Improving water quality by reducing pollution and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, is a key target of the sixth Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. Even in developed countries with advanced wastewater management facilities, like the Netherlands, broad arrays of pollutants are still discharged into surface waters, negatively affecting the water quality and jeopardising our drinking water sources.
Impressive improvements have been made in wastewater treatment over the previous century. Significant contributions of these improvements originate from ETE and have been implemented in practice via the many alumni, spin-offs and partners of the department. No doubt ETE will continue its practice of sound scientific work with a focus on practical application.
Until now only limited progress of the sixth Sustainable Development Goal has been made. Thus, there is an urgent demand for further developments in water quality improvements worldwide. In its more than 50 years history, ETE has been working according to the successful ‘Golden Triangle’ approach. This refers to collaboration between government, academia and industry. This way of working will be key in the future of the department to continue its contribution to science for impact. Looking forward for many more ‘Golden Collaborations’ of ETE!