Posted on 8 December 2015
This year's Dutch Water Innovation Award in the category Sufficient water went to a conductivity sensor to measure the salinity of surface water. Connected to a mobile phone, the measuring data can easily be used to control irrigation pumps for the intake of fresh water.
In the Netherlands the smart sensor can be used to minimise the intake of fresh water to flush low-lying polders for countering saline groundwater seepage and nutrient fluxes.
Three other winners of the 2015 edition of the Dutch Water Innovation Awards were entrepreneur Harry Hoeben with his downwards pesticide sprayer, research institute Deltares with a new method to design peat levees and Netics with its waterway revetment built out of pressed dredge sludge.
The award ceremony took place in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, on 30 November 2015.
Innovation for regional water management
Organiser of the annual award event is the Dutch Water Authorities. The entries for the awards concern innovative solutions that be applied for regional water control.
This year an expert jury selected four winners from 135 entries, in the categories of: dry feet, adequate water, clean water and space for innovation.
This year also saw an additional category for the most sustainable entry.
Annemieke Nijhof, jury chairman and CEO of Tauw Group: "I am for the fourth time involved in the judging of entries for the Water Innovation. Every year I am surprised again by the creativity and innovativeness of the water sector. Let no one come to me with the idea that the water sector is boring and conservative, because the contrary is proved."
Efficient water use
Winner in the category Adequate water was a smart methode to reduce the intake of fresh water in low-lying polder area that face saline groundwater seepage and nutrient fluxes. The method is based on a conductivity sensor that is connected to a smart phone.
The user lowers the sensor in the water and the salinity data is automatically transmitted to an online database that is linked to the contol of the pumping stations in the polder.
By measuring smarter, it is possible to reduce the amount of fresh water that is needed to dilute the water in the ditches of the polder and reduce the salinity. The smart measurement also saves on energy costs of the pumping stations.
The method has been developed by consultancy firm Acacia Water, ICT-specialised organisation AKVO and electronics solution provider Sodaq.
Stronger levees on peat
Winner in the category Flood prevention was a new method to design a levee that rests on peat. Field experiments showed the peat was in fact much stronger than is reflected in the strength calculations to dimension a levee. The results of the field study have been translated into an innovative design methodology.
It is expected that this new methodology will lead to more efficient levee reinforcement projects.
The new design method has been developed by the research institute Deltares in cooperation with the regional water authority Hollands Noorderkwartier and national water authority Rijkswaterstaat.
Fewer pesticides in surface water
Winner in the category Clean water was Wingssprayer, a new device to spray pesticides on fruit and crops. Instead of sideways, this device sprays downwards.
In practice the Wingssprayer has proven to be able to reduce the spray drift up to 99 percent.
The Wingssprayer has been developed by entrepreneur Harry Hoeben.
Sustainable waterway revetment
Winner of this year's special Sustainability Award for the greenest entry was honored to the Geowall, a waterway revetment made of compressed dredging sludge. The jury considered Geowall a sustainable and green alternative for wooden revetments that prevent erosion of the banks of waterways.
The Geowall has been developed by building-wit-nature specialist Netics.
All winners received 15,000 euros to accelerate the development of their innovation and the introduction on the market.
This news item was originally published on the website Dutch Water Innovation Awards (in Dutch only).
Read also on this website
● Dutch Water Innovation Awards 2014 for plastic lock door, cellulose recovery, rainwater storage and poop factory, 3 December 2014
● Dutch Water Innovation Awards 2013 spotlights ingenious solutions for flood protection and clean water, 11 December 2013
Dutch Water Authorities (Unie van Waterschappen)
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 351 97 51
Gouda, the Netherlands
+31 182 686 424
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 88 335 8273
Maarheze, the Netherlands
+31 495 69 74 11
Alblasserdam, the Netherlands
+31 6 229 60 671