Resilience in
challenging times
Mobilizing collaboration for future-ready
water and sanitation service providers
22 — 25 May 2023    |   
Bonn, Germany
World Conference Center Bonn
— About

UN-Habitat’s GWOPA convenes 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.

The congress provides a platform to water, and sanitation practitioners to discuss  how collaboration between operators can help them navigate these challenges.

Welcome to Bonn
Call for action
— Preliminary Programme
22 May 2023 Monday
23 May 2023 Tuesday
24 May 2023 Wednesday
25 May 2023 Thursday
22 May 2023
09:00 — 10:00
22 May 2023
19:00 — 20:00
Special event
Bonn Altes Rathaus
Opening Reception hosted by the City of Bonn and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development at the Bonn Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall). Upon registration only.
23 May 2023
12:00 — 13:30
24 May 2023
18:00 — 19:30
German WOP forum: Live stream
25 May 2023
09:30 — 12:30
Excursion 1
City of Bonn

New Rhine intake and early warning system for the Mehlemer Bach stream

Following severe stream flooding with millions of euros worth of damage to infrastructure alone, a cut-off structure was built on the lower reaches of the Mehlemer Bach stream.

In future, this will relieve the old stream bed during heavy rainfall, protect the town and channel large volumes of water underground directly into the Rhine.

At the same time, an early warning system was established. The civil engineering office of the city of Bonn will guide and accompany the excursion.

The excursion includes a short walk, please wear appropriate shoes and bring rain/sun protection and water.

Max. participation: 47 persons

Transportation: Bus

Language: English

Upon registration only | Departure point tbc

25 May 2023
09:30 — 12:30
Excursion 2
City of Bonn

Quality assurance and training in Bonn wastewater treatment plants

The Bad Godesberg wastewater treatment plant is idyllically located on the edge of the Rheinaue recreational park and, with a capacity of 110,000 inhabitants, treats wastewater for around one third of Bonn›s population. Its special feature: since 2017, it has been equipped with QR codes for quality assurance.

The so-called wastewater technology training kit will also be presented. Developed in Bonn, it is now also used abroad as a compact module for capacity building through training staff in wastewater treatment plants, including in Jordan.

For safety reasons, please wear sturdy shoes.

Max. participation: 47 persons

Transportation: Bus

Language: English

Upon registration only | Departure point tbc

— Exhibition & Booths

Special Event

Opening Reception hosted by the City of Bonn and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development at the Bonn Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall). Upon registration only.

German WOPs Days

As part of the "Utility Platform for strengthening partnerships of municipal utilities worldwide" funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany's water and wastewater companies share their expertise with similar companies in our partner countries.

However, although these operators' partnerships make a valuable contribution to the local realization of the 2030 Agenda, they are currently the exception in Germany.

The German WOPs Forum will be officially inaugurated by State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on the evening of 24th May.

— In partnership with

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.

— Logistics

General information

+49 228 815 2373


Registration is now open by filling out the online form.


World Conference Centre Bonn
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2 53113 Bonn, Germanyat
+49 (0) 228 9267-0

Before you arrive in Bonn

Information on Bonn

You can learn about Bonn on and

Passport and Visa Information

If, as a delegate or participant entering Germany, you come from a country out of the European Union (EU citizens may enter with their national identity card), you must have a valid passport and, depending on your country of origin, a valid visa.

Travel Insurance

It is advised that you have travel insurance that would cover your stay in Bonn. GWOPA will not take responsibility for the medical, accident, and travel insurance, for compensation for death or disability, for loss of or damage to personal property, and for any other costs or losses that may be incurred during travel time or the period of participation.


There are many hotels available in Bonn, offering various prices. You can book a hotel room via this link - Bonn und Region - 5th Global WOP Congress ( Every guest who books a hotel room via this link will automatically receive a free ticket for local public transport, which is valid for the entire duration of your booking (day of arrival up to and including the day of departure) and is valid on the entire VRS network. If you arrive at Cologne/Bonn-Airport, please be aware that a rapid-bus supplement will be charged for the airport bus (ticket machine or cash inside).


The currency used in Germany is Euro (€). Therefore, carrying cash is highly recommended to make your travels easier within Germany. While credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, some Kleiner Saals and shops still only accept German EC Cards, and you may need to pay in cash on several occasions.

At the Global WOPs Congress venue

Wi-Fi and adapters

Wi-Fi will be provided in the conference venue.

The adapters used in Germany are 220V sockets. We suggest you bring Type C adapters to use your electronic devices.


To guarantee the safety of all conference attendees, the organizers enforce security measures in all conference areas: You must wear your badge at all times inside the venue. It is strictly prohibited to lend your badge to another participant. It’s advisable to carry some form of identification with you at all times; you need to present your ID when entering the conference venue.

Be part of the water solution!

Join us and promote the Congress!
Check our communications material

Comms package