Conference agenda 2024 coming soon!

Dear Sir/Madam,

We would like to invite you to participate in the eighth edition of the Stormwater Poland conference, which will take place on April 17-18 in Poznań at Aula Artis. We are returning to the springtime schedule of our conference, as discussing rainwater and its utilization for blue-green infrastructure is most fitting during the awakening of nature in spring. This time, we combine the return to the proven conference schedule with a new location – Poznań. The explanation is simple: we are delighted to invite you to the capital of Greater Poland together with Aquanet S.A., a company rapidly reshaping water management and setting new trends in the field. The hallmark of this trend is not only a focus on rainwater utilization but also the creation of standards for designing and operating blue-green infrastructure, along with the development and implementation of a long-term financing perspective for rainwater management in the city. We do not hide that a significant part of the conference program presented below is inspired by this trend, drawing particularly from the joint efforts of Aquanet Retencja and Retencjapl regarding the standards for designing and operating blue-green infrastructure in Poznań. For these reasons, we believe that the slogan for the Stormwater Poland 2024 conference should be: What to do with this rain?

This slogan is not new. It was proposed by Aquanet Retencja before World Water Day for a campaign directed at primary school students in Poznań, aiming to build a sense of responsibility and awareness in collecting and utilizing water resources. The campaign initiators believed that instilling good practices and an ecological attitude in the youngest would result in a better, more colorful future for them. We also believe in this, and we are convinced that building good practices must not only be among the youth but also among adults, especially city leaders and decision-makers. Our invitation to come to Poznań is also extended to you with a whole group of future partners for this event, including the general conference partner, ACO Polska. This partner probably needs no introduction. Saying ACO, we must also add: we care for water, and knowing the company’s profile, we should add that we start our water care with rainwater!

We want to divide the quest for an answer to the question: What to do with this rain? into three thematic blocks. In the first one, we want to answer a more specific question: Do we aim for detention, retention, or rainwater utilization? Answering this question requires organizing the terminology itself. During the conference, we want experts to define the concepts of detention, retention, and rainwater utilization as precisely as possible. We also want to hear how the introduction of solutions in the area of detention, retention, and rainwater utilization is rewarded when applying for new funding tranches for adapting urban drainage systems to climate change. It should be noted how, and with the use of which computer tools, the potential introduction of these solutions in individual catchments should be reliably estimated. Of course, these discussions should be combined with inspiring examples of the implementation of retention and rainwater utilization solutions from Poland and abroad. In the summary of the first session, we also want conference sponsors to join a common debate and try to convince conference participants to choose their technological solutions for expanding detention and retention systems, including rainwater utilization.

In the second session of the conference, we want to answer the question: Who should be responsible for rainwater retention and utilization? For years, or maybe even over a decade, there has been a debate about who should be responsible for receiving and draining rain or meltwater in cities. We want to draw attention to the fact that this question is additionally complicated because the scale of requirements is increasing. It is no longer enough to just collect rainwater; on the contrary, property owners should be encouraged to manage it themselves. And if rainwater must be collected, for example, from road catchments, the challenge for the operator of the drainage system becomes its management within the city and limiting discharge to receivers. Additionally, one cannot forget that stormwater management is critical infrastructure, and someone must take care of the technical condition of large-diameter channels under many major streets in the city. These new challenges often lie on the border of the competencies of individual city management units. We want our speakers from cities of various sizes to share their experience on how to practically solve this problem, who should do it, and how to finance these actions. We particularly count on contributions from water and sewage companies regarding the mission of such companies in global water circulation management in the city, including controlling the flow of stormwater. Like most in the industry, we hope that in the new realities after the recent elections, water and sewage companies will stop dealing only with water and sewage tariff issues and will be able to catch their breath and return to the comprehensive idea of providing water and sewage comfort for city residents. This cannot happen without considering rainwater. Perhaps it is worth paraphrasing the slogan of the Aquanet S.A. group and saying: By managing rainwater, we improve the quality of life. In the final part of the session, we also want to discuss which tools to use for this purpose. This is to be served by a debate, the focus of which will be a dispute over whether modeling drainage systems should be exclusive or universal.

The third session of the conference is to focus on the question of what kind of water we want: gray, blue, or green? As you rightly suspect, both the conference hosts, Aquanet S.A., and the organizer Retencjapl, as well as the general partner ACO Polska, are promoting “managing rainwater in blue and green.” In this session, we want to inspire you with examples of implementing blue-green infrastructure solutions from Poland and abroad. Furthermore, we want some tangible trace of us to remain in this area after the conference in Poznań. On the other hand, we want to show the other side of the coin and even warn conference participants that creating and enjoying blue-green infrastructure requires more than just creating catalogs; it requires knowledge of design and the right tools, as well as the implementation of appropriate operational practices, and above all, awareness of the need for long-term financing of such activities. For this reason, we want to conclude this session and the entire conference with a debate on perhaps a controversial topic: Can you make money from blue-green infrastructure?

Once again, together with Aquanet S.A. and ACO Polska, we invite you to Poznań in spring 2024. Let’s meet at the eighth edition of the Stormwater Poland conference on April 17-18 at Aula Artis and answer, seemingly childishly simple, the question: What to do with this rain?



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