The International Desalination Association announced that attendance at the recently concluded 2015 IDA World Congress surpassed 1,700, with delegates from 63 countries representing Europe, the Middle East, North America, Asia, and such countries as Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Côte D'Ivoire, Chile and Argentina.
A record 470 abstracts were submitted for the Technical Program. The final program comprised 301 total presentations (157 podium presentations and 144 digital poster presentations) and 24 sessions, each with two or three co-chairs.
Nine interactive panel discussions added a popular new dimension to the Technical Program.
The 11,000 square meter Exhibition featured 115 companies from 20 countries. Also part of the Exhibition, the new Innovation Theater was fully booked, featuring well-attended presentations on new technologies and services from 12 companies around the world.
More than 850 delegates attended “A Celebration of California” at the Birch Aquarium, the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego.
Four hundred middle school students from the San Diego area were invited to participate in a special Education Day at the World Congress, where they learned about desalination and water reuse, attended a presentation hosted by IDA Past Presidents Lisa Henthorne and Dr. Jim Birkett, toured the Exhibition Hall, were welcomed at four booths set up specifically for Education Day, and participated in interactive exercises led by David H. Paul, Inc., City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, Orange Water County District, Poseidon Water, Pure Water and three Science Fair Award Winners.
Over 50 civic leaders attended an invitation-only Public Outreach session featuring speakers from the USA, Australia and Singapore.
Awards presented at the World Congress totaled $31,500 US. Six awards at $5,000 US each were presented in the categories of State of the Art, Innovation, Research & Development, Environment & Sustainability, Young Leaders Program, and Emerging Leader. Three awards at $500 each, chosen by delegate vote, went to Most Appreciated Presenter, Most Appreciated Poster and Most Appreciated Moderator. Three Presidential Awards were also conferred.
The World Congress also featured sold-out plant tours to two of the most high profile facilities in the USA: the soon-to-be commissioned Carlsbad desalination plant, the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, and the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System, the world’s largest water purification system for potable reuse.
Approximately 30 credentialed media from around the world were invited to attend a press briefing on the State of Desalination and Water Reuse, presented by six of the world’s top experts on the topic from the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Singapore.
The International Desalination Association is the point of connection for the global desalination and water reuse community. A non-profit association, IDA serves more than 2,600 core members in 60 countries and reaches an additional 4,000 affiliate members. Its membership comprises scientists, end-users, engineers, consultants and researchers from governments, corporations and academia. IDA is associated with the United Nations as part of a growing international network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For more information, visit www.idadesal.org.