Analysis of Sustainable Water Infrastructure and Water Technologies





The German American Dialogue for Sustainable Water Infrastructure and Technologies

Recognizing the increasing challenges facing America’s drinking water and wastewater systems, the German American Chambers of Commerce convened a series of workshops in Florida and Wisconsin. 

The American water infrastructure largely dates back more than 50 or even 100 years, and due to underfinancing and environmental pressure caused by industrial wastewater, these outdated drinking and wastewater grids are in a desolate state. This situation results, for example, in approximately 240,000 water main breaks per year, accounting for 6 million gallons of lost recycled water. In comparison, Germany is an industry pioneer in regulations regarding environmental protection, sustainability and efficiency, as well as maintaining a modern water infrastructure.

The initiative brought together German and American experts, companies and decision-makers to discuss common challenges and propose solutions to the economic, legal and technical framework of the U.S. water market during two one and a half day workshops.


Designed to build a common understanding of innovative planning, management and operational approaches to improve water infrastructure problems in the US, the goal of the workshop was to develop a solution approach to the region’s water infrastructure problems with the involvement of the German participants.  At each location, 5 water infrastructure experts from Germany, 5 experts from the US, and 5 company representatives from each country had a chance to discuss water challenges in the region and propose solutions.

Locations & Dates 

Tampa, FL, October, 15 - 16th, 2018
Milwaukee, WI, October, 18 - 19th, 2018


1. Michaela Schobert, Director, Consulting Services, GACC South

Opening Remarks and Introduction

2. Stefan Kohlwes, Project Manager, Export Initiative for Environmental Protection, DIHK Service GmbH

Overview of the “Export Initiative for Environmental Protection”

3. Dr. Lars Zeggel, Project Group for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Alzenau, Germany

“Sewage as a Resource: Possibilities and Limitations in the Recycling of Phosphorous on WWTPs”

4. Barbara Waelkens, Research Associate, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering & Biotechnology IGB, Stuttgart, Germany

“Benchmarks of the German Water & Wastewater Industry - Focus on (energy) efficiency on WWTPs”

5. Laura Weitze, Research Associate, Institute for Applied Construction Research IAB, Weimar, Germany

“Status Assessment of Underground Infrastructure: Methods and Challenges”

6. Dr. Michael Detering, Lecturer, Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Aachen University, Aachen, Germany 

„Water Infrastructure – Status, Developments, and Outlook (in Germany)”

8. Kevin Morris, Manager of Engineering & Projects, Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority

“Project Financing and the Pro’s & Con’s of Regional Collaboration in Relation to Rate Setting”



Michaela Schobert

Director, Consulting Services

German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc.

+1 (404) 586-6804
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Sonja (Sobota) Knight

Project Manager, Consulting Services

German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc.

+1 (404) 586-6802
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