Water security is an emerging term which is fundamentally transformingglobal freshwater resource management. Finding the right balance betweenthe various water needs requires committed teamwork. UNESCO-IHE staff,PhD fellows and MSc students talk about their projects and experiences.
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Water Security - A Matter of  Teamwork
Nepal Earthquake Aftermath: effectiveness of emergencyWASH response activities
‘The beauty of Myanmar is  that people are open-minded  and eager to learn’
Interviews​Roshan Shrestha, Senior Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationJanet Hering, Director of Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Alumni stories Sarwat Jahan Rumi Saiful Alam Jully Seema Senteu Diego Restrepo Zambrano EndFragment(Interactive) Design & Production Casu Media InfographicEls Engel, visual journalistPrintplaatjes ​ ​​Photography Hans de Lijser Nout Steenkamp Shutterstock Photo archive IHE DELFT (unless otherwise credited) ​ Published byIHE DELFT Institute for Water Education ​Delft, The Netherlands ​​www.un-ihe.org ​
Wicked Debate: “A Tale of two Disciplines”, socio hydrology and hydro social research
A glimpse into the working lives of three alumni
What's been happening?
Introducing new Rector Professor Eddy Moors
60 Years: Historic overview
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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Roshan Shrestha
20 JULY 2017
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Janet Hering, Director Eawag
UPDATE is IHE DELFT’s new look online magazine, filled with a  variety of articles, interviews, facts and figures about water related topics and inspirational people in the sector. UPDATE is published bi-annually. Please share the magazine or individual articles via social media with your friends and colleagues. 
Company Profile
Taking on the water crisis in the Middle East
Algae based wastewater treatment
In Delft
Please contact us at communication@un-ihe.org if you have questions, comments or suggestions about the magazine.
IHE DELFT is based in Delft, the Netherlands and carries out educational, research and capacity development activities in the broad fields of water engineering, water management, environment, sanitation and governance. ​ IHE DELFT is the largest international graduate education institute in the field of water. The Institute offers 4 MSc programmes, various short and online courses and a PhD programme in collaboration with partner universities. Since 1957, the Institute has provided graduate education to more than 15,000 practicing water professionals, as well as thousands of short course participants from 162 countries.​ www.un-ihe.org 
Strengthening Cuban food production through intensive aquaculture
Editor in chiefEmma Meurs Editorial coordinatorRachelle Dwarka​Editorial committeeAli DastgheibJan Herman KosterJaap EversVanessa de OliveiraRuth Webber​TextsIHE DELFT Communication Office  ​Feature article by​Heather Montague, freelance editor and writerwww.msqrdservices.com​Contributors from IHE DELFTHector GarciaPeter van der SteenJack van de VossenbergZaki ShubberEmanuele Fantini EndFragment
“Investments in non-sewered sanitation programmes are growing rapidly”
A glimpse into the working lives of three alumni
Taking on the water crisis in the Middle East
PHOTO: Jordan - above view of Wadi Mujib river and Al Mujib dam from King's highway in winter
Plant operators, Peter van der Steen (second left) and Naser al Manaseer (right). Standing on the outlet from the treatment plant, feeding an old irrigation canal. In the background farmer operated pumps, now decommissioned. (Al Mafraq, northern Jordan)
Seeking solutions Examining the causes can help with finding feasible and appropriate solutions. Numerous technologies are being researched and implemented to address water scarcity. In the Middle East the use of desalination, the process of converting seawater into potable water, is on the rise. But it comes at a high price. For example, the Sorek desalination plant in Israel was built with a $400 million (USD) investment. It is estimated to serve 20% of municipal demand, but the process is still more expensive than almost any other way of supplying fresh water because of the quantities of electricity required. Wastewater treatment technologies are another, generally more cost-effective solution. According to Dr. Peter van der Steen, Associate Professor of Environmental Technology at IHE Delft, Jordan is a good example of wastewater reuse. He estimates that 90 per cent of wastewater is collected and treated, the majority of which is then used for irrigation. “The water from Amman and also from cities in the north is all channeled into the King Talal Dam which collects the treated wastewater and it’s mixed with natural stream water,” he says. “From there it’s transported to the Jordan valley, where it’s used for agriculture. The water quality is good enough to grow lettuce and tomatoes.” One of the challenges of wastewater reuse, however, is that it’s not culturally accepted everywhere. For religious reasons, treated wastewater may not be considered clean enough for human consumption. Beyond technology, there are other ways to improve the efficiency of how existing water is used. Reducing consumption and waste, finding more efficient methods of irrigation and improving methods of water distribution could all have a positive impact on water scarcity.
