Interview G.A. van den Berg - Gerard van den Berg: "The term wastewater is a barrier for a lot of initiatives"


“Dr. Gerard van den Berg is a geochemist and project manager at the KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands. His expertise focuses on drinking water research, and research into water in the circular economy. He is also the official coordinator of the EU-funded Ultimate project, which is developing and optimising water recycling technologies to create a ‘Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis.’ Dr. Kristine Jung is Project Manager at the European Science Communication Institute (ESCI).
Kristine: What would you say has changed during the last 10 or 20 years for the usage of the water?
Gerard: “People have become more aware of the water quality. An important aspect of that is social media, and the other is the ability to measure contaminants in water. The methodology is to measure pollutants in very low concentrations in water, even in much lower concentrations of what could have any effect on human health. A lot of this information is made available through media and in more recent years even through social media. People have easy access to information on water, especially on water quality. I see that there is also more discussion about safe drinking water and more questions about it, although there is still a lot of trust. But I do see that people are more concerned how we are taking care of our natural environment. We will keep on using and extracting water from our environment. That may lead to shortages of water, to poor water quality, and I see a shift in the concern from people. The droughts we have seen over the last couple of years have opened the eyes for a lot of people that have seen the river levels dropping and have seen quality effects as algae blooms. People are actually able to see the climate change effects of what we are doing, and I think that this helps.””

(Citation: Jung, K. – Interview G.A. van den Berg – Gerard van den Berg: “The term wastewater is a barrier for a lot of initiatives” – (2021)18 May)

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