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  

Professor Dr. Maria Kennedy, President of European Desalination Society/Professor of Water Treatment Technology, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands
Mr. Raul Munoz Castillo, Food-Water-Energy Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), USA
Mr. Zael G. Sanz Uriarte, Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank Group, USA
Mr. Olcay Unver, Division Deputy Director, FAO, Italy

Plenary Panel Session:    CEO/Clients – 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

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director & CEO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority,(DEWA), UAE
Ms. Sue Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Water Corporation, Australia
Dr. Ahmad Al-Amoudi, General Director, Desalination Technologies Research Institute (DTRI), Saline Water Conversion Corporation, KSA
Mr. Neurisangelo Freitas, President, CAGECE, Brazil


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

Mr. Carlos Roberto Dos Santos, President,CETESB, Brazil
Mr. Percy Baptista soaraes Neto, Technical, National Industry Confederation (CNI), Brazil
Mr. Gertjan Beekman, Coordinator, IICA, Brazil
Mr. Devanir Garcia dos Santos, Coordinator, ANA, Brazil
Mr. Daniel Cobucci de Oliveira (ou Jaime Calencio Grigoretto), Coordinator, Ministério da Saúde, Brazil
Mr. Wladimir Antonio Ribeiro, Attorney, Manesco Associados, Brazil

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 Ferreira

Mr. Renato Ferreira, Agua Doce, MMA, Brazil
Mr. Luiz Carlos Hermes, Researcher, EMBRAPA, Brazil
Mr. Edite Antinino Souza, President, Associacao Comunitaria, Paraiba, Brazil
Mr. Francisco José Coelho Teixeira, Secretary, SRH, Brazil
Mr. Mairton França, Secretary, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Mr. Gianni Chianetta, Co-Chairman, Global Solar Council, Brazil

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

Mr. Nivaldo Rodrigues, Superintendent, SABESP, Brazil
Mr. Fernando Gomes, Director, Aquapolo, Brazil
Ms. Sandra Kishi, Prosecutor, Public Ministry, Brazil
Professor Ivanildo Hespanhol, Director, International Reference Center for Water Reuse (CIRRA), Brazil
Mr. Fabricio Soler, Attorney, Felsberg Advogados, Brazil

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

Dr. Seungkwan Hong, P.D., Professor, Korea University, Republic of Korea
Dr. Noam Lior, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Ms. Fatima AlSuwaidi, Project Engineer, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. PJSC-Masdar, UAE
Prof. Ibrahim Khamis, Senior Nuclear Engineer, International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria

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

Mr. Gregory D. Wetterau, PE, BCEE, IDA Director/Vice President, CDM Smith, USA
Professor Dr. Maria Kennedy, President of European Desalination Society/Professor of Water Treatment Technology, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands
Mr. Harry Seah, Chief Engineering and Technology Officer, PUB, Singapore
Mr. Sergio Ribeiro, Fluence Corporation, Argentina


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

Dr. Alexander Ritschel, Senior Manager,  Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. PJSC-Masdar, UAE
Engr. Lahcen Hasnaoui, Head of Specific Treatment Service & Water Treatment Division Supervisor, National Office of Electricity & Drinking Water, Water Quality Control Directorate (ONEE), Morocco
Mr. Thomas Altmann, Vice President, Technology, ACWA Power, UAE
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Mutaz, Professor of Chemical Engineering, King Saud University, KSA
Dr. Yahya Mahmoud ElSaie, Vice Chairman & Executive Board Member, ElSaie Consulting Engineering, Egypt
Mr. Ghasson Ejjeh, Senior Vice President, BESIX, Belgium

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 Uriarte, Mr. Miguel Angel Sanz

Mr. Shimon Tal, Former Israeli water commissioner, currently World Bank Consultant, Israel
Mr. Nicos Neocleous, Chief Water Officer, Water Development Department, Republic of Cyprus
Mr. José Antonio Salardi Rodriguez, General Director, Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, Peru
Mr. Jesus Linan, Director of Studies and Projects for Drinking Water and Sanitation, CONAGUA, Mexico

Plenary Panel Session:  CEO/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

Mr. Jose Diaz-Caneja, Director General, ACCIONA Agua, Spain
Mr. Douglas R. Brown, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Seven Seas Water, USA
Mr. Henry Charrabé, Managing Director &Chief Executive Officer, Fluence Corporation, USA
Ms. Marta Verde Blazquez, Chief Executive Officer, GS Inima Environment, Spain
Mr. Jean-Luc Alexandre, COO, SUEZ Treatment Infrastructure, France
Mr. Yves Besse, Managing Director, Veolia Water Technologies, Brazil


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

A moderated, interactive session featuring distinguished faculty members from leading universities offering degree programs relevant to the desalination and water reuse industries. This session is designed to create lively discussion among panel members while inviting delegates to ask questions. The panel will address the importance of education in satisfying the growing need for research professionals, engineers and managers in desalination and water reuse. This will include needs of communication between industrial organizations and academic institutions regarding required competencies and identification of career paths in desalination and water reuse, current advances in education techniques, attracting more students to desalination and reuse relevant studies, guidance in career entry and development, and how the private sector can participate in education programs through sponsored research, guest lectures, and internships.

IDA has an active Young Leaders Program (YLP), including members from both academia and private sector, aimed, among others, to boost the exchange between these two sectors, and align both in the promotion of desalination and water. As part of its activities, the YLP has programs for high-potential entry-level professionals in desalination and water reuse with the purpose of facilitating their professional and career development. IDA is establishing the Sustainable Water Resources Foundation to support education in desalination and water reuse through scholarships, fellowships, and programs for continuing professional education. The panel will be co-moderated by the Chair of the IDA Foundation Committee and the Co-Chairs of the YLP.

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


Professor Kepler Borges França, Coordinator of Nacional Reference Laboratory of Desalination. Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Brazil
Professor Ivanildo Hespanhol, Director, International Reference Center for Water Reuse (CIRRA), Brazil
Dr. Heike Glade, Senior Researcher, University of Brement, Germany
Professor Kim Choon Ng, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Professor Yali Guo, Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, China
Professor John Lienhard,  Director, Center for Clean Water & Clean Energy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
Professor Jeffrey Gordon, Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Professor Alexei Pervov, Water Supply Department, Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, Russia

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

Mr. Niu Bo, Division Director, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China
Mr. Youqing Li, IDA Director, General Manager, ROPV Ltd, China
Dr. Yan Jin, General Manager, Vontron Ltd. China