Discharge of treated wastewater into a drainage canal with pipes to pump out the water to olive tree orchards. (Jerash, northern Jordan)
Working together on a way forward Whether the challenges be environmental, social or political, tackling the issues around water scarcity requires innovation and cooperation. As part of the DUPC programme, a partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IHE Delft is contributing to progress. The emphasis of this collaboration is on establishing local partnerships with organisations, public authorities, research institutes and universities, building on the existing capacity of each country. One project aiming for direct impact is Water and Sanitation Solution to the refugees: two cases from Jordan and Palestine (WASAR). Being led by Dr. Maher Abu-Madi, Associate Professor, at Birzeit University in Palestine, it’s an example of partnership in action. The team is comprised of researchers from Birzeit University, Al-Balqa’ Applied University (Jordan), and IHE Delft working to improve living conditions for Palestinian refugees through better water supply and sanitation services. For people in refugee camps, living conditions are harsh, especially in relation to health-water-sanitation. High population density coupled with inferior water supply and sanitation services and constitutes a serious threat to public health and the environment. The WASAR project aims to turn lessons learned into guidelines that will help governments, NGOs, and aid agencies in adopting low cost and integrated solutions for water supply and wastewater treatment in the refugee camps. Another project with a less mainstream approach is The Open Water Diplomacy Lab. The project examines how politics, science and the media impact conflict and cooperation around the Nile in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. According to Emanuele Fantini, project leader and Senior Researcher at IHE Delft, the aim is to bring journalists and researchers together from different riparian countries engaging in conversations. “There is a growing awareness of the importance of communication around the world, and there’s a need for training on science communication in the Nile region,” he says. The nature of science involves a breadth of disciplines engaged in debate which can produce different potential solutions. This, he explains, makes it difficult to convey the complexity of the message. And for their part, journalists often feel they don’t know how to get enough data or that they don’t understand it. When you want to convey a scientific message, Fantini emphasised you should not forget the way people think about issues is shaped by the broader political context. But it’s not just politics shaping the way people think. There are other factors playing an important role like religion, history, movies and music. “What we are trying to do is to unpack this idea about the debate on sharing and distribution of water within the countries,” says Fantini. “By looking at these kinds of issues, we reflect on what could be a constructive way of reporting.” Water scarcity is likely to be a challenge for the Middle East as long as the planet exists. Simply put, new sources of water must be created, while current water resources must be maximised. And though there is no one perfect solution, trying to understand the broader context of water issues and cooperating on solutions can be a way forward. Water scarcity in the Middle East is a key theme of the DUPC programme and is jointly coordinated by Naser Almanaseer from Al-Balqa' Applied University in Jordan and IHE Delft staff. A complete overview of projects addressing water scarcity in the Middle East can be found here.
Reservoir with treated wastewater for use in agriculture (Al-Mafraq, northern Jordan)
New pumping station to feed agricultural distribution network for reuse of treated wastewater (Al Mafraq, northern Jordan)
The impact of human migration Adding to the water scarcity challenge in the Middle East is the increasing number of people migrating within the region in recent years, in large part due to war, food and water shortages, and climate change. Regardless of the causes, the movement of people on such a massive scale increases the stress on the region’s already water-scarce host countries. An example of this is Jordan, one of the most water-poor countries in the world. Hosting one of the largest formal settlements, the Zaatari refugee camp, puts additional strain on the country’s already limited resources. The UNHCR reports that the camp currently accommodates nearly 80,000 ‘persons of concern’. In 2016, to meet their needs, three internal water wells were established along with a wastewater treatment plant. Though necessary from an aid perspective, it is unclear what long-term impact these sorts of responses will have on local groundwater supplies. And Zaatari is just one example. According to the UNHCR, there are currently over five million registered refugees from Syria across the Middle East. But in reality, there are higher numbers of refugees who are not statistically accounted for living outside of established camps. That puts an even greater burden on existing water infrastructure and resources across the region. And although it’s debatable whether water has directly led to large-scale civil conflicts like Syria, it clearly plays a role in the destabilisation of the entire region.
Arguably one of the least water-secure regions in the world, the Middle East faces exceptional water-related challenges for the foreseeable future. Although there is no single cause for or solution to the crisis, taking a deeper look at the issues and working together must be part of the way forward.
Governance and transboundary issues Water scarcity in the Middle East region is not simply a matter of physical water shortage. It can also be linked to, among other things, a lack of good governance structures and poor resource management. Water shortages, allocation and improper management in many cases have led to communal discrimination, discontent against the government, and violent clashes. Good governance of the resources can increase water use efficiency and is necessary in order to manage the effective and equitable allocation between existing uses and the growing needs of urban and industrial sectors. Another challenge is the issue of transboundary waters. One country where this continues to be a critical issue is Egypt, as it relies almost entirely on the Nile for its water supply. The Nile basin is considered to be one of the hotspots in terms of transboundary tension between riparians, according to Zaki Shubber, IHE Delft Lecturer in Law and Water Diplomacy. For a long time, there has been concern over upstream development out of the fear of decreased water flow and quality. When looking at current hotspots, Shubber also points out that these issues don’t just exist between states. “If you look at the definition of diplomacy, it’s for pretty much any interaction between individuals or parties or entities,” she says. “In water diplomacy you can look at the transboundary level and at the local level; and if you look at conflicts around water you realise very quickly that there are more conflicts at a local level than at the international level. And the intensity of conflicts is higher at the local level because people are more engaged and more willing to defend the water that they need.”
Taking on the water crisis in the Middle East
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PHOTO: Syrian children standing outside their tent at the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan
Understanding the regional challenges Rapidly rising populations and economic development are leading to a greater demand for water, placing the planet’s resources under increasing stress. This scarce resource is also unevenly distributed around the world, with the Middle East region being one of the most water-challenged. In fact, a 2015 report by the World Resources Institute found that of the 33 likely most water-stressed countries in 2040, 14 are in the Middle East. Water scarcity occurs when demand for freshwater exceeds supply. It can be characterised by several dimensions: the physical availability of water, the quality of water, the level of infrastructure development that controls storage, distribution and access, and the institutional capacity to provide water services. In the Middle East there are many factors contributing to water scarcity. Firstly, the region experiences arid conditions, low rainfall and high levels of evaporation, leading to limited naturally available water resources. But it’s not just a lack of resources. The region is also confronted with challenges including socio-political factors, transboundary issues, pollution, poor water management and misuse.
