Last Tuesday, 70 people joined the second edition of Water on Tap at Café De Gist in Delft. Water on Tap brings greater awareness about water issues to the broader Delft community. Water experts from Delft and beyond are invited to talk about important local, national and international issues, as well as raise key questions for sustainably managing this essential resource for current and future generations.
Water and Climate Change
The second edition discussed the topic of Water and Climate Change. The keynote speakers were Joyeeta Gupta, co-chair of UN Environment’s Global Environmental Outlook-6 and Professor of environment and development in the global south at the University of Amsterdam and IHE Delft, Joyce Rombouts, team manager of the Waste Water Chain & Contract Management bij Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland and Micha Werner, Associate Professor in flood risk management and river basin development at IHE Delft.
Joyeeta Gupta started asking the audience, ‘who here are skepticals and who are believers’? After that she discussed the main arguments of the skepticals to end up concluding that climate change is about facts based on solid research. She highlighted the concepts of adaptation and mitigation, where she emphasised the importance for everyone to mitigate his/her own impact in this world. She said that "if we don't mitigate now, then we have to adapt for the next 2000 years".
In the second talk Joyce Rombouts explained how wastewater treatment works in Delftland. She highlighted that in last few years new technological improvements have permitted us to enhance the optimization, performance and energy efficiency of the plant. "Nowadays we are able to produce biogas and recover heat from the waste, the sludge is loaded odourless after organic odour treatment. The challenges now are to implement the wastewater reuse for irrigation and drinking water", she said.
Micha Werner discussed how different countries deal with diverse effects of climate change. He mentioned the Millennium Drought in Australia, which was a key trigger for Australia to reform its water allocation policy to avoid major agricultural production loss and economic impact on local livelihoods. Also, he talked about the current struggle of inhabitants in Cape Town, South Africa where water consumption per person had to be limited to only 50 litres per day. He referred to the irony of becoming a victim of geography, as climate change will affect the population at different levels depending on local conditions.