On 1 November 2017, three Watershare Communities of Practice (CoPs) were launched in the Netherlands Pavilion at Aquatec Amsterdam: the CoPs for Future-Proof Water Infrastructures, Resilient Urban Water Management and Resource Recovery & Upcycling. Watershare now has five official communities, in which knowledge institutes and end-users from all over the world collaborate in solving today’s key water challenges. The five Watershare communities gathered earlier in the week – in parallel with the Amsterdam International Water Week – to exchange knowledge and discuss joint projects and opportunities.
Watershare Director Theo van den Hoven launched the three communities by addressing the audience on the Watershare mission: to apply worldwide research results locally. Following a brief introduction on the two previously launched CoPs – on Emerging Substances and Subsurface Water Solutions – the members of the new CoPs – Future-Proof Water Infrastructures, Resilient Urban Water Management and Resource Recovery & Upcycling – received the ‘official Watershare pin’. ‘These CoPs are already active,’ said Van den Hoven, ‘but we still wanted to present them to the public. The AIWW and Aquatec offer a perfect setting, since the global water community is well represented. In addition to the launches, we also organised a CoP Day and Watershare members contributed to several AIWW sessions.’
Subsurface water storage
One of the sessions related to Watershare was the one on ‘Adaptive (ground) water allocation for a robust water supply’, about a coherent approach to issues concerning seasonal water shortages, increased salinisation and land subsidence. KWR researcher Klaasjan Raat gave a presentation on COASTAR, ‘ subsurface Delta works to ensure the freshwater provision’. Other Watershare members, Staffan Filipsson, of IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, and Seunghak Lee, of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), also made presentations in this session on the freshwater supply on the Swedish island of Gotland and in Korea, respectively.
Resource recovery, emerging substances and infrastructure
In the ‘Resource Recovery and Circular Water Cycle’ session, Kees Roest of KWR explained the work of the Resource Recovery & Upcycling CoP. In ‘Handling micropollutants’, Jan Peter van der Hoek, representing the Emerging Substances CoP, talked about the Watershare AbatES tool, a database in which the behaviour of chemical contaminants in the urban watercycle are described. While in the ‘New ICT & data: solutions in water management’ session, Ralph Beuken of KWR talked about the new Watershare PIPE-works tool.
Urban water management
In the name of the Resilient Urban Water Management (RUWM) CoP, KWR researcher Stef Koop gave a presentation entitled ‘Resilience profiling: Assessing the capacity to manage and govern water challenges in cities’. Sixty-five cities had their water management assessed using the City Blueprint® method. Van den Hoven’s notes: ‘The communities build upon the knowledge and expertise that their members have in-house. The RUWM CoP for example is actively collecting models for the quantitative measurement of the resilience of urban watercycles. These models are being applied in several places all over the world. This generates information which water companies can use to make their infrastructures future-proof, and which researchers can use to improve their models. A great example of how Watershare works!’