By Ronald Y. Perez and Carlos David Mogollón
WC&P Associate and Executive Editor

As “the land of water” crisscrossed by canals traversed by water taxis in warmer months and skaters in colder ones, it’s only natural the Netherlands hosts AquaTech, the largest trade show for the water technology and management sector.

The country where the literary figure Hans Brinker and the silver skates swept into our global consciousness also hosts one of the deepest commercial ports in the world, Rotterdam, and The Hague, which is home to the International Court of Justice and Peace as well as key offices of the European Union and United Nations.

Every September in even numbered years, however, all eyes in the water industry are on Amsterdam. The 2000 AquaTech event once again will be hosted at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre. This year, it’s held Sept. 26-29.

Bigger expectations
Expect more than 25,000 people from 700 firms and 100 countries to descend on this beautiful city known for its great masters of art on exhibit—with museums dedicated to Rembrandt and Van Gogh—and world-class soccer (or football, if you prefer). At least half of all the exhibitors come from abroad (31 countries being represented this year), which is directly related to the 15 percent increase in sheer numbers over 1998.

A perennial attraction to attendees, national pavilions will play a prominent role at the show. Pavilions from the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States, coordinated by the Water Quality Association (WQA), will be present to provide focal points to companies in particular applications of water treatment. Others will be from Italy and Germany.

Dan Wyckoff, WQA World Assembly Division director, said the association’s pavilions serve as “a focal point for companies in the point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) water industry, from filter cartridges to drilling to membrane filter systems.”

“Our pavilion is a 950-square-meter area that will include international pavilions from Russia, India, Israel, Taiwan and Korea as well,” added WQA Meetings and Conventions director Jeannine Collins. “The WQA also will sponsor daylong educational seminar series, which are open to the public on POE water treatment applications.”

Overall, WQA represents many of the 60 exhibitors from the United States. And, for the second time, the association will convene World Assembly Division meetings at AquaTech.

Integral water management
The most innovative aspect of this year’s show is the thematic approach chosen in response to the many branches in water management that overlap into one another. Areas like potable water, wastewater and industrial process water increasingly demand solutions that require more comprehensive approaches. Addressing these issues, AquaTech focuses the thrust of its sessions to integral water management.

Themes at the show can basically be broken down in three categories: “sewerage,” new market structures and industrial water treatment. First, 10 innovative sewerage—or sewage—projects of Dutch municipalities will be on display as models at the pavilion dedicated to the subject. The pavilion will be coordinated by the Rioned Foundation in conjunction with AquaTech. Second, new market structures are a direct result of a larger presence from water supply companies. They’ll be exhibiting in far greater numbers this year than in the past.

Looking for a growing international audience, exhibitors in this category include Vivendi and Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux from France, Severn Trent and Thames Water from the UK, and NUON and Essent from the Netherlands. Lastly, water in industry will be discussed in seminars on every day of the show.

Considering the show takes place in seven halls of the Europa complex, which equals an area of roughly 25,000 square meters, it can quickly become a problem to maneuver around the exhibition without getting lost or at least flustered. To assist those attending, AquaTech has devised a series of tour routes enabling visitors a better chance to find a particular exhibit or service/product that they seek. Routes are divided into five areas: 1) potable water; 2) industrial process water and wastewater management; 3) sewage, transport, distribution and storage; 4) process control technology and process automation; research and consultancy, and 5) utilities. Free maps will be distributed at the entrance, and can be viewed at AquaTech’s website (

Other attractions
Special programs are also being offered throughout the four-day show. Innovations in Conventional and Advanced Water Treatment Processes will take place all four days. It’s presented by the International Water Association (IWA) along with American Water Works Association, KIWA and Industrial Workers of the World. Implementation of the EU Nutrient Emission Guidelines runs from Sept. 27-29. IWA and European Water Association in cooperation with the Netherlands Association on Water Management (NVA) are organizing the event. As discussed earlier, WQA will conduct educational seminars on September 27 regarding POE applications.

Public water debates will be held daily on subjects relating to the show’s basic three themes. Speakers from both government and industrial institutions will be on hand to provide lively talk on various topics. The International AquaTech Innovation Award will again be awarded to the exhibitor displaying the most innovative product or service. Last year, the prize was given for the first time. To liven up things, dozens of Dutch teams as well as other international teams will shoot for the VWN Challenge Trophy in pipe fitters competitions.

