Researchers from various European countries gathered at the end of February for the kick-off of WatQual. Over two days, the first in Brussels and the second at KWR in Nieuwegein, 25 drinking water distribution experts had the opportunity, in a relaxed atmosphere, to meet, discuss business and make plans.
The WatQual exchange focusses on ways to guarantee water quality in the fifteen participating countries, particularly with regard to system cleaning. This cover, for instance, the use or not of chlorine, or the safeguarding of water quality following repair work on the drinking water system. What are the different practices in the different countries? What research is being done where, and can one arrive at a definition of a ‘best practice’?
The WatQual project is funded by the EU’s Marie Curie RISE. This subsidy finances partnerships for research and innovation collaboration between scientific and non-scientific sectors. Vanessa Speight (University of Sheffield, UK) and Mirjam Blokker (KWR) have received this EU subsidy, which covers travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for international exchanges.
Exchange of knowledge
‘WatQual is an outstanding platform for the exchange of knowledge between countries and disciplines, and between science and industry.’Joost van Summeren PhD
‘The kick-off was an inspiring exchange of the practical experience of the drinking water companies and the theoretical approach of the universities. Although the various countries face the same challenges, they choose to respond differently.’Claudia Agudelo-Vera PhD MSc
KWR’s co-organiser Mirjam Blokker is enthusiastic about the mutual collaboration.
‘There was a great deal of interaction at the start of WatQual. Everyone gets the chance to work with someone from another research group, or to actually apply research results at a water company. Some can’t wait to begin!’Mirjam Blokker PhD
The international secondments start in April 2018. A total of five international researchers will be coming to KWR for a period of one month or longer. ‘The researchers will be more than welcome to apply their methods to the Dutch drinking water system. I’m really curious about what the results will be!’ says Blokker.