Is traveling to the other side of the world already an experience in itself, a long lecture at an international conference makes the adventure even greater. The conference was a great visit, a lot of people, many exhibitors and the Watershare stand. On the last day of the IWA conference I was asked to give a Master lecture. This was a new concept to IWA, a long story on a relevant subject. But, to keep the audience awake that long, I had to introduce some interaction, for sure. The last day of a 5 day conference. So along with some colleagues, I spread papers with three colors (red, blue, yellow) across the room. Which would come in handy.
Before I really get started, I asked the audience about their backgrounds.. Mostly engineers, a regulator and some chemists. So I introduce what I am, a biologist and I promise them some “wildlife” pictures….so, then I started to tell a piece of recent history on regulating DDT, PAHs and pesticides. I compare carefully the Drinking Water Directive to the European Water Framework Directive these describe compounds as the “priority compounds. Then I summarized how I see that a chemical can be ‘emerging’. In between, I check the audience and when they answer some questions, they are also invited to show red cards when they are confused. Luckily, they all felt ‘blue’.
So I continue how a chemical compound can become regulated. Then I give an overview of the analytical capabilities and how to select the most hazardous substances from all those substances which are produced and how little we actually measure. Finally, I present the vision of taking measures, such as technical treatment options and the Watershare tool AbetES. Afterwards, there was ample time for questions so people came to me and followed me even to the stand floor where I could introduce them to others. From what colleagues said and some visitors told me, I understood that the talk was good to follow and that they became interested in the work of KWR and the Watershare concept and tools. Let see how this subject will emerge!