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Daegu Becomes the First in East Asia to Host the IWRA World Water Congress
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2021-12-02
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Daegu Metropolitan City will be the first city in East Asia to host the “17th International Water Resources Association (IWRA) World Water Congress” for five days from November 29 (Mon) to December 3 (Fri) at EXCO. The 17th IWRA World Water Congress will be jointly hosted by Daegu Metropolitan City, the Ministry of Environment, International Water Resources Association (IWRA), Korea Water Resources Association (KWRA), and K-water.

 

<Poster for the 17th International Water Resources Association (IWRA) World Water Congress>

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The IWRA World Water Congress, which has been held every three years since 1973, is a prestigious international academic forum where countries around the world exchange experience and knowledge related to water resources, and discuss and discover various water management technologies and policies for sustainable and resilient development.

 

After successfully hosting the 7th World Water Forum in 2015, the largest international water event in the world, Daegu has been fostering the water industry as a new growth engine by creating the only national water industry cluster in South Korea. In addition, the city has been expanding its global network by hosting the Korea International Water Week and the World Water Cities Forum every year to support the overseas expansion for Korean enterprises. This year's Korea International Water Week had been scheduled to be held at the same time as the World Water Congress, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.

 

In 2017, Daegu won the bid to host the World Water Congress in 2020, but it was postponed three times due to COVID-19. With Korea recently relaxing COVID restrictions through phased return to normalcy, the World Water Congress was scheduled to be held with participation from water experts from around the world.

 

Under the theme of “Foundations for Global Water Security and Resilience: Knowledge, Technology and Policy,” the 17th World Water Congress will open on November 29. The program consists of over 60 events held both online and offline over five days from November 29 to December 3, including high-level panels where domestic and foreign water experts intensively discuss specific topics, general sessions where water resources-related research papers are presented, poster sessions, and special sessions from domestic and foreign institutions with expertise in water resources, such as companies, universities, and research institutes.

 

In particular, more than 100 foreign participants, including high-level government officials and international organizations such as the Senegalese minister for water and sanitation, the president of the World Water Council, the head of the organizing committee of the 9th World Water Forum in Senegal, the president of the International Water Resources Association, and the directors of the World Meteorological Organization and the World Bank, have applied for exemption from quarantine for public interest and academic purposes to attend the World Water Congress in person.

 

The “World Water Envoys” selected for the first time at this year’s World Water Congress will represent five countries by continent—Palestine, Zimbabwe, India, Nepal, and the Dominican Republic—which are experiencing severe water shortages and present on the seriousness of their water problems. At the congress, they will have a valuable opportunity to find solutions to their countries’ water problems. In addition, a tour has been scheduled on December 3, the last day of the World Water Forum, for foreign visitors to sights around Daegu such as Dodong Seowon Academy and Donghwasa Temple, as well as the National Water Industry Cluster, which boasts of world-class demonstration and verification facilities.

 

Moreover, on November 30 and December 1, Daegu will hold a variety of water-related events, including the “7th World Water Cities Forum,” the “2nd World Water Cluster Leaders Forum,” “Water Industry Certification Seminar,” “Youth Water Talk Concert,” and “Water Industry Expo.” Through these water-related events, the city plans to expand its overseas network to strengthen its status as a global water industry hub and seek ways to revitalize overseas expansion of South Korea’s water industry.

 

Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin remarked, “By successfully hosting water-related international events such as the 17th IWRA World Water Congress and World Water Cities Forum as the government changed the direction of COVID restrictions to focus on living with COVID-19, we will further expand our overseas networks with water industry cities and global organizations in each country, thereby establishing Daegu as a water industry hub. We will further strengthen and spur the overseas expansion of the local water industry.”