The International Water Association (IWA) is to bring its 2026 World Water Congress & Exhibition to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, following a collaborative bid that included the venue, VisitScotland, Glasgow Convention Bureau, and its ambassadors in IWA UK. The successful bid was announced today as part of recognition of World Water Day.
The World Water Congress & Exhibition represents an important focus for IWA’s work to secure progress on water issues globally. Scotland's "Hydro Nation" policy agenda, in addition to recognizing water as part of the national identity, also contributes to the country's low-carbon economy. Securing of the event also endorsed the continued attraction of Glasgow to those looking to convey a sustainability message, especially following the SEC’s hosting of the COP26 conference in 2021. The bid emphasised the role water plays in combatting climate change, and the importance of the conference in spreading this message.
“IWA is delighted to be able to partner with a city and venue that has sustainability at the very heart of its operations,” commented Dr Marie Whaley, Senior Vice President, International Water Association. “We are thrilled to be bringing our flagship event to the SEC Glasgow in 2026 and are confident Glasgow provides the ideal backdrop to foster relationships and drive discussions which support the global community in transitioning to sustainable water solutions that are robust and flexible in the face of global change pressures.”
The bid team worked with representatives from other UK water organisations, including British Water, Scottish Water, and the Water Industry Forum. These extended relationships underline the strength of the city’s conference ambassador programme and, with the added weight of support from VisitScotland and the Glasgow Convention Bureau, the team brought to life how conferences within the city benefit from a coordinated approach at national, city and venue level. “This was the best of Glasgow, demonstrating the close relationships we have at venue, city and national destination level and how these add so much value to conferences that come here,” commented Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales, SEC. “This is exactly the kind of conference we love at the SEC – those that look to carry critical messages around the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming the delegates of IWA to our city.”
Recent editions of IWA’s World Water Congress & Exhibition have been held in Copenhagen (2022) and Tokyo (2018), with the next edition taking place in Toronto on 11-15 August 2024.