The long-postponed W12 Water Congress is set to be held in the Mother City as the world's first socially distanced drive-in congress. File picture.
The long-postponed W12 Water Congress is set to be held in the Mother City as the world's first socially distanced drive-in congress. File picture.

Water on menu of ‘world’s first drive-in convention’

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Sep 28, 2020

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Cape Town - The long-postponed W12 Water Congress is set to be held in the Mother City as the world's first socially distanced drive-in congress.

Originally the event was scheduled for May, but was postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The congress, to be held on October 8, has been hailed as the “world's first drive-in convention” because it will be held in a drive-in setting with speakers appearing on the big screen to participants who will have tuned in from their cars.

Organiser Rene Frank said: “It’s a hybrid event, so there will be some delegates online, and others will be there in person, on the stage at the venue which is in Camps Bay, just in front of the Bungalow Restaurant. We're going beyond classic indoor conferencing and unleashing new, vibrant and engaging experiences; we're using technology to enable global dialogue.”

Meanwhile, there will be a pre-event online gathering on Thursday, which will set the scene for follow-up conversations at the W12 Drive-In.

A critical element of the W12 Congress process involved a massive collaboration between academia, business and technology at an intensive three-day conference in Cape Town in January.

Key directives for effective water management, protection and distribution were debated at length. The main outcomes and recommendations will be made available in a framework document and on the UN’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization website.

Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation in the province, in conjunction with the Friends of Liesbeek and Enviroworks, will observe World Rivers Day at the Black River tomorrow.

Acting provincial head Simpiwe Mashicila said: “World Rivers Day is meant to highlight the many values of our rivers, strive to increase public awareness and encourage the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead.”

Cape Argus

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