Jan Willem Foppen PhD, MSc

Associate Professor of Hydrology


Jan Willem Foppen (1965) received his M.Sc. degree in Hydrogeology from the VU University in Amsterdam in 1990. After his graduation, he started to work at Natuurmonumenten (nature conservation organization), and then as a consultant at the Institute of Applied Geosciences of TNO. In 1995-1996, he was stationed in Sana'a, Yemen, where he was part of a project team aimed to identify sources for the drinking water supply of Sana'a. 

In March 1998, JW joined IHE Delft and became full-time resident team leader of a capacity building project at Sana'a University in Yemen. Together with dedicated local staff, he established the Water and Environment Center, a place for Sana'a University staff to earn an additional income via consulting and training services. 

In January 2004, JW started his PhD research. Inspired by poor groundwater health conditions in Sana'a, he focused on the transport of the well-known fecal indicator organism Escherichia coli in saturated porous media, whereby the aim was to extend the colloid filtration theory. This work resulted in 10 publications in peer reviewed journals, and in June 2007, he obtained his PhD degree from the VU University, Amsterdam.

Besides the transport of bacteria in the subsurface, JWs research interests include: 

1) Water and sanitation in slums. JW is Principal Investigator of the British funded research project called "Experimenting with practical Transition Groundwater management strategies for the Urban Poor in Sub-Saharan Africa" (acronym T-GroUP). T-GroUP aims to identify and achieve social, technical and political changes, which are required to make the shift towards sustainable urban groundwater management in Sub-Saharan Africa with inclusion of urban poor. For more information, please click here

From 2008-2014, JW was team leader of the research project ‘Integrated approaches and strategies to address the Sanitation Crisis in Unsewered Slum Areas in African mega-cities’ (SCUSA). The overall objective of the project was to sanitize urban slums in mega-cities in an environmentally sustainable manner in order to reduce downstream eutrophication. The project focused on Bwaise III, a slum located in the Lubigi catchment in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. For more details, please click here to view the SCUSA project website.

2) DNA as a marker to study hydrologic processes. In search of new tracer substances to identify hydrologic processes, JW and his team used synthetic DNA in surface water injection experiments. Synthetic DNA is a small piece of 'organic matter', 100% natural, and completely harmless. Detection of these synthetic DNA molecules is carried out by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method widely used in molecular microbiology, biomedical research, forensic diagnostics, etc.


Visit JW's profile on Google Scholar or Researchgate.net

Peer reviewed (May 2015):

Chung, J.W., Breulmann, M., Clemens, A., Fuhner, C., Foppen, J.W., and P. N. L. Lens. Simultaneous removal of rotavirus and adenovirus from artificial ground water using hydrochar derived from swine faeces determined by (RT)-qPCR assays.  (subm.).

Chung, J.W., Edewi, O.C., Foppen, J.W., Gerner, G., Krebs, R., and P. N. L. Lens. Removal of Escherichia coli from saturated sand columns with intermittent operation supplemented with hydrochar derived from sewage sludge.  (subm.)

Chung, J.W. Foppen, J.W., Gerner, G., Krebs, R., and P. N. L. Lens. Removal of rotavirus and adenovirus from artificial ground water using hydrochar derived from sewage sludge. J Appl. Microbiol. (acc.)

Nyenje, P.M., Foppen, Uhlenbrook, S. and Lutterodt, G., 2015. Using hydro-chemical tracers to assess impacts of unsewered urban catchments on hydrochemistry and nutrients in groundwater. Hydrological processes., Vol. 28, Pp 5860-5878, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10070.

Chung, J.W., Foppen, J.W., Izquierdo, M., Lens, P.N.L., 2014. Removal of Escherichia coli from saturated sand columns supplemented with hydrochar produced from maize. Journal of Environmental Quality, 43 (6), pp. 2096-2103, DOI:10.2134/jeq2014.05.0199

Nyenje, P.M., Havik, J.C.N., Foppen, J.W., Muwanga, A. and Kulabako, R., 2014. Understanding the fate of sanitation-related nutrients in a shallow sandy aquifer below an urban slum area.Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Volume 164, Pp. 259-274, DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.06.011.

