GWS 2019 Recap

Disruptive Designs at the Global Water Summit 2019

On April 8th – 10th 2019 the Global Water Summit returned to London, one of the great world cities. Focusing on the theme of Disruptive Designs the Summit successfully delivered a full program of sessions and networking, offering delegates a truly global overview of the water sector, supporting their business goals for 2019/2020 and beyond.

Read more about what happened during GWS 2019 in GWI Publisher Christopher Gasson’s column “Eight things I learned at the Global Water Summit”:

Over 700 Delegates

Senior executives from over 200 companies and 50 countries joined us in London for 3 days of intense discussions and a whirlwind of sessions.

Over 1100 One-to-One Meetings

The summit this year saw the most one-to-one networking ever, with over 1100 confirmed one-to-one meetings taking place. Below you can see the full network chart of all meetings that happened during GWS 2019, with each node representing a single company and the size of each node corresponding to how many delegates they brought to the summit. You can click on each node to isolate its part of the full network.

The Sessions Agenda

This year the Summit held 14 sessions during the sessions agenda, grouped under 8 strands. The tree diagram below shows which sessions were the most popular amongst our delegates based on data from the GWS App.
Industry Desal Digital Investment Leading Utilities of the World Technologies Wastewater Finance Industrial Opportunities in Asia Defining Environmental Best Practise Water Technology Idol Desalination Operations Olympics Perfecting Recovery Digital-Driven Growth Strategies Making a Moonshot from a Trainwreck The Future of Water Infrastructure Investment Top Investment Opportunities in the Water Industry Inaugurating New Members Leadership Roundtables Uninvented Technologies Halving the Cost of Wastewater Accelerating Private Finance for SDG6


The most popular sessions based on data from the GWS App
This year the Summit hosted 50 roundtable discussions. The wordcloud below shows what was discussed during the roundtables sessions on Day 1 and 2.
GCC New Opportunities Investment Strategies Desalination Wastewater Management Fast-Tracking R&D Financing Water Projects US Water Sector Utilities Regulations Environmental Friendliness Infrastructure Funds Renewable Energy Growing Population Challenges Produced Water Prioritising Investments Urgent Investment Needs Climate Change Private Sector Qatar Digital Systems Improving Bankability Purification Disruptive Technologies Quality Monitoring Smart Solutions Circular Water Economy Midstream Private Equity Expanding Impact Expanding Coverage Reshaping Water Supply UAE Saudi Arabia Membrane Bio-Reactors Biofuel Sludge Revolution Advanced Modelling New Business Models Nigeria Pulp and Paper New Capital Beverage Industry Growing Expectations M&A Strategies Dynamic Markets PPP Market Networked Production and Supply Albania Pakistan Buoyant Markets Infrastructure as a Service Total Nitrogen Removal Wastewater Infrastructure Kenya Latin America Uzbekistan Rapid Deployment Water-Energy Nexus Oil Mining South America Scaling Investment SDG 6 Extreme Weather Events Treatment Plant Expansion Long-Term Trends Visionary Plans Industrial Wastewater Data Paralysis Israel Next Generation Desal Smart Water Management Smart NRW Management Redefine Microelectronics Water Funds Competitive Markets Utility Consolidation Rewiring Relationships Stormwater Management Changing Paradigms Rapid Growth Designer Membranes Flux Rate Improvement Radical Reuse LED Disinfection Micropollutant Challenge Egypt Morocco Rich/Poor Divide Energy Efficiency Solution Providers Reuse Sustainability Strategies Building Partnerships Major Reorganisation Clean Ganga National Water Strategy Reducing Non-Revenue Water Radical New Directions Automation Expanding Markets Regional Thinking Ultrapure Pushing the Limits Challenges Growth Private Capital Oman Low Error Margins Semiconductors Logistical Challenges Collaborative Approaches Reverse Osmosis Moore’s Law Blended Finance Eco-Cities Utilizing Dark Data Turkey Radical Overhaul Growing Desal Markets Taiwan

Audience Participation

Members of the audience were asked to participate in voting on various questions during the Summit to aid panel discussions and get a sesnse of what the global water industry thinks about various issues. You can find some of the results below.



Over 200 Speakers

This year we welcomed over 200 speakers to GWS, the list below shows which speakers were the most popular amongst our delegates based on data from the GWS app.

Global Water Awards

The Global Water Awards took place at the National History Museum in London on Day 1 of The Global Water Summit. 13 awards were presented to celebrate the greatest achievements over the previous year, rewarding the initiatives and companies in the water, wastewater and desalination sectors that are moving the industry forward through improved operating performance, innovative technology adoption and sustainable financial models.
Water Company of the Year
SUEZ and
Jacobs Engineering
Desalination Company of the Year
Acciona Agua
IDE Technologies
Digital Water Company of the Year
Evoqua Water Technologies
Veolia Water Technologies
Trophies were also presented to new members of the Leading Utilities of the World network. Membership in this network is a recognition that a utility is among the best in the world, based on relative improvement as much as absolute achievement. The five new members were accepted into the network in a meeting held at The Global Water Summit on 9th April where each presented their achievements to the network’s advisory board – all of whom also represent utilities that have an unimpeachable record of innovation and performance.
New Leading Utilities of the World members
Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Germany
Aguas de Portugal, Portugal
SIAAP, France
Yarra Valley, Australia

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