Networking Events

The International Young Water Professionals Conference is a unique opportunity to network with the young water professionals from across the world. Networking is rated the top reason for young water professionals to join our conferences, and we will therefore be organising several networking opportunities during your week in Toronto, starting with one activity on the pre-conference day, and one activity during the week.

There will be plenty of opportunities to network during the conference breaks, and within and after the sessions also, with a unique opportunity to stay in the same accommodation at the campus.

2017 Networking Events

Sunday, 10 December 2017

(note we leave Cape Town at 11.00 am if you want to join)

Pre-conference Networking @ the Water Hub

Pre-conference networking through “Water Olympics” @ Water Hub

Instead of the traditional ‘evening cocktail’ function following registration, the #IYWPC will head out to the Water Hub – a research, innovation and training centre – currently being developed in Franschoek (just outside of Cape Town). The Water Hub  will form the setting for the first and, possibly, most exciting networking event yet – the ‘Water Olympics’. All (willing) delegates will be placed in teams which will then compete against each other in various interactive games involving, or related to, water. This is certainly going to be a fun evening of good spirited competition, and a great way to break the ice and get networking!

Learn more about the Water Hub

Franschhoek Water Research and Innovation Centre


South Africa is experiencing ongoing water challenges and issues that are influenced predominantly by three main factors: limited rainfall due to the geographical location of the country along with climate change and extreme weather conditions; deteriorating water quality as a result of poor management, benign neglect of responsibilities and lack of accountability among users; a lack of financial resources and human capacity. The combination of these wicked problems affects the ability of manage water efficiently which in turn compromises food production and energy generation. What is required is new thinking that is built on research and experience; new strategic investments in water science and technologies; and the determination to train and educate a new generation.


The vision is to find multiple solutions to the water crisis by providing a sustained and respectable leadership in water research, innovation, education and training. New knowledge, practical skills and knowledge dissemination will become the hallmarks of the Water Hub which aims to improve the range of treatment options for runoff and reticulated water to a standard where it is possible to safely discharge this water into surface water bodies, and also extract maximum value from this water so that it can support food production and support a viable biodiversity park. Clean water is central to transforming our cities into liveable, healthy, ecologically rich and diverse spaces, and to be sustainable in the long term. There should be no compromise on this vision or aim despite the overwhelming challenges facing the country.

Towards the Vision

The Water Hub is formed out of an old Franschhoek Waste Water Treatment plant. The intention of the Water Hub is to showcase the water cycle using state of the art water and energy efficient technologies, and to demonstrate how ‘fit for purpose’ water can be used for food production and the extraction of resources from used water. There are grand challenges which can only be achieved by attracting interest from the local, national and international researchers, from government officials; from special interest groups and interested citizens.


The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape Government, has already appointed a professional service provider to produce and cost an innovative conceptual design for the Centre. The conceptual design of an entirely research and training focused centre (Phase 1) has now been completed and priced. A grander vision conceptual design (without costs) has also been completed.  The landowner, Stellenbosch Municipality, and local residents and special interest groups have contributed to the initial design and plans for the Centre. The next step is build a strong cohort of researchers who are willing to invest in a various experiments and technologies at the Water Hub and also to develop the social and economic potential of the Hub through projects and programmes that will enable local communities to share in the resource potential of the Water Hub. Finally a strong partnership between government and private funders/partners will be necessary to contribute to the long term development and operations of this exciting venture.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Gala Cocktail Function

Join us for the ‘Gala Cocktail Function’

Instead of the typical formal conference dinner the International Young Water Professionals Conference will host a ‘Gala Cocktail Function’ allowing more opportunities for networking and socializing. A truly memorable evening is in store at the Atlantic Imbizo and promises to be an evening of good food, great views, and valuable networking!

Join us in Toronto!