First 'International Course in Hydraulic Engineering' in 1957
The Netherlands became renowned for its expertise in the field of hydraulic engineering solutions, after the devastating North Sea flood of 1953. At this time an ambitious flood defence system - the Delta Works - was conceived and deployed. In 1955 this led to several developing countries inquiring about the possibility of having their engineers trained in hydraulic engineering in The Netherlands, leading to the first 'International Course in Hydraulic Engineering', and in 1957, the Institute (now known as IHE Delft) was established. In that year, forty-five participants from twenty-one different countries followed the course, which had three branches: 'Tidal and coastal engineering', 'Reclamation' and 'Rivers and navigation works'.
200 MSc students per year
What makes the Institute unique, is that its students come from all corners of the world and leave as ambassadors, not only for the Institute, but also for the Netherlands. 49 professionals attended the first course and now we have around 200 water professionals who follow a Master of Science programme in their field of interest. The Institute has also graduated more than 206 PhD candidates in collaboration with leading universities. While the Institute has evolved and changed, its core business remains educating people in the field of water. Over the course of 60 years the Institute has become a fully accredited educational institute offering Masters and PhD programmes, short courses, tailor-made training programmes, online courses and lifelong learning.
PHOTO: Fact 2030: Opening session of Climate Action Summit 2016, by United Nations Photo 
15.000 Alumni
2000 Research and Capacity development Projects
Since 1957, the Institute has provided graduate education to more than 15,000 water professionals from over 160 countries, the vast majority from the developing world. IHE Delft is proud to have so many alumni around the world, forming one of the largest global water networks. Alumni are not just former students or researchers, they are ambassadors for the Institute and many students choose the Institute for their water education, because of a recommendation from alumni, who often retain fond memories of their time in Delft. As some 87% of the graduates are still active in the water sector ten years after their graduation, many of them remain associated with the Institute or its activities in some way throughout their professional lives.
IHE Delft is actively engaged in both long- and short-term international cooperation projects, aimed at implementing the water policies of international agencies, bilateral donors and national governments. It has executed numerous research and capacity development projects throughout the world. Our involvement in regional and local networks add value to many of the Institute’s activities and are essential in linking global knowledge to local sector agendas, and for improving North–South and South–South collaboration. Working in partnership on education and training, research and capacity development is a key approach of IHE Delft.
PHOTO: Kabir and Saif, are civil engineers working for the Bangladesh Water Development Board on a coastal embankment improvement project. Here they are seen gathered with other team members, responsible for designing a new pump house.
PHOTO: Winter on the Oude Delft canal, 1987.
PHOTO: Graduation Day 2015-2017, 25 April 2017
60 Years IHE Delft: A historic overview
PHOTO: Capacity development project: Workshop and field trip Solutions on Climate Change Adaption of the Water Supply in Ho Chi Minh City
The first Int. Course in Hydraulic Engineering
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education continues the work that was started in 1957 when a postgraduate diploma course in hydraulic engineering was first offered to practising professionals from developing countries. Today, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, IHE Delft has developed into one of the largest graduate water education facilities in the world, offering a wide range of water related subjects.
MSc students per year
Research and Capacity development Projects (counted since the 90s)
PHOTO: Lecture room Oude Delft 91, 1987
Answer: “I am confident we will generate many trained professionals in the NSS and FSM sector within a couple of years. We have seen that there is political will and interest from the countries and cities, but there are few professionals available to guide them in how to design non-sewered sanitation plans and systems. Therefore, we are building on the capacity right now, internalizing capacity at the country level so that more managers and professionals will be produced to serve their country, taking on a new approach towards managing sanitation. IHE Delft will launch the first Master’s programme on non-sewered sanitation in 2018. I’m very much looking forward to that and its adoption by other countries soon after.”
“We need many more sanitation professionals as soon as possible, because we have only 13 years to meet the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation for all. Without qualified professionals, we can’t achieve this”
Roshan Shrestha has been working in the WSH team for almost 5 years, leading sanitation related programmes all over the world. With the first grant from the Gates Foundation, IHE Delft generated 5 Post Docs, 20 PhD fellows, 60 MSc students and has trained more than 500 professionals. Again with support from the Foundation, IHE Delft will launch the first Master’s programme in the world on non-sewered sanitation in 2018.
Question 2: You have received a number of national and international awards throughout your career. What does this recognition mean to you? Has it changed the way you work?
Question 4: What can be improved in your opinion?
Question 6: Can you share something about the programme IHE Delft and the Gates Foundation are currently involved in?
Answer: “Yes certainly, the recognition made me more responsible and encouraged me to contribute more to society. The award from the World Bank was related to household level arsenic treatment in Nepal. We brought in new arsenic removal technology, production, and marketing through local entrepreneurs. It was a big milestone for the country to have arsenic removal filters. The award from Kathmandu Metropolitan city was environment related. I demonstrated the Eco-home concept in Kathmandu city, which entailed rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and reuse of human excreta (urine and faeces) as organic fertilizer. After that, in many subsequent projects I worked together with partners to upscale such concepts in urban houses.”
