Metal water wheel in a stream: The motif of the Hansgrohe Water Symposium 2012

Water Symposium 2012

“What water needs – ways of achieving a water-friendly economy”

Hansgrohe SE invited people along to the Water Symposium in the Black Forest for the fifth year in a row. It was the “needs” of the precious resource that were the main focus for 2012. International water experts then got to grips with the issue of “What water needs”. On November 8, they discussed ways of achieving a water-friendly economy together with numerous guests.

Humans need water, but what does water need from us? Since it is polluted and over-exploited in many places around the world, above all water also needs our protection and respect. In Schiltach, nine speakers – experts in research, teaching and business – opened up exciting perspectives on this issue.

Water needs protection and respect

The lectures and workshops focused on resource-conserving processes, innovative technologies and alternative energies. The program featured topics relating to industry and politics, architecture and agriculture, catering and housekeeping (see download below for proceedings and contents). Dr. Klaus Lanz, founder of the research institute International Water Affairs, was moderator of the event.

Water needs room to flow

While the turnaround in energy policy is moving forward at a snail’s pace, a Swiss innovator shows the huge sustainable advancements that could be made using hydropower. Civil engineer Andreas Steinmann demonstrated how efficiently gravitation water vortex power plants work, not to mention how flora and fauna friendly they are. This electricity generation is in harmony with the rivers and their inhabitants – absolutely not the case with dams.

Water needs fans, ambassadors and legal advocates

International law and environmental law expert Kerstin Mechlem presented the key principles of regional, national and international water legislation. Her conclusion: While water legislation has already come a long way, we need to work together more effectively on an international level and to reinforce water protection legislation worldwide. This applies to legislation relating to groundwater in particular, which is a public asset.

Water needs innovative technologies

Whether this is production with no wastewater (Frank Schlegel), washing dishes without water (Mario Sommer) or heating with water and ice (Daniel Albiez) – such processes are extremely attractive from an ecological point of view, and have long been a reality in industry, catering or housing construction. In lively lectures focusing on technological aspects, the audience at the Water Symposium learned all about the resource-conserving methods and systems that are already in global use – and functioning smoothly.

Water needs smart farmers

Agriculture also bears a huge responsibility for this precious element. Dr. Andreas Fließbach of the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture knows that healthy soils have a higher retention capacity and are efficient stores of CO2. He explained what water-friendly soil management should look like today and how farmers can counter dry soil, erosion damage and floods.

Water needs no chemicals

Adept housekeeper and cleaning expert Linda Thomas has decades of experience in tackling dirt. When it comes to spring-cleaning, she knows every trick in the book. In her workshop, she gave an impressive demonstration of how housekeeping and groundwater can get by just fine with very little in terms of cleaning agents. The audience were astounded – the cleaning philosophy seems to be less is more!

„“When we talk about water, we are talking about the future.” (Richard Grohe)“

Impressions from the fifth Hansgrohe Water Symposium


©Photos: Braxart Fotodesign

  • Richard Grohe, Deputy Chairman of the Board at Hansgrohe SE, welcomed guests to the fifth Water Symposium in the Hansgrohe Aquademie.
  • Fascinating music: Roland Zipfel conjured up sounds of water on the hang drum, putting guests in the perfect mood for this precious element.
  • Symposium moderator: Dr. Klaus Lanz, chemist, water researcher and founder of the International Water Affairs Institute.
  • Interested, open discussions: During breaks, guests exchanged views animatedly at the Hansgrohe Aquademie.
  • Globally committed: Environmental law expert Kerstin Mechlem spoke about international water (protection) legislation.
  • Attentive and meditative: Tea master Ulrich Haas introduced the participants of his workshop to the philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony.
  • Plant tour: Prof. Andreas Fath explained the complex technology involved in water purification in Hansgrohe’s brass electroplating system.
  • Philosophical cleaning workshop: Cleaning expert and author Linda Thomas gets perfect results using water and microfibers.
  • Environmentally friendly: Heidelberg architect Daniel Albiez provided an insight into the promising solar ice-storage heating technology.
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