Emerging pollutants: Protecting water quality for the health of people and the environment

This online conference will highlight ways to advance knowledge, research, and solutions for managing emerging pollutants to improve and protect water quality in a changing world. Participation is free upon registration.
It is organized by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) and is the 3rd of the IWRA online conference Series.
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Conference objectives

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).

Registration and participation in the conference is free for all participants, thanks to the generous support of UNESCO-IHP.

Conference theme

The overarching theme of the online conference is “Emerging Pollutants: Protecting Water Quality for the Health of People and the Environment”. This theme was selected to focus the conference on the intersection of the science-policy interface when addressing emerging pollutants, and steps and mechanisms that must be pursued to protect the health of people and the environment. The sub-themes of the conference are:

  • Theme 1: Emerging pollutants in aquatic ecosystems
  • Theme 2: Emerging pollutants and groundwater
  • Theme 3: Emerging pollutants and managing wastewater and waste
  • Theme 4: A circular economy approach: Lifecycle management of emerging pollutants
  • Theme 5: “Priority” emerging pollutants in the hydro cycle: microplastics, nanomaterial, PFAs and PPCPs

For the full details on the sub-themes, please visit the conference's website.

Call for abstracts

Deadline: 21 October 2022

UNESCO-IWRA Online conference: Call for abstracts

Participants from all backgrounds (i.e., academics, water professionals, private sector practitioners and civil society stakeholders), who wish to present their work related to the theme and sub-themes at the conference, are invited to submit an abstract by 21 October 2022. Participants from developing countries, women, underrepresented groups, and youth representatives are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

For any questions or queries, please contact us at online.conference@iwra.org or visit the conference's website.