Answer: “In the MDG era with regard to sanitation, our main goal was to build toilets and provide basic sanitation facilities. Now SDG 6 is talking about sustainable sanitation: that means not only building toilets, but also addresses treatment and reuse of waste generated from the toilet (sustainable faecal sludge management). We need to educate countries’ leadership about the meaning of sustainable sanitation and its value. Once they understand, upscaling is not an issue. I’m sure when they understand it, it will move very fast. The Government of India for example has been doing a great job in the sanitation sector in the last couple of years. It is possible only because of strong commitment from Prime Minister Modi.”
Answer: “We have recently started a new partnership with IHE Delft to generate professionals in the non-sewered sanitation sector (NSS). Since a dedicated Master’s programme on non-sewered sanitation and faecal sludge management doesn’t exist yet, together with Prof. Damir Brdanovic and his team, we have developed a new one year MSc course on non-sewered sanitation. IHE Delft designed the programme, together with eight university partners from Sub-Saharan Africa and South & South East Asia and several international institutions. I believe this initiative is going to be a unique opportunity to generate local professionals in NSS. Once the course is running at IHE Delft, it will be adopted by other universities in developing countries. Many of them are showing interest already.”
PHOTO: Roshan Shrestha, Senior Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Question 1: You have been working in the WSH team for almost 5 years, leading several programmes. What’s the most interesting thing you have witnessed?
Question 3: How is the international developing community doing in terms of reaching SDG goal 6? Are we on the right track?
Answer: “Yes, I think it’s going in the right direction, as all development partners are talking about quality, instead of quantity. However, we also need strong commitment at the political level. The leadership of the country needs to tackle this. So it’s a joint role of the development partners and national governments. Most of the countries in the developing world are committed and willing to achieve the SDGs. International development partners should bring in innovations and knowledge that help countries to achieve SDGs.”
Question 5: The Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the Institute. Can you describe what impact this collaboration has on the water and sanitation sector?
Answer: “Yes we have been working together for more than 7 years already. This partnership brought us new insights with regard to capacity building. The way IHE Delft is generating human resources is very useful for developing countries. IHE alumni are very motivated after achieving their Master’s or PhD. Many of them are engaged in strategic positions and also continue their research work in the water and sanitation sector. With our first grant, IHE Delft generated 5 Post Docs, 20 PhD fellows, 60 MSc students and we trained more than 500 professionals. Some of them have also invented new sanitation technologies. A PhD researcher from AIT, Thailand came up with a solar septic tank for treating sludge, and there are many more innovations.”
Roshan Shrestha
Question 7: How do you see our cooperation develop in the future?
Answer: “The most interesting development is the big momentum that’s building up related to non-sewered sanitation programmes within the last five years. The faecal sludge management component has been ignored in the past, now it is on the national agenda of the sanitation sector. In India for example, a lot of policy shifts are taking place, as well as in Bangladesh and Nepal. All these countries now have national policies related to faecal sludge management. Similarly, development banks like the Asian Development Bank and World Bank have increased their investment in non-sewered sanitation. I’m proud that our grantees have made a significant contribution to make this happen and I am also proud to be part of this process.”
In addition to being Director of Eawag, Janet is a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at IHE Delft in April 2017.
Cooperate to promote knowledge exchange
“In science, the answer to a research question is often not a solution, but rather a new question.”
Janet G. Hering PhD
“As members of the water research community, we need to leverage and make accessible all the information that is now fragmented. Nowadays, web-based knowledge services are much less resource intensive. Cooperation is needed to make scientific knowledge findable, understandable, reliable and applicable so that it can be used for the benefit of society worldwide. Eawag and IHE Delft cooperate in promoting knowledge exchange and are both partners in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, SuSanA. Cooperation with partners outside the research and education community is also needed for implementation, especially beyond the pilot scale.”
“In science, the answer to a research question is often not a solution, but rather a new question. "I think that our research at Eawag needs to be more solution-orientated. We do have a lot of solution-oriented research already, partly because we have engineers who tend to think about solutions. The natural and social scientists however have the tendency ask more questions rather than formulating answers. The answers should be addressed through action and this needs partnership. At Eawag, we can do a pilot scale or demonstration study, but we partner for implementation and should involve partners earlier. I see my job as the chief cheerleader for Eawag, setting directions and highlighting goals, to give people inspiration.”
PHOTO: Janet Hering. Director of Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Director of Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Implement cross sector working
“At Eawag we should think more broadly. For example, when you are designing a research project and want to solve a problem, you have to take a step back to think about the implications. Scoping of a potential research question needs to be broad enough to identify constraints within potential solutions, including limited sustainability or consequences for other sectors. Eawag funds some of our own research so then we can ask questions explicitly and find links to others sectors. Cooperation across sectors can lead to alternative solutions that cannot only be implemented within the water sector. Engagement across sectors and a willingness to learn from and cooperate with others is essential.”
Inspire researchers to think in a more solution-orientated way
02 Current status of algae based  waste treatment
As more and more middle-income groups gain access to drinking water supply, the volume of wastewater generated in the world will increase dramatically. However, most of that wastewater is disposed without proper treatment and thus pollutes the environment. The need for innovative wastewater solutions is increasing.
