IWRA Webinar – N°29

Water & COVID-19, 30 April

This IWRA webinar focused on Water and COVID-19 and it took place on Thursday, April 30th from 15:00 to 16:30 Central European Time.  It provided relevant insights on the impact of COVID-19 on water supply and the different ways that water governance was challenged by this global threat.

The panel presented firstly, on the general links between water resources and COVID-19, as well as the ways current responses have impacted these resources and made it more difficult for the maintenance of the critical infrastructure. Other panellists focused on understanding more closely the type of virus that COVID-19 is, and how this relates to its behavior on water systems, particularly on sewage and wastewater. On the latter, they have shed light on how surveillance mapping can be used to understand the ways that coronavirus is moving globally and impacts societies. These types of tools was emphasized have the potential to help monitor and anticipate new outbreaks of the virus around the world.

Drawing from the case from the Netherlands, the panel was able to show clear progress made in the monitoring of COVID-19 in water systems to understand the rate of virus propagation and its impact on populations. Although the value in monitoring trends over time, it was highlighted the importance of having detected the virus in a community before it was detected at the hospital. As the world faces out the confinement phase, it as agreed more work is needed to use sewage and wastewater surveillance to comprehend the impacts of soft policies, as well as anticipate to future outbreaks.

With 444 registered attendees, the Water & COVID-19 webinar was IWRA’s most successful online event ever.

IWRA would like to thank again its panellists for their active participation and fruitful engagement: Dan Deere, Water Quality Specialist, Water Futures Australia; Rosina Girones, Professor at the Virology and Biotechnology Department of Genetics, University of Barcelona; Gertjan Medema, Chair on Water & Health, TU Delft; and, Joan Rose, Chair on Water Research, Michigan State University. This webinar was moderated by Scott McKenzie, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia.

Click on title presentations below to access them:

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