Women's power in the water industry

Laboratory course strengthens German-Ukrainian partnership

Ukrainian participants take part in the laboratory course of the regional association Saxony-Thuringia of the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA). | Photo: Oksana Kharyshyn

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, male employees of Vodokanals are no longer allowed to leave their country and applications for departure are hardly granted or only with considerable bureaucratic effort. However, the constant contact between Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH and its partners Lvivvodokanal, Ternopilvodokanal, and Nadvirnavodokanal, and the lively exchange about the content of the cooperation is used to find joint implementation possibilities. For example, the utility partnership with Ukraine was enriched by the title "Women in Water Management". In June, Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH welcomed eight female laboratory technicians from five Vodokanals and their interpreters.

The exhausting journey by bus from Lviv to Dresden required a lot of patience and stamina. But after a 15-hour journey, the colleagues arrived safely at the hotel on Sunday evening.

After a quiet night, the intensive working week began, which was dominated by wastewater and sludge parameters and methodologies and was accompanied by a lot of humour and cordiality. In addition to a tour of the sewage treatment plant in Dresden-Kaditz and the company's in-house laboratory, the programme was rounded off by an impulse lecture on the topic of flood protection.  Intensive consultations on questions concerning the planning of a modern sewage treatment plant in Ternopil, which is to be built after the end of the war, were also part of the peer-to-peer exchange.

The focus of the working meeting was on participation in the three-day laboratory course of the regional association Saxony-Thuringia of the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA). Theoretical contents were enthusiastically absorbed and acquired knowledge was put into practice in experiments. German regulations were of equal interest as the modern equipment of the laboratory, which could be used for experiments and practical tasks.

Intensive days and productive, solution-oriented exchanges have once again filled the operator partnership with Ukraine with ideas that now want to be embedded and implemented in the projects in the best possible way.

Kristin Michalek-Götz, Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH

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