03 Driving your car on algae
A circular economy with algae based wastewater treatment
01 The algae based photo-activated  sludge process
High rate algae ponds are interesting for removal and recovery of nitrogen and phosphorous, because they use fast growing micro-organisms that also fix CO2. These are already used at full scale for wastewater treatment in sunny countries, simultaneously producing fertilizers, biodiesel and biogas. Other products that can be produced with algae are pharmaceuticals, like antibiotics and anti-cancer products, oils, pigments, bioplastics. These add value to the treatment system, thereby reducing both the costs of wastewater treatment and the impact on the environment. Algammox is an acronym derived from Algae+Anammox, (Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation) which was discovered in Delft in the 1990s (see figure). The concept has been proven to work and now needs testing for robustness in changing, real-life conditions.
The algae based photo-activated sludge process
PHOTO: High rate algae pond for wastewater treatment and production of algae biomass (source: Aquanos, Israel)
Combining algae and bacteria, as in the Algammox technology, is in the development phase, but systems based on algae-only cultures are already at full scale, producing biogas and other biofuels. For example, the EU-funded ‘AllGas’ project: algae biomass is grown on wastewater and subsequently used to produce biogas, which powers cars. A wastewater treatment system for 10,000 people, the size of one soccer field, could treat wastewater cheaper than other systems and produces enough biogas to drive 360,000 km yearly! This type of project could motivate decision makers in developing countries to choose innovative wastewater solutions that are economical and contribute to a circular economy. IHE Delft is setting up the cooperation to make this happen.
Current status of algae based waste treatment
PHOTO: Schematic of a multi-layered biological granule with algae and bacteria for efficient nitrogen removal
Driving your car on algae
Options when building a wastewater treatment plant are usually between high-tech systems that can consume large amounts of energy and natural systems that require large land areas. The algae based photo-activated sludge process that is being developed at IHE Delft, combines the positive features of these different systems, achieving good effluent quality using simple technology. Creating the conditions for the selection of desired algae and bacterial groups is the focus of our work. Algae produce oxygen based on photosynthesis, which is subsequently used by bacteria to carry out the necessary conversions. This approach makes energy-demanding mechanical aerators obsolete.The proof of concept has been established at laboratory scale. Upscaling to pilot-scale is the next step.
PHOTO: Car powered by biogas produced from wastewater-grown algae (source: Aqualia, Spain)
PHOTO: Open day at IHE Delft
World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22 March and is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. In 2017, the World Water Day campaign was ‘Why wastewater?’ IHE Delft took part by holding a flash mob organized by students in Delft's main market square.
PHOTO: Students and staff shared their thoughts about the importance of women in water.
PHOTO: Let's Talk about Water
Closing ceremony academic period2015-2017
Int. Womens Day
Let's Talk about Water
8 March was International #WomensDay. Students and staff shared their thoughts about the importance of women in water.
From 14 to 18 February Let´s Talk About Water film festival was held in Delft for the fifth year, with the theme Water and Power. The aim of the festival is to create a dialogue between scientists, students and the general public by bringing scientists and non-scientists together through film
102 IHE Delft water professionals from 43 different countries received their MSc diploma during the closing ceremony of the academic period 2015-2017 on 25 April 2017. The graduates have now joined over 15,000 IHE Delft alumni working and living in more than 160 countries. During 2017 many more students will graduate from our joint and double degree programmes.
PHOTO: Graduation Day 2017: 102 water professionals receive their MSc diploma
Social evening Asian night
A vibrant and colourful display of music, song and dance, this year’s Asian night was a fantastic way to get to know more about the Asian cultures. The variety of performances highlighted the rich range and diversity of backgrounds of our students.
PHOTO: International Sports Day 2017
PHOTO: Alumni in action photo exhibition
International Sports Day
Exhibition Alumni in Action
On 1 April, the International Sports Day was hosted by IHE Delft in The Hague. The Institute entered teams in all the sports. MSc student Oclaya Verwey commented: ‘’It was amazing to see how sporting activities brought together people from around the world, who celebrated and had fun together. Fellow students supported in reaching our common goal "bring the Cup back to IHE". They certainly achieved that - IHE Delft won the 2017 trophy!
PHOTO: A vibrant and colourful display of Asian music, song and dance
For our 60th anniversary, Gil Garcetti, photographer and cultural ambassador of IHE Delft, was given the commission to make a photo documentary of some of our alumni at work. Gil visited Kenya, Bangladesh and Colombia and met with alumni undertaking a wide a variety of roles and captured, in photography, the impact of their work on their community and their country.
PHOTO: Hydrology 50 years
Open Day in Delft
PHOTO: Snow in Delft
Hydrology 50 years
Snow in Delft
Many people know of IHE Delft, but not what we actually do. On 10 June we opened invited local residents to come in and find out. The Mayor of Delft opened the event, which included experiments, laboratory visits, games for children and adults, and more. The Meet the Dutch team (‘Friends’ and their students) and Water Youth Network were present. Photos from the last 60 years were displayed, along with the 'Alumni in Action' photo exhibition.
PHOTO: Flash mob performed by students in Delft's main market square.
On 21 December 2016, IHE Delft celebrated the 50th anniversary of its hydrology education and research programmes. To commemorate this, students, alumni, staff, and partners gathered to reflect on the history of the programme, learn about its present status, and discuss the future.
Do you remember your first time in the snow, walking on frozen canals? In January it was snowing in Delft. This is Delft in the winter.
