About B-IWA

BIWA is the acronym of the Belgian committee of the International Water Association, IWA. This organisation is registered as V.Z.W./A.S.B.L, i.e. a non-profit organisation. It welcomes everybody interested in various aspects of management, distribution, treatment, use, quality and ecology of water. People from governmental organisations, academia and students, industrial organisations and their employees, consultants, etc., all are welcome to participate in the activities of B-IWA.Through its delegates, BIWA is entitled to officially represent Belgium at the board of the International Water Association (IWA) and the meetings of the European Water Association (EWA). This allows our country to have a voice in all water matters and policies at the international forum.

Moreover, BIWA strives to be a visible platform at the national level on all matters of water management. More particularly, the organization has the following key objectives :

  • To create a forum for all stakeholders interested in water issues in Belgium and to bring these people regularly together so that contacts can be established. 
  • To stimulate scientific research and development and the practical application of this know-how in the field.

Two types of events with different formats are in place to reach this goal. A first one is the concept of B-IWA Happy Hours, which are organised at sites of interest and therefore offer unique opportunities to see infrastructures and practices otherwise not easily accessible. A short presentation and often a tour of the site are followed by some presentations from Belgian Water Professionals and a networking reception. The second concept is the BIWA Nocturnal. Organised for the first time in 2015, the Nocturnal has a more elaborate program than the Happy Hours and is mainly focused on interactive discussion and networking.

Clearly, BIWA wants to be the Belgian 'water hotspot' where people from different regions, professions and backgrounds meet at regular intervals. Through BIWA they can remain up to speed on what is happening in their domain, both at the national and the international level.

BIWA is currently managed by Ilse Smets (President), Patricia Mergen (vice president), Greet De Gueldre (vice president) and Boudewijn Meesschaert (Administrator). The current members of the BIWA board are (with Young Water Professionals underlined):

  • Ilse Smets (President, University of Leuven)
  • Patricia Mergen (Vice-President, Royal Museum for Central Africa)
  • Greet De Gueldre (Vice-President, Aquafin NV)
  • Boudewijn Meesschaert (Delegate, University of Leuven)
  • Christian Legros (Secretary, Belgaqua)
  • Ingmar Nopens (Ghent University) 
  • Willy Verstraete (Ghent University, AVECOM)
  • Gisèle Peleman (De Watergroep)
  • Diederik Schowanek (P&G)
  • Peter Goethals (Ghent University)
  • Angelique Léonard (University of Liège)
  • Piet Seuntjens (VITO)
  • Stijn Van Hulle (Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk)
  • Wendy Francken (European Water Association)
  • Marjolein Vanoppen (Ghent University)
  • Tom Vandekerckhove (BOSAQ)
  • Michael Chys (Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk)
  • Michel Caluwé (University of Antwerp)