s):  Mr. Zael Sanz, Mr. Miguel Angel Sanz

Plenary Panel Session:  Meet the CEO’s:  Suppliers:  Market Trends and Challenges for 2020


How can we create growth in this industry? This important panel session brings together the CEOs of leading businesses in the desalination and water reuse industry to map out their contribution to the future. It was innovations of the EPC contractors, membrane supplies and other technology companies that delivered the cost breakthrough which made desalination and reuse an economic alternative during the 2000s. How will these companies contribute to the continuing growth of the industry in the 2020s and beyond? What are the obstacles? What are the opportunities?

Moderator(s):  Mr. Christopher Gasson


Parallel Panel Session:  Meet the Professors (9:00-10:40a)

Representatives of most active universities in desalination and water reuse have been invited to discuss better ways to interact with the industry and ensure that university research gets transferred to commercial partners.

Moderator(s):  Ms. Shannon McCarthy, Ms. Blanca Salgado

Parallel Panel Session:  China Desalination and Water Reuse (11:10a-12:30p)

China is one of the largest desalination and water reuse market. This panel will give a comprehensive vision of the  China Market.  Chinese authorities, industry players and main suppliers will be represented on the panel. China offers opportunity for unique solutions: multipurpose utilization of seawater, industrial recovery and reuse, combined production of desalination and salt and important steps in zero liquid discharge. This is combined with significant efforts to develop their own membrane and thermal technology and UF/MF solutions. IDA’s Chinese Affiliate, MIAC, is organizing this panel.

Moderator(s):  Dr. Guoling Ruan, Ms. Hattie Wang