Minani, J.M.V., J. W. Foppen and P. N. L. Lens, 2014. Sorption of cadmium in columns of sand supported hydrothermally carbonized particles. Water Science & Technology,  Volume 69, Issue 12, 2014, Pp. 2504-2509, DOI: 10.2166/wst.2014.175

Nyenje, P.M., Meijer, L.M.G., Foppen, J.W., Kulabako, R., and S. Uhlenbrook, 2014. Transport and retention of phosphorus in surface water in an urban slum area. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1009–1025. DOI:10.5194/hess-18-1009-2014.

Katukiza, A.Y., Ronteltap M., van der Steen, J.W., Foppen, J.W.A., Lens, P.N.L., 2014. Quantification of microbial risks to human health caused by waterborne viruses and bacteria in an urban slum. J Appl. Microbiol. Vol. 116, Issue 2, pages 447–463, February 2014, DOI:10.1111/jam.12368.

Lutterodt, G. S., Foppen, J.W. and S. Uhlenbrook, 2014. Escherichia coli strains harvested from springs in Kampala, Uganda: cell characterization and transport in saturated porous media. Hydrol. Process. Vol. 28, Pages 1973–1988 (2014) (DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9733).

Foppen, J.W., Seopa, J., Bakobie, N., Bogaard, T., 2013. Development of a methodology for the application of synthetic DNA in stream tracer injection experiments. Water Resour. Res, 49 (9), pp. 5369-5380 (DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20438).

Katukiza, A.Y., Temanu H., Chung J.W., Foppen, J.W.A., Lens P.N.L., 2013. Genomic copy concentrations of selected waterborne viruses in a slum environment in Kampala, Uganda. J. Water Health (DOI:10.2166/wh.2013.184).

Nyenje, P.M., Foppen, J.W., Uhlenbrook, S., Kulabako, R and Muwanga, A., 2013. Nutrient pollution in shallow aquifers underlying pit latrines and domestic solid waste dumps in urban slums. J Environ Manage Vol. 122, 15 June 2013, Pages 15–24 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.02.040).

Chung, J.W., Foppen, J.W., and P.N.L. Lens, 2013. Low cost home-made two-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay for Rotavirus detection in environmental samples. Food Environ. Virol. (2013) 5:126-133 (DOI: 10.1007/s12560-013-9111-7).

Lutterodt, G., Foppen, J.W., and S. Uhlenbrook, 2012. Transport of Escherichia coli strains isolated from natural spring water. J. Contam. Hydrol. 140-141 (2012) 12–20 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2012.08.011).

Katukiza A.Y., Ronteltap, M., Niwagaba, C.N., Foppen, J.W.A., Kansiime, F., Lens, P.N.L., 2012. Sustainable Sanitation Technology Options for Urban Slums. Biotechnol. Adv. (DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.02.007).

Foppen, J.W., Orup, C., Adell R., Poulalion, V., and Uhlenbrook, S. (2011). Using multiple artificial DNA tracers in hydrology. Hydrol. Process. 25, 3101–3106 (2011) (DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8159).

Lutterodt, G., Foppen, J.W.A., Maksoud, A., and Uhlenbrook, S. (2011). Transport of Escherichia coli in 25 m quartz sand columns. J. Contam. Hydrol. 119 (2011) 80–88 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2010.09.010).

Nyenje, P.M., Foppen, J.W., Uhlenbrook, S., Kulabako, R., Muwanga, A. (2010). Eutrophication and nutrient release in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa - A review. Sci. Total Environ. 408 p. 447–455 (DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.020).

Foppen J.W.A., Lutterodt G., Roling W., and Uhlenbrook S., 2010. Towards understanding inter-strain attachment variations of Escherichia coli during transport in saturated quartz sand. Water Res. 44 (2010), p. 1202 – 1212 (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.08.034).

