Dear Sir or Madam!

Most inhabitants in Slovenia take water for granted since they have unlimited access to it at all times. And yet, an attentive and environmentally conscious water consumer may see alarming developments around them every day. Urban use of space affects both the quality and the quantity of water resources. Human activities affecting the environment are destroying the natural balance, causing loss of biodiversity and negative changes in the living conditions of many living organisms on our planet. We are facing an enormous societal challenge of how to slow down the negative human impact on the planet, or better yet, of how to prevent it altogether.

It is high time we took concrete action. At this year’s Water Days Symposium we are taking one of the necessary steps by joining knowledge, experience, and good practices coming form experts from international organizations, state agencies, research and health institutions, as well as from managers of water supply and sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants. Water is the element the 17 goals of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” adopted by UN have in common. The Symposium will take an in-depth look at water from the perspective of the following 4 goals: Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and Life Below Water. Comprehensive water resources management at the state and local levels in the view of providing drinking water sources, and the impact of agricultural irrigation on water resources will be discussed. The issue of the safety of drinking water supplies will also be addressed. Innovative approaches to wastewater treatment and to ensuring energy self-sufficiency of wastewater treatment plants, the specificities of industrial wastewater treatment processes, and the efficiency of virus and microplastics removal at wastewater treatment plants will be presented. Special attention will be given to good practices in agriculture to reduce the impact on water bodies, and an insight into how our activities affect water organisms will be provided.

This year’s edition of the Symposium will again offer an opportunity to think about water as a common societal challenge in a pleasant and creative environment of the “World café about water”, through a collaborative dialogue, to revisit the greatest risks and dangers facing the Slovenian waters, to point out the most urgent measures, as well as to analyse the effects of the previously adopted ones. The conclusions reached at the café will be the guiding lines for our future joint steps.

Water is a strategic asset and it is our duty to protect it as much as we possibly can. The maxim written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa quite some time ago: »For things to remain the same, everything must change.« is becoming more relevant.

Join us at the Water Days so we can protect our waters together!

Slovenian Association for Water Protection

Marjetka Levstek, PhD