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Politicians, scientists and water experts from across the whole of Germany travelled to Bremerhaven recently to take part in the 9th REMONDIS EURAWASSER Forum. Focus this year was on the challenges that local authorities will have to face in their attempts to set up a modern and sustainable infrastructure. What tasks must they perform, what costs are involved, and how should they handle the ever growing demand for new investments with a declining and ageing population?
The guest speakers from across the country looked at these questions from a variety of angles and suggested possible answers. This year’s keynote speech was given by Prof. Kurt Biedenkopf. He talked about the importance of having a sustainable infrastructure at business locations and explained how expanding an infrastructure can influence both the quality of life of the local residents and their mobility. Young people will only remain in rural regions if the infrastructure in such areas are oriented towards the future i.e. if there are well equipped schools, universities and hospitals. He stressed, however, that the process of setting up such an infrastructure also causes considerable inconvenience for the local population. It is essential, therefore, that local residents are closely involved in the planning process in order to get their support for such projects. Ivo Grünhagen, Board Spokesman at ENERVIE – Südwestfalen Energie und Wasser AG, then took the stage to discuss the challen-ges which regional energy providers will have to face. In particular, he emphasised the fact that energy production and consumer demand will have to be linked together by intelligent networks in the future.
Keynote-Speaker Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf
Prof. Josef Stockemer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bremerhaven, called for more long-term partnerships between the business and science communities and demonstrated just how important it is for the two to collaborate. Prof. Meinhard Schulz-Baldes, coordinator of Bremerhaven’s project to become a climate-friendly city, gave an impressive talk explaining how Bremerhaven has implemented a number of measures to help it on its way to becoming a climate-neutral city. One of its goals, for example, is to have cut its carbon emissions by 40% (compared to 1990) by 2020.
The REMONDIS EURAWASSER Forum is one of the leading events in Germany to focus on sustainability and other important future issues.
Experts from the REMONDIS Aqua Group then showed how local authorities can implement efficient renovation and investment strategies despite rising costs and how modern technology – such as REMONDIS Aqua’s proprietary REMONDIS TetraPhos® process to recover phosphorus – can help operators to run cost-efficient plants and networks. “Research and development activities are an essential element of our daily business at the REMONDIS Aqua Group. They enable us to discover technical solutions for current and future challenges so that we can fulfil our role as a future-oriented partner for our municipal and industrial customers,” emphasised Andreas Bankamp, managing director of the REMONDIS Aqua Group, in his opening speech – a strategy, he continued, which was also reflected in the company’s new strapline “Working for the future”.
Melf Grantz, Mayor of Bremerhaven, was also among the prestigious speakers at this year's event