BTO Implementatieprijs 2023

  • BTO Implementatieprijs 2023

BTO Implementation Award 2023 puts current drinking water challenges in the spotlight

Every two years, the Dutch water companies, De Watergroep from Flanders and KWR present the BTO Implementation Award and the Public Award. The Implementation Award rewards applications of research in practice that lead to a demonstrable improvement in a method or business operation. The Public Award goes to the project that succeeds best at making the project and its application clear to the public and picking up votes for doing so.

No fewer than thirteen projects were submitted in 2023. The expert jury – KWR Chief Science Officer Ruud Bartholomeus, Chief Innovation Officer at Waternet Jan Peter van der Hoek and BTO Programme Manager Anne Mathilde Hummelen – nominated three of those projects. The main criterion is successful collaboration between employees of drinking water utilities or Vewin and KWR researchers in which knowledge transfer has led to application in practice. The winners of the jury and public awards were announced at the BTO Festival Day on 8 June.

Restoring nature from nitrogen, from Waternet, Dunea, PWN, Brabant Water, Evides, Vitens and KWR, was the favourite of both the expert jury and the public. The 2023 BTO Implementation Award was presented to Martin de Haan (KWR), Luc Geelen (Waternet), Camiel Aggenbach (KWR) and Edu Dorland (KWR).

The videos below describe how the projects work in practice.

Restoring nature from nitrogen – winner of the 2023 BTO Implementation Award

The water utilities, by virtue of their role as nature managers, deal with the considerable problems associated with excessive nitrogen deposition and biodiversity loss. This study studies the effectiveness of two widely used measures for mitigating nitrogen deposition: spreading calcium-rich sand on dry dune grasslands and the removal of the top layer on dry heaths. The ecohydrological research in this project has provided water utilities with tools to put well-researched knowledge into practice as management interventions and nature maintenance.

Effect-based trigger values

The Trigger Values project looked at measurements of biological effects (bioassays) to determine the biological impact of the cocktail of thousands of micropollutants. That involved developing trigger values above which there is an increased health risk. The use of these effect-based trigger values (EBT) represents a major step forward in the analysis of the chemical safety of drinking water.

ENGINE – energy and drinking water in balance

The primary aim of the project ENGINE – energy and drinking water in balance is to combine heating networks and drinking water pipelines in the ground safely and efficiently. This is important in the context of the energy transition. On the basis of the results, the drinking water sector and the heating network sector can jointly determine the minimum distance that should be maintained between drinking water pipelines and heating pipelines.