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International Webinar on Content Sharing of IWA World Water Congress in Copenhagen (IX)

Updated on December 8, 2022

The 9th webinar in a series for Content Sharing from the 2022 IWA World Water Congress in Copenhagen was held on December 8, 2022. The webinar series is jointly hosted by the International Forum of Water Sustainability (IFWS) and Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT). Prof. Gertian Medema, Principal Microbiologist at KWR Water Research Institute and Professor of Water & Health at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, and Prof. Joan Rose, Michigan State University, winner of the Stockholm Water Price were invited to hold a discussion with the Chinese attendees of the webinar. This webinar was moderated by Prof. Chongmiao Zhang, School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, XAUAT. Also, over 9000 researchers, technologists, and students joined the webinar.

Prof. Chongmiao Zhang first extended a warm welcome to all the experts participating in the webinar. He also explained that the webinar will share the main contents of the Copenhagen IWA World Water Congress Keynote and Plenary Panel Discussions-7. He indicated that after the video sharing, a question and discussion session will be held.

Firstly, the webinar shared the 7th keynote report of the IWA Copenhagen World Water Congress entitled “Wastewater Gone Viral-Pandemic Signals from the Sewers” by Prof. Gertian Medema. In the report, Prof. Medema introduced a new approach to accomplish the targeted prevention and control of COVID-19 by monitoring the genetic signals of the SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, and shared the application cases of the new sort of wastewater surveillance in many countries. After the keynote report, panel discussion was chaired by Prof. Joan Rose, and the panelist consists of Mr Jay Bhagwan, Executive Manager of Water Research Commission, South Africa, Mr Joanthan Hoffmann, Administrative Engineer of Dept of Environment Protection, United States, Mr Lasse Dam Rasmussen, Senior Scientist in Virology of Statens Serum Institute, Denmark, Prof. Ana Maria de Roda Husman, Head of Environmental Infectious Diseases at RIVM, Professor in Global Changes and Environmental Infectious Diseases at Ultrecht University-Institute for Risk Assessment Science, Netherlands, Ms. Mart Vargha, Head of the Water Hygiene Department at National Institute for Environmental Health, Hungary. They discussed the advances in the use of wastewater signals to monitor epidemics and public health, and summarized the experience of establishing partnerships between the water sector and the public health sector.

Prof. Xiaochang Wang, Prof. Gertian Medema, Prof. Joan Rose, and Prof. Chongmiao Zhang joined the discussion to express their perspectives on the accuracy and technical issues of monitoring the genetic signals of the SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to achieve precise prevention and control of COVID-19.