Conference Theme & Topics

13 is the lucky number, and this next issue of the IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies will take place in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Half way between Sevilla and Gibraltar, Jerez is part of Cadiz Bay - the city is only 12 km from the Atlantic Ocean, and from where Columbus sailed in 1493. 
Even before, six cultures have settled in this area, tartesian, phenician, roman, arab, jewish and christian creating a unique heritage in architectural and culinary styles – and Flamenco music. 

What an appropriate place to introduce new ideas, and to interact with experts from all over the world. In the water scarce region of Andalucía, proper water management has always been critical for development – and for creating local wines that are globally recognized for their variety and taste. In and around Jerez, some of the latest developments of new water treatment technologies can be seen, showing what positive impacts innovation can have. This is the theme of the conference, quantifying the effects of moving to full scale implementation and evaluating the balance of new concepts and ideas. 

For those who are looking for them, or bringing them forward, this a unique event that cannot be missed. We are looking forward to welcoming you in Jerez in 2016, to introduce or observe the latest progress on water and wastewater technology – and assess its impact.
Conference Theme: Evaluating Impacts of Innovation

Conference Topics

Topic 1: “Sustainable Desalination”

Co-Chairs: Maria Kennedy, Amy Childress

Desalination is one of the solutions to the growing water scarcity problems in many countries, to overcome rising population growth, as well as increasing droughts and climate change. To improve the sustainability of membrane based desalination, and develop suitable alternatives, this session will address several aspects of desalination such as:
• Improving energy efficiency
• Use of renewable energy and minimize emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants
• Avoiding environmental impact of brine disposal and reducing marine discharges by treatment and reuse of residuals
• Minimizing use of chemicals and additives in seawater desalination for fouling and scaling control as well as cleaning
• Use of environmentally-friendly (green) chemicals
• Improved pre-treatment for seawater reverse osmosis during algal blooms

Topic 2: “Circular economy - Recovery of water, energy and nutrients"

Co-Chairs: Aurora Seco, Bruce Rittmann

Wastewater can become a source of valuable materials and economic gain if its treatment is reconfigured to emphasize the recovery of water, energy, and nutrients. This session focuses on emerging processes and systems of processes whose primary goal is recovering the resources present in “used water.” Examples include direct anaerobic treatment to give a net energy output, nitrogen and phosphorus separation and concentration to provide high value fertilizer feedstock, and water reclamation.

Topic 3: "Solar and algal based water technologies”

Co-Chairs: Tryg Lundquist, Pilar Fernandez

This session is focused on low cost and low energy water treatment, using solar energy to disinfect and oxidize, removing nutrients and micropollutants, either by photocatalytic reactions and/or growing algae biomass, including bioenergy production. Leading solar based clean technologies, such as self-cleaning surfaces for water systems, disinfection and oxidation with photocatalysis, and photo-Fenton of priority substances and emerging pollutants, including removal of resistant pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria, solar powered membrane distillation of brackish water for salts separation, and nutrients recovery, leading to reclaimed water reuse. Recent research and world-class treatment solutions currently under study, as well as real case studies will be showcased.

Topic 4: “Energy Efficient Water and Wastewater Management”

Co-Chairs: Anuska Mosquera, Mark Van Loosdrecht

Wastewater treatment plants are traditionally designed for optimal effluent or water quality. However recently energy efficiency is becoming important as well. This can be reached by more efficient aeration and mixing, better process control, and new process implementations such as Anammox, algal systems, or granular sludge. This session focusses on all aspects related to improvement of energy efficiency of wastewater treatment.

Topic 5: “Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Antibiotic resistance, microbiological hazards, nano-pollutants”

Co-Chairs: Javier Marugan, Amy Pruden

Water quality is threatened by chemical nano-pollutants of emerging concern, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, or endocrine disruptors, and also emerging pathogenic microorganisms, including chlorine- and UV-resistant viruses and protozoa, and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Although there is still a lack of quantitative data on their effects on ecological and physiological processes and especially on human health, the detection of those contaminants in natural waters and wastewater treatment plant effluents question the efficiency of the current treatment processes. This session focusses on innovative solutions and technologies for the monitoring and treatment of emerging contaminants in water and wastewater.

Topic 6: “Advanced materials – nanotechnology and new membranes”

Co-Chairs: Qilin Li, Jun Ma

Novel materials are making tremendous changes in the way we treat water, wastewater and solid waste. Nanotechnology utilizes materials at the nanometer scale, whose unique properties enable novel functions. It has been actively pursued for various applications in water and wastewater treatment including adsorption, catalysis, membrane separation and sensing. In addition, advances in membrane materials continue to bring innovation in membrane processes, whose application is becoming increasingly common in water and wastewater treatment systems of different scales. Development and application of these advanced materials have the potential to enable a shift of treatment paradigm from the current chemical and energy intensive processes to high efficiency, physical and catalytic processes that minimize chemical and energy use as well as waste production.

Topic 7: “Smart Management of Water and Assets”

Co-Chairs: Eva Martínez Díaz, Oliver Grievson

The increasing water scarcity caused by the gap between supply and demand for water is forcing the world to understand that water management is no longer an operational matter of running physical infrastructure, but rather how assets in the water network’s hydrological cycle function (together) in an optimal manner. In this subject, Information Technology (IT) plays a key role. This session focuses on innovative and efficient IT and Smart solutions, including monitoring and optimization processes, system analysis and integration, big data management, artificial intelligence, etc. to manage water and wastewater, water resource and water availability, water supply and consumption, water reuse and recycle, water quality, and water/wastewater treatment, towards a more sustainable environment

Topic 8: “Microbial electrochemical technologies”

Co-Chairs: Abraham Esteve Núñez, Korneel Rabaey

Microbial electrochemistry is the study and application of direct interactions between living microbial cells and electrodes. Technologies based on microbial electrochemisty include highly innovative and scientifically fascinating processes, but they often are challenged by the economic realities of wastewater treatment systems. However, significant increases in achievable process intensities and novel niche applications are bringing this emerging technology field closer to actual applications in practice. This session will explore the potential and likely approaches to turn the exciting innovation into practical solutions for wastewater treatment, biosensors, and water desalination.