The DPWE programme is the joint research programme of the four dune water companies: Dunea, PWN, Waternet and Evides. KWR coordinates the programme and conducts the research in partnership with Het Waterlaboratorium (HWL). The research focuses on sources, water quality, treatment and water infrastructure. The joint research ensures the maintenance of a solid knowledge base for the dune drinking water companies.
Joint research for sustainable drinking water
Since the Dutch dune water companies are often confronted with similar challenges, a joint research programme makes sense. The joint DPWE research programme of Dunea, PWN, Waternet and Evides focuses on specific subjects that are of interest to dune water companies and that contribute to safeguarding the quality of surface water sources and water abstraction in the dunes. The programme is premised on a watercycle approach, which involves seeking partnerships with parties from sectors other than water, such as energy.
Research into sources, water quality, treatment and water infrastructure
KWR is the principal implementor and coordinator of the DPWE research programme. We implement the programme jointly with the water companies and also ensure that it is aligned with other research programmes; the work is conducted in partnership with Het Waterlaboratorium. The programme’s direction also involves close collaboration. Every year we organise several workshops where we discuss and give feedback on the research outcomes.
The DPWE research focuses on:
- Sources: knowledge about the rivers and the IJsselmeer lake as sources, and about the interaction between drinking water, dune recreation and nature, and any associated risks.
- Water quality: good knowledge and assessment of the quality of the raw and drinking water from the physical, chemical and (micro) biological perspectives. Anticipation of the occurrence of emerging contaminants and microorganisms.
- Treatment: robust treatment of surface water, dune water and reservoir water that can deal with chemical and microbial threats and perpetuate consumer confidence.
- Infrastructure: good physical quality and structure of the large-scale transport and distribution network in metropolitan areas, which has no harmful effect on the quality of the drinking water in the network and achieves a balance between quality, risks and costs.
Specific and applied research based on collaboration
The joint research means that a solid knowledge base for the dune water companies is maintained. The DPWE companies select the programme’s specific research subjects, themselves determining its direction. Since the projects are short-term the results can usually be applied quickly. The projects are also often practical by nature. Moreover, the DPWE research programme is frequently used to attune the results of the water sector’s wider joint research programme to the needs of the dune water companies; at the same time, DPWE research plays an exploratory role for the wider programme. With this approach, the dune water companies work proactively on safeguarding the quality of surface water sources and of water abstraction in the dunes.