Worldwide, an estimated nine billion people will live in large urban areas by 2050. Clean water for people, industry, and food will become a challenge.
Clean water is a challenge in the Netherlands. We are a small country that lies partly below sea level and have 17 million people. The Dutch go beyond doing more of the same at a larger scale. We find new solutions that take the water cycle to a higher level. And our solutions are always practical, efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective. We are experts on specific niches within water technology such as multiple water usage (industry, household, agriculture), screening, reuse of waste water, nutrient recovery, and state-of-the-art disinfection. To find out more about these specific niches, have a look at the website www.dutchwatertechnology.com.
The Netherlands is embracing new trends on water and technology.
The circular utility
Urban water supply has to enter a new era, changing from a linear supply chain to a circular one. The challenge for tomorrow’s water utility is to recover full costs. It needs to be energy-efficient, leakage free, have low carbon emissions, and must recover as many resources as possible.
Reducing water footprint
Industries will have to reduce their water consumption for their own economic benefit, and because consumers, insurance companies and investors will demand it. Several Dutch-based multinationals are playing an important role in defining the specifications for developing new technologies. This has led to the development of process integrated technologies that save water or produce less waste water.
Post-use water treatment
Dutch water technology solutions are well-known around the world for their anaerobic post-use water treatment. Breweries, paper mills, food factories – industrial sites worldwide are equipped with treatment plants from global Dutch firms. Dutch anaerobic treatment is so popular because it purifies water to strict discharge standards while producing biogas. The biogas can be used in factories as a renewable energy source, sometimes even making an industrial site fully carbon-free.
More and more industries are showing serious interest in new treatment technology to recover valuable materials from their waste water streams. They have become highly aware of the need for a circular economy and lowering operational costs by selling recovered raw materials. Most clients however lack access to markets where these materials can be traded. With this in mind, the first Dutch water technology suppliers acted as brokers for waste streams such as struvite and cellulose.
Smart information solutions
An important precondition for successfully dealing with water related events is access to reliable and accurate data that can be translated into smart information solutions. The smart information solutions can provide water managers, policy makers, farmers and other end-users with better insight in their water resources. This information contributes to increasing the efficiency of business processes, better managing risks and reducing the potential impact of water related events.
The Netherlands IT/geodata community offers integrated services that address the needs of the end-users, helping them to manage water by providing them with the knowledge they need.