Cooperation brightens capacity prospects for Danube region water utilities

Utility management


The Danube water utility association was set up more than 20 years ago to help support utilities in what was a rapidly changing eastern Europe. Keith Hayward spoke with IAWD Secretary General Walter Kling about the association’s current role and the latest phase of the World Bank-supported Danube Water Program, which aims to build greater cooperation and strengthen the capacity of water and wastewater service providers.

Walter Kling, IAWD Secretary General
Walter Kling, IAWD Secretary General

‘This was a very challenging time and totally different circumstances compared to what we see nowadays,’ says Walter Kling, Secretary General of IAWD, the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area, recalling the time the association was set up some 20 years ago. Even Austria, where the association is headquartered, was not yet a member of the European Union in 1993, he notes.

The aim of setting up the association was to provide support to utilities in eastern Europe, and the emerging catchment-based focus of the EU Water Framework Directive in particular made a basin-wide approach appropriate.

Fast-forward to today and IAWD’s website carries the line ‘Voice of the Danube’, Kling notes, summarising its role now as: ‘We are a platform of knowledge sharing.’

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  • Europe, utility management, Danube, IAWD