Blog

News

KWR contribution to the GWRC bioassay workshop

GWRC organized a workshop to get insight in the developments in bioassay applications and the aims and needs of researchers, stakeholders and end-users. There was clear consensus on the advantages of the addition of bioassays to the water quality toolbox. Clear common goals were defined and discussed, and concrete proposals were written for research efforts to support the implementation of bioassays. The GWRC workshop gave us a great opportunity to communicate and discuss the KWR/Dutch view on the implementation of bioassays in water quality monitoring.

Bioassays: many applications, a few hurdles to overcome

There is a major interest of numerous international stakeholder in water quality research and management in the potential application of bioanalytical tools, also known as in vitro bioassays, or, in short, bio-assays. The Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC), is a network of researchers from academia, research institutes and private water companies. This week GWRC organized a workshop (Feb21-22) to get insight in the developments in bioassay applications and the aims and needs of researchers, stakeholders and end-users. Although I am relatively new in water research, as a toxicologist I am already very familiar with the application of in vitro cellular models in research on the effects of chemical exposures. This gave me confidence that I could contribute to the discussions, despite the fact that this was my first introduction in this international network for water research. Stefan (Kools) also attended the workshop, and he noticed in particular that both ‘operators’ and ‘regulators’ express the expectation that the application of bioassays will aid in the demonstration of and communication on safer and cleaner water. Not only between people working in the water sector, but also with the public and clients of drinking water companies. In the workshop discussion groups  on the firsts day, there was clear consensus on the advantages of the addition of bioassays to the water quality toolbox. Nevertheless, there were also worries expressed about the hurdles that need to be overcome, in particular related to interpretation of and confidence in bioassay results. On the second day, clear common goals were defined and discussed, and concrete proposals were written for efforts to efficiently overcome these hurdles.

Paris and bioassays by night

During the workshop diner, discussions on bioassays continued. Despite or maybe thanks to the beautiful view on Paris by night from the diner boat, discussions were not avoided on the potential contributions of different stakeholders to support implementation of bioassays for water quality monitoring. All in all, the GWRC workshop gave us a great opportunity to communicate and discuss the KWR/Dutch view on the implementation of bioassays in water quality monitoring.

Milou presents the KWR bioassay work.