BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues meets AquaNES


Wastewater treatment plant „Schönerlinde“ © Ulf Miehe/KWB

Inspired by Nature:
Natural and Engineered Systems
in Water Management

on 9 April 2019, 9 am – 5 pm
at Berlin-Brandenburgische
Akademie der Wissenschaften,
entrance via Markgrafenstraße 38,
10117 Berlin

Water management requires intensive cooperation across sectors and disciplines. Yet, bringing oneself to thinking beyond the silo is a hard and continuous process; especially as the natural and economic environments become more and more unpredictable. BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues is the leading platform in Germany to bridge the gap between research and practice, across sectors. This year it partners with the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project AquaNES. The project demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of combined natural and engineered systems for water treatment systems (cNES).
During the BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues conference, AquaNES presents the innovations that emerged from the collaboration of utilities, industry and academia. A panel discussion with representatives from water utilities and the private sector beyond the AquaNES network allow for a multi-faceted exchange on water management challenges, including those that crystallized from past BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues. Representatives from the private and public sectors, academia, non-governmental organizations, and other interested stakeholders come together for this unique conference format.

Preliminary Program____________________________________________________________

8:30 Registration
09:00 Welcoming Remarks
Thomas Stratenwerth
, Head of Division, Fundamental, International and European Aspects of Water Management, Federals Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
09:20 Jörg Simon, Chairman of the Board, Berliner Wasserbetriebe
09:30 Keynote Address
Leaving no one behind in access to water and sanitation –
The potential of nature-based solutions
Stefan Uhlenbrook
, Coordinator, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (UNESCO WWAP) & Director, UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment
10:00 Introducing Combined Natural and Engineered Treatment Processes (cNES)
Addressing water management challenges with cNES
Thomas Wintgens
, AquaNES Project Coordinator, Professor at FHNW School of Life Sciences, Head of Environmental Technology Group
10:30 Coffee Break & Networking
From Research into Practice – Lectures followed by Q/A:
11:00 Ozonation combined with natural filtration processes – water quality gains
Regina Gnirss, Berliner Wasserbetriebe
11:30 Flexible use of modified retention soil filters to treat wastewater treatment plant effluent and combined sewer overflow
Andrea Brunsch, Erftverband
12:00 Tailored ICT tool for optimised operation of a managed aquifer recharge site
Axel Aurouet, Geohyd Antea Group
12:30 Realising combined natural engineered systems (cNES) –
Insights from public perceptions and governance
Heather Smith, Cranfield University
13:00 Lunch
AquaNES Responses to Water Management Challenges:
International demonstration cases for combined natural and engineered systems
13:45 Parallel Dialogue Series I

Room I

Membranes to complement bank filtration, Leo Vredenbregt,
Pentair X-Flow

Room II

Solutions for rural communities, remote locations and emerging countries, Heribert Rustige, AKUT Umweltschutz
Philipp Otter, AUTARCON GmbH

Room III

Managed aquifer recharge – pros and cons of advanced oxidation processes for pre-treatment, Professor Thomas Wintgens,
FHNW School of Life Sciences

Gallery IV

Learn more about
technical and
scientific activities
around cNES in the

14:15 Rotation


Parallel Dialogue Series II

Room I

Resilient bank filtration: operational & design concepts, Thomas Grischek,
Hochschule für Technik
und Wirtschaft Dresden

Room II

cNES performance assessment challenges – tools and methods to manage water safety, Thomas ter Laak, KWR Water Cycle Institute

Room III

Creating multifunctional cNES, Heather Smith,
Cranfield University

Gallery IV

Learn more about
technical and
scientific activities
around cNES in the



Discover more!

You can learn more about the projects in the Gallery.

15:00 Coffee Break
From Research into Practice –
Panel Discussion Followed by Q&A



Made to last? Overcoming challenges for the implementation of cNES by research, demonstration
and innovation.

Sebastian Piltz, Acting Managing Director, Isle Utilities GmbH
Gábor Till, Senior Consultant, Budapest Waterworks
Claudia Wendland, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, HAMBURG WASSER
Thomas Wintgens, Project Coordinator, AquaNES
Peter Vale, Severn Trend Water


Inspirational lecture
16:30 Combining natural and engineered systems for Water-wise Cities
Corinne Trommsdorff, Head, Water-Wise Cities Initiative, International Water Association
17:00 Farewell

Participation is free of charge. Please not that registration is now closed. You register for the waiting  list here or send an email to

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The BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues is a series of events initiated as a platform for dialogue in 2011 by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises. Participants from business, research, politics and non-governmental organisations are encouraged to actively participate in the exchange of knowledge, ideas, concepts and experience on cutting-edge topics and issues in international water management and to discuss water management challenges in a solution-oriented manner. The participatory approach thus brings together proven experts and a broad spectrum of different stakeholders of the international water industry and promotes their mutual exchange of knowledge as well as goal- and action-oriented cooperation. In addition, the diligent selection of topics promotes the nexus between water, food and energy management.

Learn more about BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues 2018.

Funding authorities


Project lead


Project office