For the first time in its 27 years, Guyana will this year host the 26th Caribbean Water and Waste Water Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition.
The Guyana Marriott International hotel will between October 16 and 20, some 400 participants from countries across the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and
North America, when Guyana hosts the Caribbean Wastewater conference.
A first time host of the event, plans are underway to ensure a holistic approach is taken towards the hosting of what is considered the premier event in the water and waste management sectors in the Caribbean. The GWI team is working along with another group of persons from Trinidad and Tobago to ensure a smooth preparation process.
Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated, Dr Richard Van West-Charles, speaking at the launching ceremony of the conference said the event must be placed in context of the sustainable development goals, particularly in the area of wastewater, of which Guyana is lagging behind.
Also at the launching ceremony was Patricia Aquing, Co-Chair and Executive Director of CWWA who laid out the significance of the conference for the area of networking between countries. According to her, the Caribbean is in “water
stressed state” and need to focus on ways to save the little it has.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Promoting Innovation and Creativity in Water, Wastewater and Waste Management” and will be an opportunity for participants to exchange information and experiences, to network and to be exposed to cutting edge technology, products and services in a very dynamic event
The conference will be held under the aegis of the Communities Ministry, the Guyana Water Inc and the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association CWWA. The Conference is on a rotational basis, each year with different Caribbean countries hosting.
It brings together over 400 participants from the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Europe and will be an opportunity for participants to exchange information and experiences, to
network and to be exposed to cutting edge technology, products and services in a very dynamic event.
A very significant aspect of the event is the Exhibition and this year a number of sponsors and exhibitors have committed their support. Diehl Metering of Germany has already committed to Platinum sponsorship. Over 60 exhibitors are expected to participate by showcasing their products and services in the water and waste sectors and to interact with utility companies and other participants. This is considered an excellent space for networking.
Participants include experts, researchers, professionals, students, the media, private companies, development partners such as the Inter-American Development Bank (lDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the United Nations Environment (UNEP), the Pan American
Health Organisation (PAHO), the Caribbean Desalination Association (CaribDA), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCccq), Caricom, among others.
Another important aspect of the Conference is the convening of the 13th High Level Forum of Caribbean Ministers Responsible for Water (HLF13) which brings together Ministers from all Caribbean countries, water utility managers and development partners to discuss matters of relevance to the water sector.
The Ministers usually meet for two days of the conference and it gives them the opportunity to be informed about new developments in the water sector and to help to shape policy matters.
The Conference will cover subjects such as climate change, drought management, integrated water resources management, wastewater management in rural communities, waste recycling technologies for developing countries, landfill engineering and the economics of waste management, to name a few. A number of individual experts, professionals and researchers will present their research findings and technical papers on the various subjects.
Participants also look forward to the water, rum and pepper sauce tasting competition which is a fun event. The GWI is proud to report that at the 2016 Conference in Trinidad, Guyana won the first prize for the best tasting water.
A very important feature which lends a fun flavour to the conference is an opportunity for participants from all over the world to enjoy the cultural and artistic aspects of the host country of Guyana. The GWI is planning a series of activities to highlight the culture as well as opportunities for them to venture out on technical field tours to visit places of interest.