Supporting Europe’s future water leaders

AquaFed joined with the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP) to sponsor its latest group of young professionals to help them become future leaders.

Why have we decided to step out of usual role to try something like this? The EJWP explain it perfectly on their website: “Connected, insightful water leadership in Europe is increasingly vital in adapting to climate impacts, new circular economies, digitalisation and a more diverse labour market. We know that water and climate change impacts do not recognise political boundaries. Young water professionals are key to future adaptation – and we support their development.”

When private water companies are brought in under contract to manage a public utility service, one of the issues they focus on is increasing skills and capacity of the employees. However, we also have a lot to learn from young people entering the sector. A discussion with a previous cohort of EJWP participants was so inspiring and made us immediately realise a partnership was essential.

The participants on the latest programme are from Greece, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Belgium. None work for a private water operator. This is a good thing! AquaFed believes firmly in the water and sanitation sector’s future, regardless of who works where and for who.

We know Naomi Timmer and Jennifer Cronick will have challenged the participants hard this week but the outcome will be that they are even better equipped for their careers.

AquaFed also discussed with the participants some excellent ideas for a project they will do which will help utilities across the world– all the good ideas came from the participants of course!

Our thanks to Gauthier Renaud and the organisers of the World Impact Summit in Bordeaux that also hosted the participants during the week. Finally a huge thanks to Laurent Guillemin, Deputy Mayor in charge of natural resources management in water & energy for Bordeaux, for his hosting and support.

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