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Online conference: Emerging pollutants – protecting water quality for the health of people and the environment

Water treated at IPAL MBBR Setiabudi waste treatment facility is being discharged to Ciliwung River in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 8, 2020. It is normally sold to private companies for industrial and agricultural use. Due to COVID19 pandemic, most water treated are now discharged. Photo by Jiro Ose  wastewater treatment plant (IPAL) fitted with the newest technology called Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) in Setiabudi, Indonesia. This photo is part of a series on the state of sanitation in 2020.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) will hold the UNESCO-IWRA online conference on “Emerging Pollutants: Protecting Water Quality for the Health of People and the Environment”, on 17-19 January 2023.


The online conference will highlight the ways the world can advance knowledge, research, and solutions for managing emerging pollutants to improve and protect water quality in a changing world.

The Conference objectives are to:

  • Explore the impacts of emerging pollutants on water resources, considering technical and policy solutions to mitigate and reduce human health and ecological risks, bearing in mind increasing demand on water resources, as well as impacts of global climatic and demographic changes.
  • Identify the appropriate water policies and technologies needed to motivate change in water management, business, and policy priorities to address emerging pollutants.
  • Highlight the bold policy and institutional change needed to support the transformation in water management and policy and across other sectors to ensure better and more reliable water quality to protect human health and ecosystems.
  • Showcase successful efforts of innovative, nature-positive, and technological solutions for improved water quality and reduced water pollution.
  • Examine the life cycle management of emerging pollutants to find solutions not only at end-of-pipe, but also solutions based on a circular economy approach and working with industry, regulators, and local communities, as well as engaging all relevant stakeholders (including under-represented groups).

Participation is free for all, and all conference-related materials will be open access. Click here for more details.

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