The biennial event known as AquaTech is comparable to roughly six WQA conventions held simultaneously. It offers an opportunity to see examples of the best in water treatment from around the world and from every perspective. Keep in mind, that requires a lot of preplanning to make sure you’re not just tilting at windmills once you get there.

For additional information on AquaTech 2000 or RAI International, please call Martijn Roosen at +31 20 5491212, +31 20 6464469 (fax) or email: [email protected]
WQA Seminars at AquaTech
On Wed., Sept. 27, the Water Quality Association will sponsor an all-day seminar on POU/POE water treatment technology. Presentations will be given in English.

Following is the schedule:

9:30 a.m.—Registration and welcome
10:00 a.m.—”Membrane Technologies”—speaker: Peter Cartwright, Cartwright Consulting
11:00 a.m.—Break
11:30 a.m.—”Filtration”—speaker: Michael Baird, Hydro-Flo Filtration Systems
12:30 p.m.—Lunch
2:00 p.m.—”Disinfection”—speaker: Jim Carbonari, Pentapure Inc.
3:00 p.m.—Break
3:30 p.m.—”Ion Exchange Processes”—speaker: Michael Gottlieb, ResinTech Inc.
4:30 p.m.—Close
Tulips along the canal
Face it, some cities are just famous for certain things. Nightlife is to Amsterdam what beer is to Milwaukee.

On stage, you’ll find comedy clubs such as Boom Chicago (English), cabarets, an open-air amphitheater and traditional venues for dance and plays. Holland Casino is in the Lido district. Seymour Likely and Escape are two recommended discos. And cafes and nightclubs abound offering musical choices for a variety of tastes.

With its unique gabled and gothic architecture, Amsterdam is home to some outstanding tourist sites and venues that can be seen during canal tours, bicycle rides or shopping excursions for diamonds or antiques. If you’re going to be outdoors, however, make sure to pack a sweater or a light jacket as the high temperature average in September is about 64°F with average lows getting down to 51°F.

First, though, you must find a practical way to get to and from the RAI along with thousands of others. By auto, the RAI is adjacent to the Amsterdam ring road (A10), at exit S109. By train, the intercity line from Roosendahl/Belgium connects at Schiphol with trains heading to the Amsterdam RAI station. By tram, you’ll arrive at Amsterdam Central Station where you can take the Amstelveen express tram 51 (exit at the Amsterdam RAI station) or tram 4 (exit at the RAI Europaplein). Air travelers can take advantage of a direct train connection from Schiphol Airport to the RAI exhibition hall.

The conference lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for the last day when it closes at 5 p.m. There’s plenty of time to do shopping, visit a few museums, partake in some of the after hours activities and enjoy some of the best food in the world. You might even want to extend your stay and transform it into a mini-vacation.

A thumbnail sketch has been provided to make the most of your time in Amsterdam.
Shopping is a must for all first-time visitors, and selections are wide in this area. Two must-see streets boasting a variety of shops are the Utrechtsestraat and the Haarlemmerstraat. Large department stores are located on the Dam, the Rokin, the Kalverstraat, the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Leidsestraat.

Hours for museums vary, so you may want to contact Amsterdam RAI or your hotel for specific times. Here is a sampling of the more recognizable: The Rijksmuseum (the National Gallery), Stadhouderskade 42; Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 7; Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum), Paulus Potterstraat 13; and Anna Frank Huis, Prinsengracht 263.

As far as nightlife, too many establishments to name here. Instead, we will break it down by areas of the city. Area Leidseplein and Area Rembrandtplein provide bars with live music. Area Spui/Munt lists Brown Café Hoppe and Grand Café’s as premiere coffeehouses. Area Central Station/Dam features tasting bars of beer and liquor. Area Jordan is one of Amsterdam’s historical neighborhoods and has a large concentration of small restaurants and bars.

Speaking of restaurants, indulge in some of these top eateries: Bordewijk, Noordermarkt 7; Christophe, Leliegracht 46; Ciel Blue (located at the Okura Hotel), Ferdinand Bolstraat 333; Excelsior, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-8; and Vermeer (located at the Barbizon Palace), Prins Hendrikkade 59.

For more information on the web, peruse these sites:,,, http://www.klm.com or
Amsterdam has 727,095 inhabitants, 400,000 bikes, 165 canals, 42 museums and 206 paintings by Van Gogh.


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