WiCE Efficient with Fresh

Efficient (re)use of water for a robust freshwater supply

Klaasjan Raat PhD, Ruud Bartholomeus PhD MSc

  • Start date
    01 Jan 2018
  • End date
    31 Dec 2020
  • Principal
  • collaborating partners
    Consortium drinkwaterbedrijven, Lumbricus

In order to safeguard the freshwater supply over the long term, what is needed among other things is to work, regionally and locally, on the self-provision of freshwater needs, in such a way that the available freshwater sources are used as efficiently as possible. This requires a cross-sectoral approach, in which the different sectors work together in seeking solutions for their own and the each other’s water demand and water supply issues. This WiCE project, within the ‘Freshwater Resource Management’ research area, therefore aims to develop high-value knowledge for a robust freshwater supply, with a focus on local and regional measures in rural areas.

Efficient and responsible (re)use of water

Our freshwater supply will be under increasing pressure over the long term. The contributing causes include the more frequent occurrence of drought damage in agriculture, and the growing demand for high-value applications such as drinking water production. The Delta Programme Freshwater  anticipates the risks of freshwater shortages through the efficient use of available water sources. One cornerstone in this effort is the increase in the regional self-provision of freshwater needs.

The Freshwater Resource Management project elaborates innovative, cross-sectoral measures to reduce the imbalance between water demand and water supply. At its centre is an efficient and responsible (re)use of available water streams through improved knowledge, and the development and realisation of a climate-robust ground and water system for agriculture, drinking water and industry. An objective picture of the opportunities and risks of local and regional measures will permit an accurate perception of and support for the best approach.

Circular measures for a robust freshwater supply

WiCE – Freshwater Resource Management strives to promote the added value of a circular approach by connecting sectors. Rather than separately looking for a solution to the same problem, sectors are connected to work on solutions together. We give shape to circular, adaptive measures for a robust freshwater supply. We bridge theory to practice in test situations.

We are working with the Lumbricus knowledge and research programme, in which twenty partners collaborate intensively on a climate-robust ground and water system in the high sandy ground regions of the East and South of the Netherlands.

Industry also plays an interesting role, as in the award-winning Boer-Bier-Water project, in which treated residual water from the Bavaria brewery is directed to farmers’ high sandy grounds.


Specifically, Freshwater Resource Management is working on the following cross-sectoral outcomes:

  • Better use of natural freshwater supplements: where are the win-win situations that the different stakeholders can benefit from through anticipatory and adaptive water management?
  • (Cross-sectoral) water (re)use and water saving: what are the opportunities and risks of the reuse of effluent streams (recycled water) for freshwater supply?
  • Compensatory freshwater measures for groundwater abstraction.

WiCE Freshwater Resource Management: better use of available sources.