Research and Development activities had been conducted in the NWSDB for a long period, but their outcomes had not been showcased in a research symposium until the year 2015. The first Research and Development symposium was organized parallel to World Water Day 2015, under the theme ‘Water and Sustainable Development. This symposium was held in the Hotel Mount Lavinia, Colombo and there were 32 research articles presented in the event under eight sub-themes.
The second Research and Development Symposium was held in the year 2016 at the BMICH, Colombo in line with World Water Day 2016. The theme of the event was ‘Water and Jobs’. The keynote speaker of the event was Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy and there were 32 research articles presented under eight sub-themes.
Parallel to World Water Day 2017, the third Research and Development symposium was held at the BMIC, Colombo under the theme ‘Water and Wastewater. There were 32 research papers present in the event under eight sub-themes and Prof. Ajith De Alwis delivered the keynote speech.
In the year 2018, the fourth Research and Development symposium was held at BMICH, Colombo. The event was organized in parallel to World Water Day under the theme ‘Nature-Based Solution for Water’. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Uma Umakhanthan and similar to previous events 32 research articles were presented under eight sub-themes.
As the fifth event NWSDB in collaboration with International Water Association (IWA) organized the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2019 at BMICH, Colombo from 1st to 5th December 2019. This event was a five-day program under the theme ‘Sustainable Solutions for Emerging Economies. There were workshops, technical sessions, business forums, technical tours, and symposiums during the event. Six keynote speeches were delivered by Mr. Doulaye Kone, Ms. Rosie Wheen, Dr. Pay Drechsel, Ms. Madhu Krishna, Dr. Silver Mugisha, and Dr. Valerie Naidoo.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Research and Development Symposium was not organized in the year 2020. However, in the year 2021, NWSDB organized its seventh Research Symposium at the newly established Centre of Innovation belongs to the Center of Excellence for Water and Sanitation (cewas) at Joint Research and demonstration Center (JRDC), Peradeniya on 19th November 2021. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Ravi Fernando, and ten research papers were presented at this symposium.
Along with the International Water Conference 2022 (IWC – 2022), the 7th Annual Research Symposium was held successfully from 15th to 16th Dec 2022 at the Center of Excellence for Water and Sanitation with the participation of local and foreign participants. 84 abstracts were received, and 54 research outcomes were published and presented under the theme of ‘Water for sustainable development: Cooperation, Partnership, and Appropriate Technology’ as oral and poster presentations at the event. Selection of research papers were done by a review panel consisted of 12 academies and industrial experts who were supported by six additional members. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Norio Saito and there were six technical sessions each present six research papers orally and rest of 18 research papers were presented as posters using digital display boards.
This year, the Eighth Research and Development Symposium has been scheduled to be held on 15th December 2023 at the Center of Excellence for Water and Sanitation at Ratmalana. The theme of the event is ‘Accelerating the Change to Solve the Water and Sanitation Crisis”. It has been planned to call for papers from NWSDB as well as local and international water sector institutes. The sub themes of the Research Symposium are,
- Technology for water and sanitation
- Accelerating change in water and sanitation sector
- Climate resilient sustainable water management
- Water, sanitation, and customer