World Water Day: Flash mob
Opening Academic Year 2017 - 2019 & Alumni Award
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PHOTO: Opening Academic Year 2016 - 2018
Interviews​Roshan Shrestha, Senior Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationJanet Hering, Director of Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Alumni stories Sarwat Jahan Rumi Saiful Alam Jully Seema Senteu Diego Restrepo Zambrano EndFragment(Interactive) Design & Production Casu Media InfographicEls Engel, visual journalistPrintplaatjes ​ ​​Photography Hans de Lijser Shutterstock Photo archive IHE DELFT (unless otherwise credited) ​ Published byIHE DELFT Institute for Water Education ​Delft, The Netherlands ​​www.un-ihe.org ​
All new MSc students will be welcomed by Rector Prof. Eddy Moors and the Student Association Board (SAB) during the opening of the Academic Year event. The programme also includes the Alumni Award ceremony.
20 JULY 2017
Wicked Debate
19 OCTOBER 2017
The Wicked Debate with the theme “A Tale of two Disciplines” is a dialogue on two different schools of thought: socio hydrology and hydro social research.
9 - 13 JUL 2017
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The event aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Bringing together leading experts to share knowledge and insight into the challenges and opportunities surrounding sewage sludge.
IAHR World Congress Malaysia
13 - 18 AUG 2017
The Congress theme is "Managing Water for Sustainable Development ‐ Learning from the Past for the Future"
IHE Delft offers 10 summer courses for students and professionals. Topics include water diplomacy, gender, and serious gaming.
Summer courses
31 JUL - 4 AUG 2017
World Water Week
27 AUG - 01 SEP 2017
The World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. This year’s theme is “water and waste – reduce and reuse”. IHE Delft is present with a booth.
Porto Water Innovation Week
27 - 28 SEP 2017
The EIP Water Conference with the Theme “Water innovation: Bridging gaps, Creating opportunities”. This conference discusses innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges.
Refresher courses for alumni on “Water Resources Management and Climate Change” “Towards Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture for Food Security”. Deadline for application closes soon!
AUG - SEP - OCT 2017
Alumni Refresher Courses
2 - 3 OCT 2017
The annual PhD Symposium includes keynote speakers involved in international water-related projects, research presentations given by PhD fellows, skills workshops, and social activities.
PhD Symposium
30 OCT - 3 NOV 2017
Amsterdam water week
The Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) is the platform for new alliances and fresh ideas: connecting industry, science, business, policy and technology.
36th IAHR World Congress
UNESCO-IHE and the Ministry Infrastructure  and Environment signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in April, marking a new step in their collaboration.
UNESCO-IHE staff and students celebrated the adoption of water-related Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations in September.
Professor Arthur Mynett, Head of Water Science and Engineering Department was the Local Organising Committee Chairman. Volunteers from UNESCO-IHE, headed by PhD fellow Veronica Minaya and the current president of YoungProfessional Network (YPN), dedicated themselves to ensure the smooth running of the congress. In addition to qualitypresentations and sessions, ample opportunities were provided to young professionals during the congress in the form of asoft-skills workshop, speed networking with industry partners, YPN corner and a technical tour with a dinner for socializing.For more information, visit the IAHR congress website.
UNESCO-IHE at World Water Forum and Week
Blue Day Celebrating a Global Goal on Water
The MOU provides a contribution for the coming four years in many areas, from delta technology to maritime technology, with a focus on putting knowledge and know-how on the market so it can be used to tackle global and local water problems.The activities UNESCO-IHE undertakes in the area of training, capacity building, research and knowledge sharing arefundamental. Minister Schultz: ‘I believe it is crucial that young people are fascinated by water and want to find solutions forwater issues in their country’. For more information, visit our website.
UNESCO-IHE was actively involved in the organization of the 36th  IAHR World Congress that was held in June in The Hague.
UNESCO-IHE was present with a visiting delegation at two important global water events:
Alumna Ms Iris Frida Josch from Argentina is the winner of the UNESCO-IHE Alumni Award 2015
The triennial World Water Forum, held this year in Daegu and Gyeongju, South Korea and the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, presented the participants with an array of presentations and discussions on themes related to water anddevelopment. Highlights included active involvement in workshops and sessions by staff and students and the UNESCO-IHEalumni gathering which was held at both events.
A new batch of MSc students have started their study journey  at UNESCO-IHE in October. Good luck to all of you!
Ms Josch received the award on 15 October during the Opening of the Academic Year and Alumni Day ceremony. Though close to her well-deserved retirement, she has chosen to continue her work serving as leader of a team of engineers, architects,technicians and administrative staff, with the aim of developing more projects to improve water management in her country.The Alumni Award is given annually to an alumnus/alumna who has proven to be a role model for other water professionals, by showing an outstanding contribution to water management practices. For more information, visit our website.
The students' arrival on 11 October started with a full week of introductory lectures and practical information sessions, as well as a cultural city tour through Delft. According to tradition, the opening ceremony of the new academic year was concluded by a reception where the new students could taste traditional Dutch food such as herring, bitterballen and stroopwafels. We willfollow 10 of them more closely by asking them to share their experiences at the beginning, half-way through and at the end ofthe MSc programme. Their stories will be shared on our website. Learn more about our educational programmes on our website.
