Session 3.1: Wastewater reuse: matching freshwater demand and supply
Climate change is expected to result in increasing drought damage to agriculture and nature. In the Netherlands, the average drought damage to agriculture as a result of ongoing climate change is expected to double within 30 years for the Pleistocene uplands. Available groundwater sources for irrigation purposes are increasingly under pressure due to the regional coexistence of land use functions that compete for available water. This includes the availability of water for more high-quality applications, such as the production of drinking water. At the same time, treated wastewater from industries and domestic wastewater treatment plants are quickly discharged via surface waters towards sea. Exploitation of these freshwater sources may be an effective strategy to balance regional water supply and agricultural water demand. However, the use of treated waste water from industries and sewage treatment plants for drought relief is still a little used form of (climate) adaptation in moderate climates like the Netherlands. The quality of waste water is an important issue. This is certainly true for the effluent from sewage treatment plants, because of the presence of various contaminants, such as medicines, pesticides, viruses and bacteria.
In this session we merge perspectives from water management authorities, industries and both applied and fundamental research, by 1) a general introduction of the topic, 2) four presentations from different stakeholders and (applied) science, 3) general discussion focused on future perspectives and how to bridge science to practice (panel and interaction with audience).