Pioneering science and technology: LET2024 – an event not to be missed!

Essen’s coal mining heritage ©iStock/ewg3D

With the next edition taking place soon in Essen, Germany, IWA’s Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies (LET) is the global conference where new insights are discussed and debated about how pioneering science, technological innovation, and leading practices are shaping major transformations in water management.

“The water sector needs to reply quickly and implement technologies that can actively mitigate climate change impacts and deliver net zero targets,” says Programme Committee co-chair Professor Ana Soares, an IWA Fellow and Professor of Biotechnology Engineering at the UK’s Cranfield Water Science Institute. “This conference will be pivotal – enabling knowledge to be exchanged, good practice to be shared, and discussions to be had about how to address these challenges, utilising the very latest innovations.”

This year’s edition in Essen will be held on 24-28 June and follows on from last year’s successful edition in Daegu, South Korea.

Closing the water cycle

The overarching theme of this year’s LET is ‘Closing the water cycle through efficient and innovative technologies’. The technical programme will focus on microcontaminant monitoring and removal, developments in digitalisation, membrane technology, hybrid systems and new materials, advancements in desalination, resource recovery and sludge treatment, carbon and energy neutrality and greenhouse gas emissions, and innovative processes, all with the aim of finding sustainable, smart, water management solutions. “With this 2024 event, we aim to shed light on pressing issues surrounding imbalances in water availability, the management of pollutants and micropollutants, and the pivotal role of technological advancements in wastewater treatment and sludge management for fostering sustainability in the water sector,” says Soares.

Essen – a city of heritage and environmental transformation

With a rich history and reputation as an environmental hub – winning the title of European Green Capital in 2017 for its successful transformation from a city of coal mining to becoming one of the greenest cities in Germany – Essen promises to be an ideal host for this prestigious event.

In addition to its Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (a UNESCO World Heritage site that celebrates Essen’s mining heritage), visitors to the city can explore Villa Hügel, a 19th-century mansion built by the industrialist Alfred Krupp, set in the middle of a 28-hectare park overlooking Lake Baldeney; enjoy water sports on the lake – an eight-kilometre reservoir – boasting a 14-kilometre cycle track; or view 19th century paintings and sculptures, modern art and photography, at the esteemed Folkwang museum.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with esteemed partners Ruhrverband, Emschergenossenschaft Lippeverband, and Gelsenwasser to orchestrate and deliver LET2024,” continues Soares. “Essen’s significance in the water sector stems from its strategic position within the densely populated and industrially robust Ruhr region. Here, water supply, wastewater treatment, and environmental management are paramount concerns, with institutions like Ruhrverband at the forefront of sustainable water resource management.

“Essen’s rich industrial heritage, exemplified by iconic sites like the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, underscores the critical role water has always played in the region. Leveraging Essen’s unique nexus of innovation, water, industry, and academia, LET2024 promises to be a dynamic platform where delegates can glean insights and foster meaningful engagement.”

Supporting innovation

“LET has at its core the ambition to bring the water sector together to deliver real innovation in practice and in the field, and this is very much the case for this 19th edition,” adds Soares.

“Our mission is not only to convene industry leaders and experts, but also to ignite meaningful conversations, catalyse transformative solutions, and inspire collective action towards a more resilient and sustainable water future.”

More information

Registration is open for the 19th Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies. To secure your place at this influential global event, register at: