This very second, almost one billion people are getting through the day without access to clean drinking water, and within the next two minutes at least one child will die from a waterborne disease due to inadequate water supply and sanitation. Problems that only increase as populations and demands rise. More than 80 percent of globally produced wastewater is discharged directly into the nature without any prior treatment, while the cleaning process alone could be used to produce renewable energy – something that more than 2.5 billion people has none or limited access to.
These grim scenarios are, however, far from the reality in Denmark where highly advanced water systems and energy-producing wastewater plants have made the country a global frontrunner when it comes to water management. Pondering on these vast contrasts led to an idea at AVK; a Summer School, where students from all over the world are introduced to the technologies and thoughts behind Danish water management. A school that focuses on preparing the students for solving some of today’s and tomorrow’s massive resource challenges.
August 11, 46 enrolees arrived in Låsby, ready to join the first-ever Water Summer School offering valuable insights to how global water resources can be efficiently managed. The enrolees are a mix of representatives from ministries, companies and public institutions and of students on bachelor, master and ph.D. levels. They arrived to Låsby from Spain, Finland, Lithuania, Indonesia, the US, Slovakia, Malaysia, South Africa, Portugal, India, Italy, Norway and Germany.
The Summer School, which runs by the name "Advanced Water Cycle Management Course", has been created together with Aarhus University, Aarhus University Centre for Water Technology, Grundfos, Kamstrup, DHI, Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed A/S, NIRAS, Aarhus University School of Engineering, AquaGlobe, I-GIS and Aarhus Vand. All of these will take part in the intensive, two-week tuition, contributing with their particular area of expertise.
A valuable lesson
There are several summer schools on i.e. wind, but none about water, in spite of a huge but also very important potential for improvement. And the issue is only increasing, fuelling the idea of knowledge sharing even more;
Before 2030, the global energy consumption will have increased by 50 percent, triggering a rise in water consumption of about 85 percent. In Denmark, we have found a way of using our resources efficiently and carefully, and this knowledge should be given to these students, for them to actively use them in solving today’s and tomorrow’s water challenges.”, says global brand manager at AVK, Michael Ramlau-Hansen.
Leading technologies within water management
It is no coincidence that the concept of a water management course is developed here in Denmark, where water technology and treatment processes are pioneering; “We are frontrunners in many areas, when it comes to water. Just take non-revenue water, which is a term for produced water, that never reaches the end-customer due to pipe leaks or other supply network inefficiencies. In Denmark, this accounts for 6-8 percent. Some places in the world, it accounts for as much as 70 percent. This truly shows the necessity of spreading the knowledge we have. It is, in fact, paramount.”, explains Ramlau-Hansen.
In Denmark, we have a low energy consumption per m3 of drinking water sold, in addition to energy-producing wastewater treatment plants and mapping, protection and administration of the groundwater system.
All in all, a wealth of valuable knowledge that will soon be passed on to the students who already registered in world change upon course enrolment. The course is nominated as a 5-ECTS point-giving course, and the students will be facing intensive days of studying and hard work, as they in teams will have to solve authentic water challenges.
The education consists of three theoretical tracks, which are groundwater, water distribution and wastewater. The students will then have the opportunity to put these into practise when trying to solve an authentic task in teams. Thus, during the two weeks, they gain both theoretical knowledge of global issues and effective solutions, as well as semi-practical experience in how to put that knowledge into action. An incredibly important effort that can convey great change.
At AVK we are very excited to see how the course will unfold, and as demands were high there is already talk about a similar course next year.
For more information about the course, find the course description at the AU website.
Teaming up for future water solutions
The second week of our Summer School 2019 has been kicked off, and students are now putting their new water skills to the test.Read more
Graduation day at Summer School
Friday marked the end of two intensive weeks of learning, networking and having fun for our course students, who has left Låsby with their diplomas in hand, ready to go influence the future water industry.Read more