The conference venue “Mülheim an der Ruhr“ is situated in the metropolitan Ruhr area, between the cities of Duisburg, Oberhausen, Essen and Dortmund. The metropolitan Ruhr area is populated with around 5 million people, providing an excellent example of an extended infrastructure for water and wastewater services, which is in a very active transition process. The urban water systems and services have been continuously expanding from the end of the 19th century, driven by heavy industry demands (mining and steel). The area suffers several subsidences due to subterranean coal mine activities and demand is now shrinking due to economic transformation and demographic change of population. A complex system of regulated rivers, reservoirs, impounded lakes, groundwater recharge areas, open sewer channels and artificial waterways for transport within a densely populated area is now in a transition to meet the expectations of todays and future generations in terms of environmental quality and living standards, as well as to better comply with current and future regulations.
The region provides numerous examples of complex and innovative experiences in urban water service management, such as integrated management of rivers, watersheds incl. reservoirs, treatment plants, no-dig renewal strategies and application of information systems. Last but not least the Emschergenossenschaft is rehabilitating the whole catchment area of river Emscher. This comprises constructing 350 kilometers of new sewers parallel to open water courses, rehabilitating these water courses and installing a completely new system for storm water treatment. Waste water treatment plants were upgraded for 4 million population equivalents.
The area provides ample opportunities for technical tours and excursions back-to-back with the conference. More details will be provided in the 1st version of the conference programme.