Educational News
Cooperation Agreement: Ministry of Infrastructure
All staff and students wore blue clothes and were photographed in front of our building in Delft. Much of the Institute's work contributes to Goal 6 and related environmental goals, notably by educating water professionals, undertaking research anddeveloping innovative solutions to sanitation, environment and food security challenges. Up to the adoption date at the end ofSeptember, we published three background articles on our work related to the SDGs. Read the ‘UNESCO-IHE in action’ serieson our website.
Alumni Award Winner 2015
In May 2017, IHE Delft joined #ClimateisWater, an international initiative to elevate the visibility of water within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) discussions. As a multidisciplinary, specialised water institute, IHE Delft is well placed to contribute to this initiative and welcomes the opportunity to join other prominent members of the international water community in working towards achieving SDG6, SDG13, and other water and climate related goals. Read more here
PHOTO: Students studying at IHE Delft
The Graduate Professional Diploma Programme (GPDP) was launched in 2013 to offer better access to the Institute's specialist knowledge and increased flexibility to water professionals who wish to specialize further, or re-direct their current career. Participants in the fields of Sanitary Engineering and Sanitation can follow a mix of the two or concentrate on one specific stream. Four more GPDPs have been developed to cover additional fields in the water sector and will start running end 2017. Find out more here
Introducing new Rector Professor Eddy Moors
Professor Eddy Moors will become the new Rector of IHE Delft. Eddy Moors was head of the research team ‘Climate change and adaptive land & water management’ at Alterra (Wageningen Environmental Research group). He is also Professor of Water and Climate at the VU University Amsterdam. “Water has always been my passion, and still is. I worked in water in different places in the world, studied land and water use in Wageningen and specialized in meteorology and hydrology.” Read more
PHOTO: Excursion 1981
On 24 April 2017, the Institute celebrated its 60th anniversary by hosting a conference. It was attended by staff, students, alumni, partners and livestreamed for partners and alumni around the world. Together, we explored how to further adapt to the changing geopolitical, economic and cultural global landscape, to meet challenging water related issues in a development context. This resulted in a lively discussion about the future role of IHE Delft in this ever changing landscape. Read more
IHE Delft joins #ClimateisWater Initiative
Design workshop for a 12 month MSc programme
Global centre of excellence on climate adaptation set up in the Netherlands
PHOTO: Professor Eddy Moors at our 60th anniversary conference
IHE Delft received a grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop education and training in non-sewered sanitation. This includes a one year MSc programme, short and regional MSc courses. The MSc programme will start in Delft in April 2018. Thesis work will be done in a developing country. Parts of the programme will be delivered by at least 7 partner universities from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Scholarships for top talent are available for the Delft Programme.​​ Read more
PHOTO: Aerial view of Recirculation Solid contact Clarifier Sedimentation Tank
PHOTO: Melting Sea ice
PHOTO: Logo #ClimateisWater
In February 2017, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment signed a Statement of Intent, with global partners of the new project 'Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation in The Netherlands'. IHE Delft is one of the parties involved in the establishment of the Centre, which aims to address the growing need for support among countries, institutions and businesses to address climate change adaptation issues, including natural disasters and economic disruptions. Read more
GPDP programmes are expanding
60th anniversary conference and other 60th events
FEATURE | Water Accounting+ Democratic Data for Empowered People
06 Q&A
INTERVIEW | With experience in both the public and private sectors, I don't just design bridges, I am also the bridge itself
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ALUMNI IN ACTION | Implementing the National Water Plan in Argentina
FEATURE | City-to-City Learning: Spreading The Word
INTERVIEW | The water sectors of Iran and the Netherlands have a historical relationship
ALUMNI IN ACTION | Solving the waste menace in Kenya: a tale of two graduates
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Janet Hering
Issue nr.4 | JUNE 2017
Photo Collage
60 Years: Historic overview
A circular economy with algae based wastewater treatment
Interview with Roshan Shresta
Upcoming Events
6 News Highlights
Previous Issues
FEATURE | Water Security - A Matter of Teamwork
Strengthening Cuban food production through intensive aquaculture
INTERVIEW | The beauty of Myanmar is that people are open-minded and eager to learn
ALUMNI IN ACTION | Nepal Earthquake Aftermath: effectiveness of emergency WASH response activities
A glimpse into the working lives of three alumni
This project was financed by the European Union: Project EuropeAid 242-588.
Before​ In the early 1990's a severe decrease in international trade caused a drastic loss of foreign purchase capacity for Cubans (from US $8100 million to US $1700 million by 1993). Since then, dependence on imported food has hardly changed, since Cuba imports around 70% of food consumed. The use and operation of novel and closed recirculation systems for intensive aquaculture, offers an opportunity to increase and diversify food production without jeopardizing the Cuban ecosystem and environment. The country was in desperate need of training and support in the construction and operation of intensive RAS technologies, and in the preparation of fish feed using recovered resources from the food processing industry. Amongst others, there was a lack of knowledge on how to: (i) build and operate RASs; (ii) reduce water consumption on aquaculture activities; (iii) select the best type of fish for intensive aquaculture; and (iv) produce a local/Cuban fish feed diet to increase the fish productivity without affecting the performance of the RAS technology.
PHOTO: Construction of the fish hatchery at the fish development technology center (EDTA) facilities in Havana, Cuba
High dependence on importing food and agricultural products caused major shortages in Cuba’s food production, which the Proyecto Real project aimed to address. One initiative introduced technology to intensify fish production - recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS), explains Hector Garcia.