Foppen, J.W.A., Kansiime, F. (2009). SCUSA: integrated approaches and strategies to address the sanitation crisis in unsewered slum areas in African mega-cities. Rev. Environ. Sci. Biotechnol. 8 p. 305–311 (DOI: 10.1007/s11157-009-9174-y)

Lutterodt, G., Basnet, M., Foppen, J.W.A., and S. Uhlenbrook, 2009. The effect of surface characteristics on the transport of multiple Escherichia coli isolates in large scale columns of quartz sand. Water Res. 43 (2009), p. 595-604. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2008.11.001 (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2008.11.001).

Lutterodt, G., Basnet, M., Foppen, J.W.A., Uhlenbrook, S. (2009). Determining minimum sticking efficiencies of six environmental Escherichia coli isolates. J. Contam. Hydrol. 110 p. 110–117 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2009.09.005).

Orient Quilis, R., Hoogmoed, M., Ertsen, M., Foppen, J.W., Hut, R., and De Vries, A., 2009. Measuring and modeling hydrological processes of sand-storage dams on different spatial scales. Phys Chem Earth 34 (2009) 289–298 (DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2008.06.057).

Foppen, J.W.A., M. van Herwerden, M. Kebtie, A. Noman, J.F. Schijven, P.J. Stuyfzand, and S. Uhlenbrook, 2008. Transport of Escherichia coli and solutes during waste water infiltration in an urban alluvial aquifer. J. Contam. Hydrol. (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2007.07.005).

Foppen, J.W.A., M. van Herwerden, and J.F. Schijven, 2008. The effect of humic acid on the attachment of Escherichia coli in columns of goethite coated sand. Water Res. (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2007.06.064).

Foppen, J.W.A., M. van Herwerden, and J.F. Schijven, 2007. Transport of Escherichia coli in saturated porous media: dual mode deposition and intra-population heterogeneity. Water Res. (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2006.12.041).

Foppen, J.W.A., M. van Herwerden, and J.F. Schijven, 2007. Measuring and modeling straining of Escherichia coli in saturated porous media. J. Contam. Hydrol. (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2007.03.001).

Mul, M.L., Mutiibwa, R.K., Foppen, J.W.A., Uhlenbrook, S., Savenije, H.H.G., 2007. Identification of groundwater flow systems using geological mapping and chemical spring analysis in South Pare Mountains, Tanzania. Phys Chem Earth (DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2007.07.004).

Foppen, J.W.A. and J.F. Schijven, 2006. Transport and survival of Escherichia coli and thermotolerant coliforms in aquifers under saturated conditions – a review. Water Res. Vol. 40, p. 401-426 (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2005.11.018).

Foppen, J.W.A., S. Okletey, and J.F. Schijven, 2006. Effect of goethite and humic acid on the transport of bacteriophage PRD1 in columns of saturated sand. J. Contam. Hydrol. Vol. 76, p. 287-301 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2006.02.004).

Foppen, J.W.A. and J.F. Schijven, 2005. Transport of Escherichia coli in columns of geochemically heterogeneous sediment. Water Res. 39, p. 3082-3088 (DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2005.05.023).

Foppen, J.W.A., A. Mporokoso and J.F. Schijven, 2005. Determining straining of Escherichia coli from breakthrough curves. J. Contam. Hydrol., Vol. 76, p. 191-210 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2004.08.005)

Foppen, J.W.A., M. Naaman, and J.F. Schijven, 2005. Managing urban water under stress in Sana’a, Yemen. Arab J Sci Eng, Vol 30, No. 2C, p. 69-83, 2005 (http://ajse.kfupm.edu.sa/articles/302C_06.pdf).

Foppen, J.W.A., 2002. Impact of high-strength wastewater infiltration on groundwater quality and drinking water supply: the case of Sana’a. Yemen. J. Hydrol. 263 (2002), 198-216 (DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00051-3).