Professor Huub Rijnaarts and his team of Environmental Technology visit the deserts of Qatar and Dubai this month for their new research project AquaConnect. First they will meet existing project partners in Qatar to visit local water reuse initiatives and take soil samples for experiments in Wageningen. Afterwards, Huub Rijnaarts joins the Dutch trade mission to Dubai together with a/o Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher and Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Mark Harbers. Aim is to explore the opportunities for further collaboration on sustainable water supply with partners in the Middle-East.
AquaConnect focusses on the purification of salt water, brackish water and wastewater, but also on the retention of storm water. In which abundant rainwater, which now mostly drains into surface water and then into the sea, is reused. “We would like to collect this storm water or allow it to infiltrate the soil for later use”, says Rijnaarts, Professor of Environmental Technology at Wageningen University & Research. “In view of climate change, these options will become increasingly important. In AquaConnect we’re also looking at the regulations the government needs, to allow and control the use of cleaned wastewater and brackish water. Together with the universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam, it is being studied how these regulations can be incorporated into the new environmental law that will apply in the Netherlands and the water directives of the European Union.”