The Netherlands is a leader when it comes to research and innovation in the water sector. That was the reaction of the members of the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) on the occasion of their visit to the Netherlands late last week. The GWRC is a partnership of watercycle research organisations from the US, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Singapore, Australia, South-Africa and the Netherlands (http://www.globalwaterresearchcoalition.net). The GWRC members were in the Netherlands for their semi-annual board meeting. STOWA (www.stowa.nl) and KWR, both members of the GWRC, hosted the event. A workshop on water in the circular economy was part of the programme as was a field visit to the greenhouse horticultural area in the Westland region, where the visitors were shown subsurface water storage which is an integral part of the area’s water management.
The visitors were impressed by the typically Dutch collaboration between the many water players and by the resulting innovations. The visit served as a stimulus for strengthening collaboration within the GWRC. Concrete steps to this end were taken during the board meeting: for instance, the members will be collaborating on research into microplastics, antibiotic-resistant genes, and the recovery of energy and components from drinking water and wastewater.