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Year Review 2020

2020 was a year like no other, with a global pandemic that affected individuals, communities and institutions in almost every country. Because of lockdowns and international travel restrictions World Water Academy had to address the challenges of COVID-19 by quickly adapting to the situation and switching to online learning, collaboration and training. The overall response was an extraordinary combination of adaptability, innovation and resilience shown by staff members and students alike.

Training water professionals online

World Water Academy aims to bridge the gaps between theory & practice, research & implementation, education & work and engineers & operators. Bridging the gaps between theory and practice will result in better water management and improved water services for all. In 2020 we developed a digital strategy to train water professionals online. A new, hybrid model of education that fits the characteristics of World Water Academy: combining water knowledge and know-how with local practical experiences. Understanding the importance of hands-on learning had led us to innovations such as virtual field trips and virtual living labs.

Starting with an extensive training need analysis we define the target group, prior knowledge and learning goals. This information is the basis on which we design our interactive online learning programs. Teaching materials are customized and tailored to the target group needs. Our trainers  have practical local water experience and enrich generic water knowledge with local cases.

In 2020 World Water Academy has developed and delivered the following online activities:

  • Training need analysis
  • Online training of (local) trainers
  • Interactive online lessons and webinars with focus on interaction, collaboration and sharing experiences
  • E-learnings and video lessons
  • Virtual living labs
  • Online tests and assignments


OKP project Bridging the Water in South Africa

After two months of on-the-job training and living labs learning in South Africa, all activities were postponed due to COVID-19. We resumed these activities after the summer with virtual living Labs and online masterclasses. Our new hybrid model of online education was successfully implemented and the project continued successfully digitally. The collaboration between the 10 partners is now completely digital. The project was presented at the Wisa conference in December 2020.

OKP project WAter Treatment and Reuse in Agriculture in Jordan (WATRA)

The project Strengthening skills development for WAstewater Treatment and Reuse in Agriculture in Jordan (WATRA) started in January 2020 with an inception mission. WATRA is planned to contribute to ensure the sustainability and resilience of food production systems and contribute to ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. The practical concept and experience of World Water Academy combined with the research, academic and local knowledge of our partners IHE Delft and Al-Balqa Applied University (BAU) creates a complementary collaboration for multiple level education. WATRA combines the best practices of Jordan and The Netherlands. In the coming two years, the project aims to achieve this goals:

  • Contribute to the curriculum of the technical diploma water operators at Al-Balqa Applied University (BAU).
  • Develop and realize practical courses, together with local trainers.
  • Develop a practical demonstration, research and training site.


The World Water Academy team in 2020

Agnes Maenhout

Agnes Maenhout 960 x 600

managing director/CEO

Sjoske Tuinstra


Project coördinator

Londiwe Dlamini


Project coördinator

Claudia Peters

Claudia Peters 960 x 600

Training expert

Mark van Dodeweerd

Mark van Dodeweerd - 960x600

Training expert

Marijke Jansen


Multimedia designer