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Resilience in challenging times:
Mobilizing collaboration for future-ready water and sanitation service providers
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in-person participation is open
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Call for Poster: Showcasing WOPs (open until March 26th)
are now welcome.
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22-25 May 2023   |   
Bonn, Germany
World Conference Center Bonn

UN-Habitat’s GWOPA will convene the global water and sanitation utility community at the 5th Global WOPs Congress in Bonn, Germany, on 22-25 May 2023.

Reliable water and sanitation services are critical in difficult times, yet conflict, rapid population growth, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and an enduring pandemic are complicating the work of operators. In Bonn, water and sanitation practitioners will get a platform to discuss how collaboration between operators can help them navigate these challenges.

The Congress aims to:

Understand the big issues facing water and sanitation operators
Showcase new knowledge and emerging solutions to these challenges
Celebrate and foster partnerships between operators to innovate and share approaches
Learn about Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs) and their effective implementation
Strengthen the global WOPs community as a strong and fruitful solidarity network

Attend in Person

Participation at the Congress in Bonn is open to everyone and it is free of charge thanks to the generous support of the GWOPA host country, Germany.

Timeline and criteria for
co-convening sessions

Thanks to everyone submitting their interest through the call for engagement. All submissions are currently being reviewed by the Congress organizers. Please note that not all proposals received can be accommodated in the programme.

Call for Engagement
Review submissions and notify co-conveners
Dec - Jan
Co-convenors shape sessions
Feb - Mar
Co- convenors finalize session preparation
Mar - April
Final preparation and promotion
5th Global WOPs Congress
Sessions at the congress will be:
Related to the work of water and sanitation operators, WOPs, peer-to-peer learning and the work towards achievement of SDG6 and the New Urban Agenda.
Aligning with the theme of the congress “Resilience in challenging times: Mobilizing collaboration for future-ready water and sanitation service providers”.
Ensuring speaker selection considers regional balance, gender diversity, and young professionals.
Innovative session designs and approaches.

Who will be at the Congress

This biannual, global gathering
will welcome:
Public water and sanitation utilities of all shapes and sizes and from all continents
Community, cooperative and private water and sanitation operators
National and international water and sanitation associations
Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organzations
Municipal and National Governments, including their development cooperation agencies and regulators
Financial institutions
Workers and trade unions
United Nations organizations and other international platforms/network organizations
Research and
learning institutions

What makes the WOPs Congress different?

United by solidarity

Water Operators’ Partnership and other not-for-profit peer support exchanges will take center stage.

The Congress is a moment for the GWOPA network and new partners to come together around a shared commitment to helping each other.


The Congress is convened by the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance – a diverse network largely made up of public water and sanitation operators along with their partners.

Participation is free of charge and open to all organisations and individuals with an interest in sustainable water and sanitation.

A focus on operator staff

WOPs support operator staff to do their job better and they are happening all over the world.

The Congress will bring together hundreds of operator staff to tell their stories, learn from each other and inspire individual and collective action.

Moving towards sustainable access for all

The WOPs Congress has been designed in close consultation with a Congress Taskforce (public operators, WOPs facilitators, donors and civil society organisations) to ensure it shines a light on real actions, impact, and opportunity to increase progress on Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Thank you for your interest in
the 5th Global WOPs Congress!