Global WOPs Congress & General Assembly


The majority of people on earth get their most essential basic good – potable water – from water and sanitation operators. As cities grow and freshwater is under increasing stress, the work of this often under-valued actor is ever more central to our health and well-being.

The 3rd Global WOPs Congress is dedicated to the work of these service providers in contributing to our sustainable development. Utilities, donors, knowledge institutions and key urban water sector stakeholders from around the world will gather in Barcelona to advance knowledge, exchange experience, and initiate support for water and sanitation operators through Water Operators' Partnerships. 

The event will be held from September 16-18th, 2015 at Barcelona's Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site and will be conducted in English, French and Spanish. With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being launched this year and water and sanitation operators set to play a major role in their implementation, the SDGs will be the focus of this year's Congress.


Every 2 years, GWOPA holds a General Assembly, immediately following the Global WOPs Congress. During the General Assembly, half of GWOPA's International Steering Committee - composed of representatives from public water utilities from all regions, development partners, labour unions, civil society organizations and private operators - is turned over through elections. More information on the General Assembly or becoming a candidate for the GWOPA Steering Committee will be available online prior to the event.



The event will welcome those practicing, supporting, studying or curious about using not-for-profit peer support between water operators to improve global water and sanitation services, including:

✓ Water and wastewater utilities
✓ Local and National Governments
✓ Donors and financial institutions
✓ Knowledge and academic institutions in the water and sanitation sector
✓ Civil society organizations
✓ Labour Unions


✓ Prominent speakers from Governments, the United Nations System and GWOPA partners
✓ Learning and Exchange amongst WOPs Practitioners
✓ Partnerships Launching
✓ Utility Matchmaking
✓ French, Spanish and English Interpretation for most sessions
✓ Social Events and Barcelona Water Tour
✓ GWOPA General Assembly and Steering Committee Election


The WOPs Congresses aim to present a mix of examples and learnings from WOPs practice, and issues of wider interest to water and sanitation operators. The Congress Organizers are now inviting proposals for the following types of contributions:

WOPs Cases

Throughout the Congress, discussions will be enriched by presentations about WOPs in the field. Those wishing to share their partnership experience are invited to submit their cases to GWOPA's WOPs Profile database and to indicate their interest by email.

Thematic Presentations – Proposals are invited for presentations related to the following session themes

  • Measuring Performance in Utilities and WOPs: KPIs and beyond
  • The Ingredients for Effective WOPs – Lessons from the BEWOP Project
  • How Local Authorities' Alliances are facilitating WOPs for sustainable Development
  • Finance and WOPs
  • Sanitation, Wastewater and SWOPs
  • Utilities working towards more equitable service provision
  • Cutting Losses: WOPs in support of Energy Efficiency and Water Loss Reduction
  • Beyond Drinking Water: How WOPs are helping utilities contribute to Integrated Urban Water Management
  • Building Resilient Water and Wastewater Operators
  • Utilities and Water Resources Protection
  • Integrity: Improving Utility Governance through WOPs

How to Propose a Contribution

Contribution proposals should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by May 15th, 2015 and should include:

  • name, position and organization of presenter
  • a descriptive presentation title
  • a brief outline of the presentation (max 200 words)
  • the thematic session it fits in (indicate up to 2 from list), or if a WOP Case, the regions.

Congress organizers will not be able to accept all proposals. Authors of selected contributions may be asked to adjust the topic/format to fit the session requirements. Authors will be given a response by June 30th, 2015.


Participation in the conference will be free of charge, however space is limited. Registration does not automatically imply acceptance; the GWOPA Secretariat will contact you to confirm registration. All those interested in participating are encouraged to register early. Registration is now open.

Financial support will be made available to a limited number of participants from utilities in the South. Submission of a Utility Profile and WOP profile, where applicable, is required in order to be considered for sponsorship.


Follow us on Twitter @gwopa or Facebook to receive updates on the Congress or send an email to the Congress organizers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any inquiries.


Report from the 2nd Congress

Highlights from the Congress 

More about the 2nd WOPs Congress

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