May was an eventful week in the international project activities surrounding Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs) in general and the utility partnership of Dresden, Cologne and Berlin with Lviv, Ternopil and Nadvirna in particular. In four cities, project tasks were worked on almost simultaneously, networks were established and strengthened, and the operator partnership was presented.
Under the auspices of UN-Habitat/GWOPA, the global water management community gathered at the 5th Global WOPs Congress in Bonn. This was an opportunity for the Director of Lvivvodokanal, Dmytro Vankovych, together with the implementing organisations of the Utility Platform and representatives of German and Ukrainian water utilities, to present the concept of solidarity partnerships as well as the challenges of the war in hins country, but also to highlight existing potential and the successes of operator partnerships.
The Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe (StEB) Köln, which is also involved in the German-Ukrainian utility partnership, met with representatives of Lvivvodokanal to present the current project status of their Asset Management working group and to discuss strategies on how Lvivvodokanal can implement the updating and filling of the developed tool with data on fixed assets.
Eleven colleagues from the Ukrainian partner companies of the cities of Lviv, Ternopil and Nadvirna as well as guests from the solidarity partnership of the Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV) from Chernihiv and Sumy were joyfully welcomed in Dresden in the week before Whitsun after an adventurous journey by bus.
A young team of colleagues from Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH gave a guided tour of the sewage treatment plant in the Kaditz district. They were able to answer a wide range of questions and thus enabled a lively professional exchange despite one or two language barriers. On the following days, the Ukrainian colleagues took part in the "Basic Course in Wastewater Management for Non-Water Management Professionals" of the DWA Saxony/Thuringia Regional Association. This included an excursion to the Ottendorf-Okrilla training sewage treatment plant, which is operated and managed as a branch by Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH.
On Wednesday and Thursday, water operators’ partnerships from the Utility Platform and beyond met in Berlin to participate in the high-level event "Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs) - Sustainable Water Security Beyond Aid" at the invitation of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
A seamless transition took place to the 6th network meeting of the Utility Platform, where all German and international partners of the pilot projects met. The familiar atmosphere provided space for in-depth discussions: In various sessions, the network discussed success factors and potential for improvement of the WOPs. In addition, technical topics, such as the always-prominent topic of water loss reduction, were placed.