Fish farm recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) design (HESY Aquaculture BV, The Netherlands)
After​Together with the Cuban partners, IHE Delft set up a project in 2012 to help to strengthen the Cuban food production sector. The specific goals of the ‘Proyecto Real’ project included: (i) optimization and recovery of resources from the food production chain; (ii) provision of food diversification through intensive urban aquaculture with resources recovered in the food production chain; (iii) wastewater reuse; and (iv) transferring knowledge into undergraduate and graduate lecturing material to favour long-term sustainability of the actions. Specifically regarding the aquaculture activities, two intensive aquaculture farms (RAS) were constructed: a hatchery and an on-grown system for the production of 100,000 fingerlings/year and 20 tons/year of African Cat Fish, respectively. In addition, a local fish feed diet was developed and positively evaluated, obtaining an increase in the standard fish production indicators, as well as a substantial reduction in water consumption. The knowledge generated in the different research activities provided useful input for lecturing and training material, which have been already used both in short courses as well as in other education activities. 
Fish tanks of the RAS fish farm constructed at the EDTA facilities in Havana, Cuba
Specifically regarding the aquaculture activities, two intensive aquaculture farms (RAS) were constructed: a hatchery and an on-grown system for the production of 100,000 fingerlings/year and 20 tons/year of African Cat Fish, respectively. In addition, a local fish feed diet was developed and positively evaluated, obtaining an increase in the standard fish production indicators, as well as a substantial reduction in water consumption. The knowledge generated in the different research activities provided useful input for lecturing and training material, which have been already used both in short courses as well as in other education activities.
Strengthening Cuban food production through intensive aquaculture
Kenya - Ms Jully Seema Senteu “I am a chemical engineer with a passion for the environment. I have extensive experience in both fundamental research and applied sciences with a focus on waste remediation. My life’s mission is to leverage my technical knowledge and experiences to contribute to the sustainable advancement of the communities I work with. Conservation and preservation of aquatic systems are close to my heart. With rainwater harvesting currently accounting for less than 1% of the water supply in East Africa, it is crucial that we protect our ground and surface water reserves. We must ensure that waste generation, treatment and recycling are adequately handled to prevent pollution and protect ecosystem health and integrity for future generations. During my free time, I mentor Maasai girls through the Osiligi Lolmarei organization that I co-founded in 2010. The objective of this organization is to inspire girls from this minority and historically marginalized community in Africa to pursue academic excellence.”
We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the working lives of some of our alumni, who are building on their IHE Delft educational experience to improve people´s lives in relation to water.
Diego indicating the potential height of the flood water.
Colombia - Mr Diego Restrepo Zambrano “I have built on my civil engineering background, by adding the new skills gained at IHE Delft in hydroinformatics modelling, along with an understanding of the socio-economic issues related to flooding and water management. This rounded, integrated approach enables me to lead, organize and develop water related projects, such as the ones my company is working on, and other projects I’m working as a consultant, taking all the elements into account, not just the engineering aspects. It’s great to see the tangible results: employment for many Colombians, protection of our environment, the people and a contribution to the local economy.”
Saiful and Rumi standing on a bridge about six metres above the flood plain area seen in the background. Both work on planning and modelling of water resources in Bangladesh.
Once the water has been purified, it is piped to this area for final cleaning and reuse.
About the photographer Gil Garcetti loved photography from the moment he was given a camera for his 13th birthday. He became a professional photographer when he left his job as District Attorney of Los Angeles in 2000. He focused on art photography, and has published a number of books, including Water is Key: A Better Future for Africa (Balcony Press 2007).
Gil Garcetti, cultural ambassador
A glimpse into the working lives of three alumni
PHOTO: Diego points to the winding river, mostly hidden by the riparian trees, from which the seasonal flooding emanates in this flood plain. In the background are rose farms, which employ many Colombians and a small city, Suesca, that are all in the flood zone.
Download the full Alumni in Action booklet at this page.
In this, the 60th year of IHE Delft, we are reflecting particularly on what has been the impact of our activity in the world of water. The most obvious and tangible effect of our education activity are our alumni. The Institute now has at least 15,000 alumni in 160 countries, most of whom work in the water sector in the developing world: in government bodies, private companies, as entrepreneurs or in education institutions.We are proud of their achievements and in recognition of this, while we cannot display all their successful endeavours, we have selected a few from three continents: Africa, Asia and the Americas. Gil Garcetti, our cultural ambassador, visited Kenya, Bangladesh and Colombia, to meet several alumni and capture in photography the impact of the work on their community and their country. Bangladesh - Ms Sarwat Jahan Rumi and Mr Saiful Alam Rumi: “Being a water professional in Bangladesh, a water dependent country, I feel proud, content and satisfied when I found that the solutions provided through my work proved useful at grassroots level. My contribution does not only take my country ahead, it also gives people confidence in me. Such achievements are possible due to the combination of the advance of information technology in our water sector and the knowledge, skill and expertise that I obtained from IHE Delft, which has sowed the seed in me to move forward.” Saiful: “In my work as a planner, I am exposed to the potential threats of land use changes, as a result of continuing urbanization and industrialization and, I must say, it concerns me. It is on the one hand depleting the wetlands and increasing risks of flooding, while also endangering ecosystems, where poor people will be affected. Water resources planning now needs close integration with the changing land use pattern.”
“Combining my civil engineering background with water management skills enables me to lead, organize and develop water related projects in my country”