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Bridging the gap between theory and practice for a circular and sustainable water sector

Strengthen the water sector’s capacity by transferring practice-oriented knowledge

As we move towards a more circular and sustainable water chain and climate robust water system, new insights, skills and knowledge are required throughout all layers within the water sector. To meet the educational needs of the water sector professionals of the future, new circularity- and climate-oriented courses have been developed by Wateropleidingen. Wateropleidingen one of KWR’s partners in achieving a sustainable and circular water sector.

As Wateropleidingen we have set ourselves the important task to strengthen capacity in the water sector by transferring practice-oriented water knowledge to water sector professionals both in the Netherlands and abroad. To become more sustainable, scientific research and rapid technological changes have led to new knowledge that should be taken up in practice. In collaboration with our partners, Wateropleidingen constantly creates new courses to keep up with current developments to fulfill the educational needs of the sector. We believe that continuous lifelong learning and training of professionals working in the water sector plays an important role in achieving global sustainable development.

New courses on micropollutants

Recently, Frans Visser (water chain policy advisor of Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe) and Hans Huiting (H2O&A) reached out to us. The required knowledge for the challenges concerning removal of micropollutants is still lacking in large parts of the water sector. Water Authorities have been focused on conventional biological wastewater treatment for many years and have yet to implement the most recent physical-chemical techniques for removal of micropollutants. Due to recent developments on the re-use of wastewater for industrial processes, the knowledge gap on physical-chemical techniques is widening even further.

As Wateropleidingen we responded immediately and with the help of field experts from Waterschap Aa en Maas and Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, we set out to create new courses that would help bridge this gap. For maximum impact three different target audiences were defined: Managers, Technicians and Operators. This resulted in the following courses:

Removal of micropollutants and re-use of wastewater for managers. In this course managers learn about various physical chemical techniques; the pros and cons and most frequent problems that can occur. Through knowledge exchange and networking the most current techniques and developments with respect to physical chemical techniques can be transferred and applied to existing situations.

Highlights physical -chemical wastewater treatment techniques for technicians. This course focuses on the current and future challenges within the field of wastewater treatment. Technicians learn about the most recent wastewater treatment options, what is needed for implementation and are able to decide which system works best for existing operational plants.

Operational aspects of activated carbon installations and ozonation for operators. Through this course operators learn to fathom the techniques, data interpretation and safety of the processes in ozonation- an activated carbon installations.

Circular economy

Our course are one way to contribute towards a more sustainable and circular water sector. Meanwhile, the water sector itself does not remain idle. The Dutch Water Authorities have formulated the ambition to be fully energy neutral by 2025 and to reach a 100% circular economy by 2050. Targets that give a clear indication of where we are headed.

Practical innovations to students

For the translation of scientific knowledge into applicable and practical solutions Wateropleidingen works closely with KWR. Scientific researchers of KWR sometimes work as (guest) lecturers to transfer their scientific findings and the resulting practical innovations to our students. Sustainable and circular water is part of the main topics. In combination with our didactical support and innovative teaching methods we are together building bridges between science and practice at all levels. For water professionals it is essential to have the knowledge and skills to work with innovative techniques and to be able to apply them in practice. Keeping up with new developments and innovations that are constantly emerging will remain a challenge. By offering continuous lifelong learning and training to professionals working in the water sector, Wateropleidingen is aiming to bridge this gap.

Capacity-building within the global water sector

Where KWR’s scientific findings and the resulting practical innovations contribute worldwide, to a sustainable water provision in the urban water cycle, Wateropleidingen is the leading training institute for water management in the Netherlands and as World Water Academy, abroad. Our main goal is to be the leader in practical training and capacity-building within the global water sector. Our courses are well-known for their quality, technical knowledge and up-to-date water know-how, all combined with practical experience and range from vocational to graduate level. We aim to preserve, store, share, spread and sustain practical water knowledge in the Netherlands and abroad.

Gabriëlle Knufman, Director Wateropleidingen.