Digital platform for water sector launched!

 

One of the crucial requirements for the successful development of the water sector is the continuous cooperation on the cross-national basis. Baltic Sea Region countries share many common challenges, and each country has own experience in finding solutions to those. Therefore, it is important to have a common space that can enable the exchange of existing practices and ideas throughout the whole region.

To bring attention to the needs of the water sector in the Baltic Sea Region, the IWAMA project (Interactive Water Management) organized a large event in Växjö, Sweden. The IWAMA Water Forum took place on 23–24 October 2017 and attracted almost 80 participants from cities, research institutions, water utilities and environmental centers. A part of the Forum was organized in parallel with the programme of the UBC XIV General Conference.

The organized Forum brought together experts from different fields in the water sector to launch the online portal Baltic Smart Water Hub. This portal has been developed in the framework of the IWAMA project by the project’s Lead Partner UBC Sustainable Cities Commission.

The Baltic Smart Water Hub is a place of technical expertise and a database of exemplary solutions existing in the water areas of the Baltic Sea Region. The Hub covers four water areas, in which the information is stored:

  • fresh water,
  • sea water,
  • storm water, and 
  • wastewater. 

Through recognizing these areas, the Hub emphasizes various water management aspects: handling storm waters, river monitoring, lake restoration, coastal area management, wastewater treatment.

The Hub presents four core elements, through which actors can cooperate, share and learn: good practices, technical solutions, tools and experts. Through the demonstrated cases, Hub users can find ideas and inspiration for investments, solutions to similar challenges and tools to use in the daily work. They can also learn about existing funding instruments, regional policy framework and potential networking associates. 

It is important to mention that using the Hub is not restricted to purely technical professionals: it is also a dialogue place for cities in the region. The Hub connects experts of the water sector on the macro-regional level enabling effective knowledge transfer beyond the single project or national limits in the Baltic Sea Region countries.

The launch of the portal went successfully with a positive feedback provided by the participants representing different target groups of the Baltic Smart Water Hub. While the portal is already operational now, technical improvement and content collection will continue further to provide more comfortable user experience answering user needs.