Wetsus sets out for research on fair water technologies
‘Our latest research programme has been defined more closely on sustainable innovations that are also fair for society’, professor Cees Buisman said at start of the Wetsus Congress 2021. As an example, Buisman mentioned waste water treatment technologies that produce polluted sludge. ‘This sludge can no longer be reused in agriculture. Because of this, the technology will always remain non-sustainable, no matter what. The only fair innovation is to make the sludge reusable again’, he said.
The Wetsus Congress took place in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands on 4 October.
As scientific director at Wetsus, professor Cees Buisman, kicked off the congress with sharing the latest developments at the water technology research institute, including the revised research programme on sustainability.
'Sustainability is often seen as a synonym for carbon neutrality, but for us there is more to it. We also see fair and coherent innovations,' Buisman said.
‘We see that our waste water gets more and more polluted with PFAS and pesticides’, he continued. ‘It is not fair that, we as water sector, have to come up with innovations to remove these substances that create health concerns. Instead, we should look for innovations in a much earlier stage when the water has not yet been polluted with these substances of high concern’.
The treatment of these specific streams allows a simpler, more natural, treatment.
At the congress Wetsus announced its participation in two new research programmes. In the Netherlands it participates in the consortium to scout and train researchers with an affinity for entrepreneurship. Talented researchers will be helped to write their business plan and they will have access to a special fund for start ups.
The other participation is in the EU flagship Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation that will start next year. In the previous EU programme on innovative partnerships it was only allowed for nations to tender. Next year the tender will also be opened for networks such as Wetsus and the Water Campus Leeuwarden.
The next Wetsus Congress will be part of the Leeuwarden Water Tech Week that will be held ion 19 – 22 September 2022.
More information: Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology