IFAT | In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges for water management?
Waider | Climate change combined with changing consumer habits and technical trends such as digitalization—but also the increasing contamination of water resources due to man-made pollutants—place increased demands on the utilities. More than ever before, it is necessary to bring the value of water into social and political awareness and action.
IFAT | How do you assess the Green New Deal by EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen?
Waider | It is good that the EU is now addressing water protection, as it can help a resource-saving and environmentally sound policy to make a breakthrough. It is important that the existing legislation is put to the test, especially the common agricultural policy must be reorganized structurally. The order of the day is to link the subsidies to environmental performance and not, as has been the case to date, to the area cultivated. Only then can nitrate pollution be effectively curbed. The aim is to ensure that water suppliers have resources available that can be processed into drinking water using near-natural methods, which is no longer the case in many places.
IFAT | What expectations do you have of the upcoming IFAT 2020?
Waider | We expect this international innovation platform for the sustainable use of resources to provide major momentum for future water supply. IFAT brings together the key players in this field, both in terms of technical innovations, for example in digitalization or energy efficiency, and for the exchange of ideas on future supply concepts for resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in the face of climate change.