AquaFed at the World Water Forum: Thematic Sessions

AquaFed is organising and involved in a very wide range of sessions at the World Water Forum in Bali in May 2024.

The topics we are focusing on include utility revenue and financing, climate change infrastructure and resilience, technologies and democratic inclusion in decision-making. We’re also very proud to be holding a networking event for women professionals.

AquaFed has been very involved in the organisation of the Forum, not only through our sessions but also as coordinator of the events under Sub-Theme 1: Water, security and prosperity and co-organiser of four High Level Ministerial Panels. We are trying to make all the sessions we have organised interesting, dynamic, fast-paced and solutions-focused.

Below is a list of Thematic Sessions that AquaFed is organising, with a brief introduction to them and a list of other sessions where you will see AquaFed representatives.

We really hope to see you at these sessions!

Title: 1A4 - Can utilities be incentivized to supply less and reduce demand while remaining viable?

Date and Time: 22 May, 10.20am

About the session: As freshwater becomes an even scarcer resource, it is essential to explore new models for utilities beyond the traditional approach where revenue increases alongside the amount of water supplied.

Is it right that we continue to incentivize consumption? Is there a way of reversing this model, so utilities and water providers are paid more to supply less and take steps to make their customers and users more water efficient?

This session intends to bring together public and private utility managers, water financers and regulators to think with open minds about the issue and analyse possible solutions that could be trialled and implemented.

Questions will include:

• Are current utility revenue models appropriate in the context of climate change?

• Can we incentivize supplying less water?

• Can users be incentivized to pay to use less water?

Title: 5B2 – Financing: Beyond banks – engaging more actors in water finance.

Date and Time: 21 May, 08.30am

About the session: This session focuses on repayable finance, and specifically on how to engage with a wider spectrum of market actors to mobilise private investment into water. This is a focus on the fundamentals of private capital and how it is used for investment in the water sector – especially for people with a non-finance background who want to know more about private investors and repayable finance.

The discussion will cover deal flow, with the objective of demonstrating how the capital markets can unlock finance for water and sanitation investment, particularly for projects in the “missing middle”, i.e. with capital requirements of between US$10-100 million. This segment is currently poorly served, in part because of asymmetries in perceived risk and return, but also because project developers, private sector companies and public utilities all depend on a relatively narrow range of market actors to access finance.

Objectives: • To hear from a range of private capital investors about how they work eg their sources of funds, risk/reward appetites how they are deployed.

• To understand from them what attracts them to the water sector and what are the barriers to their investment.

• To know right now, what do private capital investors believe are the big water ‘plays’ in the US$10-100 million bracket?

Title: CC1: How to educate and meaningfully involve people in the tough decisions on climate mitigation and adaptation?

Date and Time: 22 May 13.00

About the session: Climate change impacts are forcing governments and public authorities into making extremely difficult decisions, but with the aim of protecting people and services in the short term, as well as building long-term resilience.

These decisions come with big financial, social and environmental trade-offs. People are going to have to pay much more through taxes, utility tariffs and other means. There will also be other difficult decisions around allocation of services, environmental protection, food production and many other aspects of people’s lives.

This session is about how governments and authorities can meaningfully engage with all sectors of society, so that ultimately decisions are fair, equitable and can galvanise society into action.


• Explain the latest public engagement tools and methods for hardest to reach communities and sectors of society.

• Discuss the views and voices from these communities regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation.

• Inform future research, stakeholder engagement and public communication programmes.

Title: CC2: Climate resilient infrastructure: blending green and grey, traditional and non-traditional approaches to meet water security needs in a climate changed world.

Date and Time: 21 May 08.30

About the session:

There are a growing number of examples around the world where a combination of green and grey infrastructure is increasing resilience and water security for the short and long term. Research shows that these hybrid solutions really work and can be replicated and scaled up.

We are starting to see a wide variety of possible combinations of green and grey infrastructure for water, such as constructing wetlands that naturally treat industrial wastewater, or ‘floodable parks’ which can protect urban neighbourhoods from torrential rain. Rather than being seen as totally separate, grey and green solutions can go hand in hand for the optimal solutions.

This session will look at some of the latest examples of blended and mixed approaches to green and grey, traditional and non-traditional approaches to climate resilience and understand how these can be replicated and improved. The discussion will include how to finance these solutions, implementation challenges and best practices.

Title: Sub-Theme 1 Synthesis Session: Water, Security and Prosperity

Date and time: 24 May 13.00

About the session: This session is as an inter-generational dialogue. It is about young people’s interpretation of the issues discussed in topics under sub-theme 1 and their proposals for the key messages and next steps.

Through the topic sessions, experienced sector stakeholders will have given their evidence, information, and data on issues related to water, security and prosperity. But it is young people that have to interpret this information and take action, as part of shaping the world that they want.

The session will be a discussion with young people and the leaders of the topic areas, to mutually agree a set of messages for political leaders and messages to support region to region cooperation on water, security and prosperity issues. The discussion will include proposing next steps specifically on stakeholder co-operation on specific issues raised during the sessions.

Other Thematic Sessions involving AquaFed

• 1B1: 23 May at 14.50 The governance and building blocks for circular water and resource management for food security and resilient cities.

• 4C2: 23 May at 10.20am What goes around comes around: Applying a circular lens to water policies.

• 5B3: 22 May at 10.20am Delivery: Achieving a ‘net zero’ equivalent for water and the role of partnerships.

• 5D1: 23 May at 13.00 Making the green investment case for innovation to achieve water resilience and improved governance.

• 6A2: 20 May at 16.40 Innovations in Smart Water Management worldwide.

• 6B1: 22 May at 10.20am Framing legacy and innovative approaches to understanding and implementing organizational change.

• CC5: 22 May at 13.00 Making Progress toward Climate Resilience: elevating the urgency of drought resilience for the water sector

• CC9: 23 May at 16.40 Capacity Building, Innovation and enhancement of data and information collection in a Data-Rich world.