W12 Congress

Event Banner
18 - 20 May 2020
Cape Town, South Africa

The City of Cape Town proudly welcomes you to the W12 Congress, an International Conference and Expo that seeks to create the first W12 Framework and strengthen the civil society-driven governance of alternative sustainable water solutions.

The Congress brings together city officials, academics, business executives, water experts, and students from the major cities in the world that are likely to face water challenges in the next 24 – 36 months. Cape Town was the first major city in South Africa to face significant water challenges.

This International Event will be held in Cape Town from the 18th to 20th May 2020, to brainstorm and share strategic actions to mitigate the water crisis. The recent drought, increasing population and expansion impacted Cape Town’s economy, citizens and enterprises across industries and communities. Thanks to concerted efforts from all sectors, the water crisis was averted.

W12 Congress is a run by a unique collaboration between the University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University Water Institute, University of Cape Town, Save Our Schools NPO, and the Institute for Ecological Civilization. These entities collectively aim to create the first W12 Framework document by aggregating knowledge within and across thematic areas and different geographies, ultimately creating a roadmap for change and inspiring engagement in solutions to this imminent crisis.

In partnership with UNESCO, the W12 Congress will form an integral part of a Netflix Documentary entitled “Water Wise: How Not to Drain a Country”.

Why is W12 Important?

By 2050 almost 2 billion people living in cities will suffer water shortages as demand for water increases by up to 70% (World Bank). Extremely high water stress can threaten national security. Solutions must be found and implemented now. The need to work together locally and internationally to ensure the future of our world’s water is evident.

This conference provides an opportunity for city officials, academics, citizens, and industry leaders to join keynote speakers Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carlos Cosin and Mads Nipper among other experts, exchanging ideas and sharing solutions. The objective is to share insights on challenges, best practices and brainstorm practical solutions for water and climate resilience. We will achieve this not only from a city and industry point of view but down to where it really matters; civil society actions.

The W12 Congress will include inspiring presentations to incite energy and engagement in the solutions discussed in this multiday event and the W12 Framework.


Cape Town International Convention Centre
Convention Square
1 Lower Long Street
Cape Town
South Africa