The national dissemination event for spreading information about IWAMA project to local stakeholders – seminar "New solutions for water management" was held in Kaunas, Lithuania on 5 April 2019. This event was organized by Environmental Center for Administration and Technology (ECAT-Lithuania) in cooperation with the Institute of Hydraulic engineering of Vytautas Magnus University Agricultural Academy. To expand the outreach among the local stakeholders, the event was connected to the annual international exhibition covering the topics of water and wastewater treatment technologies, construction, water management and heating equipment as well as environmental management. Since 2009, this annual exhibition keeps the status of the largest of all exhibitions held in Lithuania: exhibitions and educational programs attract up to 1500 participants.
The dissemination event aimed to present current situation in water management around the Baltic Sea Region, discuss new methods and technologies, policy improvements, and introduce project IWAMA with its outputs and results. The seminar attracted 105 representatives from WWTPs, local authorities, national water authorities, small water management companies and universities.
IWAMA project was introduced by ECAT-Lithuania. The audience was interested to hear about audit tools for smart energy and sludge management, implemented pilots in different WWTPs as well as regional benchmark for smart energy and sludge handling in wastewater treatment. 9 WWTPs from Lithuania participated in this benchmark survey, so the representatives from these companies were particularly interested to know more about final results and their further use.
As an example of an implemented pilot, IWAMA partner “Kauno vandenys” prepared a presentation about their pilot investment in Lithuania: Energy optimization control system in WWTP. This one and other implemented piloting investments of novel energy nutrient-related technologies and management models for WWTP as well as implemented pilots to test advanced treatment systems for sludge water are good and valuable examples of what could be done in this field at the plants of different scale.
Other important topics discussed in the seminar were policy and legal requirements in water and wastewater sector. Experts from Vytautas Magnus University Agricultural Academy and Lithuanian construction production certification center introduced changes and new requirements for the quality of treated wastewater and certification system for small wastewater treatment plants. Lithuanian local authorities and WWTPs allocate a lot of investments for improvements in water and wastewater sector, however, the EU financial support for this sector remains very important. The topical nature of the presentation about investments in water sector and future possibilities for local authorities and WWTP to get EU funding made it one of the most interesting for participants.
After the presentations, the seminar followed into the discussion "Problems, Challenges and Solutions for Water Management Sector". This event became a good possibility for experts from different sectors and different institutions to look for common ideas and solutions how to make improvements in water sector. It was agreed that education, exchange of experience and good practices are very important here. Therefore, participants learned about the Baltic Smart Water Hub developed in IWAMA and possibilities for exchange of knowledge and experience.