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Great Water Cities are economic enterprises that are growing fast and sustainably! The Great Water Cities Summit 2016 – Water4Growth, on November 1-2, 2016, in Aarhus, Denmark, will host leaders from around the world to focus on how sustainable cities continue to grow with water and accelerate economic development through partnerships. The Danish Water and Wastewater Association (DANVA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) are primary sponsors. Hosted by the City of Aarhus, this meeting will provide leaders in the water sector the opportunity to share their experiences and learn how others are attracting businesses, advancing innovation, improving the quality of life – all while linking economic growth with water in a transformative new vision where water is the engine of growth. 


Who Should Attend   

  • Top Executives/Decision makers of water-related companies and organizations   
  • Academia/Research   
  • Public/Private entities to include municipalities, government, etc.   

Event Details  

  • Conference Hotel: Comwell Hotel Aarhus, Værkmestergade 2, DK-8000, Aarhus, Denmark.  
    • Hotel Reservations are made directly at Hotel Comwell Aarhus at +45 86728000 or hotel.aarhus@comwell.dkIdentify yourself as a Great Water Cities Summit registrant using booking number 3598469 to receive the conference rate DKK 1198 / $99.83 US (subject to change) includes VAT and breakfast.  
    • Rooms are guaranteed until September 15, 2016.     

Additional Information:  


Partnering Organizations  

The Great Water Cities - Denmark is comprised of a group of distinguished global environmental organizations.  

  • Spanish Association of Water Supply & Sanitation (AEAS)  
  • City of Aarhus   
  • Danish Water Forum (DWF)   
  • European Federation of National Associations of Water Services (EUREAU) 
  • European Water Association (EWA)  
  • German Water Association (DWA)   
  • International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) 
  • International Water Association (IWA)  
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) 

Event Sponsor

WEF and DANVA gratefully acknowledge the generous sponsorship of the following groups: 

Aarhus pngGrundfos pngRamboll png

Preliminary Program

1 | November 

Optional Facility Tours Included in Registration Fee (Tours are available 1:30 - 4:30 pm): 

  • Tour of the Blue Rambla - Aarhus City   
  • Tour of the Marselis Waste Water Treatment Plant Observe how the plant captures resource and energy recovery  
  • Tour of Truelsbjerg Water Works (Danish Lighthouse Project) See how they build with focus on HACCP principles using newest technologies suitable for research, visitors, and more  

5:00 - 6:30 pm | Welcome Aarhus Reception, Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Hosted by the City of Aarhus, Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard  

2 | November

7:30 - 8:00 am | Coffee
8:00 - 8:30 am | Keynote Address, Torkil Jønch Clausen, International Water Adviser, DHI 

Torkil Jønch Clausen is currently Water Policy Adviser to the DHI Group (DHI), Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the World Water Week in Stockholm, and Senior Adviser to the Global Water Partnership (GWP). He serves on a number of national and international committees and boards, including: Chair of the Flood Management Programme of the World Meteorological Organization, Member of the board on World Water Forum, Member of the Asia-Pacific Steering Group on Water and Climate Change, and Member of the Science and Policy Advisory Board for the Global Environmental Outlook 5 (UNEP).    

8:30 - 10:00 am | Panel I – Great Water Cities Are Sustainable
Sustainability of Great Water Cities include considerations of infrastructure planning, quality of life, livability, resiliency, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The speakers on this panel will discuss key areas of sustainability important to actors in Europe who have made water central to their cultural identity.


  • Dr. Paul BowenDirector of Sustainable Operations, The Coca-Cola Company, WEF, USA   


  • Michael Mühlenkamp, Project Manager & EU-Coordinator, City of Essen, Denmark   
  • Dr. Wolf Merkel/David Schwesig, IWW Research Center, Germany   
  • Pritha Hariram, Manager, Water Supply & Sanitation Services, International Water Association (IWA),The Hague, Netherlands 
  • Lars Schroder, CEO, Aarhus Water Ltd., Aarhus, Denmark 
10:30 - 12:00 pm | Panel II – Great Water Cities Combine Water with Growth 

Great Water Cities have linked growth with water – where each thrive as a function of the other. Water infrastructure, planning, and livability directly connect with how growth is consistently achieved and maintained. To understand these relationships, our panelists will discuss growth and investments (financial, human, and political) needed to transform water into an engine of growth.   


  • Gari Villa-Landa Sokolova, Head of International Affairs, Spanish Supply of Water Supply and Sanitation, Spain    


  • Rene Hoejimakers, Global Executive Director, Ramboll Water, Netherlands  
  • Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Alexandria, VA, USA 
  • Dr. Håkan Tropp, Director, Water Governance, SIWI, Sweden     
  • Karen Kubick, Director, Wastewater Enterprise Capital Improvement Program, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, CA, USA  

12:00 - 1:15 pm | Lunch    


1:15 - 2:45 pm | Panel III – Great Water Cities Accelerate Water Based Development 

Great Water Cities develop faster because they understand the role of water research, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Water clusters, accelerator approaches, new technologies and partnerships have been instrumental to water-based development and have contributed to dynamic local water sector growth. The speakers on this panel will discuss how water-based growth can be accelerated at the local and regional levels.  


  • Durk Krol, Director, WSSTP – The European Platform for Water Research, Brussels, Belgium   


  • Dr. Emanuel Grün, COO, Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband, Germany   
  • Dr. Kartik Chandran, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA    
  • Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing and Membership, The Water Council, Global Water Center, Milwaukee, WI, USA
3:00 - 4:30 pm | Panel IV – Great Water Cities Develop Partnerships 
Great Water Cities invest in partnerships, both public and private, that strengthen performance of their operations as well as ties to their communities. They develop knowledge and collect intelligence essential to their understanding of how to work with those they need to collaborate with while implementing processes that make these relationships sustainable and growth-oriented. The panelists will share their experience in fostering essential relationships that helped their water enterprises grow while continuing to improve results and outcomes.   

  • Claus HomannCOO, Aarhus Vand A/S, WEF, Denmark   


  • Jakob AndersenTrade Commissioner and Consul General, Chicago, IL, USA 
  • Professor Jes la Cour Jansen, Lund University, Sweden   
  • Kenth Hvid NielsenGroup Vice President, Global Market Segment Water Utility, Grundfos, Denmark       
  • Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Alexandria, VA, USA                                                                               
4:30 - 5:00 pm | Next Steps 
  • Thomas Kunetz, Assistant Director of Engineering, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, WEF, USA     
  • Carl-Emil Larsen, CEO, DANVA, Denmark 
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