Last year the Flemish water company De Watergroep became a member of the joint research programme of the water companies (BTO), and later in the year it also became a shareholder of KWH, KWR’s parent company. The Dutch-Flemish collaboration has now been further expanded: two Flemish universities are going to participate in BTO: Ghent University and KU Leuven. On the occasion of the BTO ‘Water Knows no Boundaries’ workshop at the new meeting centre at De Watergroep’s Kluizen water production site, the parties signed the Collaboration Agreement on Flemish-Dutch Water Knowledge Development.
The three knowledge institutes will strengthen each other through BTO research. KWR conducts research in the fields of water quality and health, water systems and technology, and management and governance systems, on the basis of its research vision for the water sector. KU Leven focuses, among others, on research and education in the field of water management, hydrology and hydraulics, modelling and analysis of water availability (water quantity and water quality), and the impact of climate change. Ghent University’s research and educational programmes cover areas which include (modelling) of water technology and resource recovery.
Intensive knowledge sharing
The signing concluded an intensive day of making acquaintances, collaborating and networking during the BTO’s ‘Water Knows no Boundaries’ workshop. In three blocks, staff members from De Watergroep, KU Leuven, UGhent, the Dutch water companies and KWR shed light on three important and topical subjects for the drinking water sector: Hydroinformatics, Water Treatment, and Next Generation Sequencing /Water Quality. There was also time for a tour of Kluizen’s water treatment operations. The intensive joint preparation and the comprehensive knowledge sharing which occurred following the substantive part of the workshop, established a firm pattern along which a valuable Flemish-Dutch knowledge network can develop in the years to come.