On November 8, the Water Research Laboratory welcomed Association of Latvian Water Supply and Sewerage Enterprises (LŪKA) Board meeting in its premises. The audience was welcomed by Juhna Talis, Director of the Laboratory, and performed with a presentation by leading researcher Rubulis Janis. The participants were informed and discussed about risk analysis in the context of Water Safety Plans. Also, the audience were introduced to the activities of the iWatermap project and Janis made a small express-survey by finding out that the problem of sewage sludge present appears to be the most important national scale, and this problem needs to be addressed through a multidisciplinary approach. As the next major challenges are mentioned drinking water accounting and billing issues related to building and apartment counters, as well as embalming of drinking water in centralized water supply systems.
The participants also learned about the activities of the NOAH project.
On 25-26 September, RTU team together with the Ogre municipality (ogresnovads.lv) and LEGMC (meteo.lv) experts attended the global event Climathon (climathon.climate-kic.org/en). It is a 24-hour event where teams from around the world address issues related to the development of eco-friendly offers to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Our team offered an idea that we plan to approve in the NOAH project and is related to the development of an IT platform for flood forecasting.
The NOAH project will start on January 1, 2019.
On October 11, Sandis Dejus, Researcher of the Water Research Laboratory, visited the Riga Center Humanitarian Secondary School, where he gave an insight into the drinking water world and responsible drinking water habits to 5th grade pupils, as well as by means of demonstrations, dispelled myths about the quality and use of water in Latvia in the “tap” safety. Pupils were also introduced to the correct and safe conditions for tap water use, for example, do not drink water directly from the tap, but use cups for thirst quenching.
On October 10, Sandis Dejus, a researcher of the Water Research Laboratory, in cooperation with the Latvian Water Supply and Sewerage Association and the initiative group # Ūvitamin, visited the Cēsis City Boarding School. The visit and the lesson “Water – Our Friend” were one of the benefits the school students had taken care of because they successfully participated in the video contest organized by the Latvian water supply and sewage company on the importance of water.
During the event, pupils in grades 5 and 6 were introduced to the role of water in human life and the circulation of water in nature, as well explained how to use drinking water smartly and responsibly. In the lecture, students also had the opportunity to experimentally test the water turbidity parameter and to demonstrate the compliance of the tap water with the requirements of the safety and quality of drinking water. The obtained results contributed to the idea of tap water use under the minimum conditions, for example, not to drink water directly from the tap, but to use a cups for thirst quenching.
On October 5, Jānis Rubulis, Leading Researcher of the Water Research Laboratory, participated in a seminar organized by the Health Inspectorate “Topical Issues of Drinking Water Monitoring and Control”, in which the different sections of the Inspection shared with the news.
During the seminar, Jānis Rubulis guide the inspection staff to a wider discussion on the interruption of centralized drinking water supply in Jelgava district in Platone this summer, as well as the restoration of drinking water after the break and the inactivity of the involved state institutions in resolving the issue. The participants in this incident seminar looked at the context of the Water Safety Plans.
Leading researcher Janis Rubulis delivered a presentation on water safety plans and risk analysis at the Health Inspectorate on October 21, when the audience was public health doctors from the Latvian Association of Prophylactic Medicine.
From 25th to 27th September WRL senior researcher Linda Mezule participated in LifeSciences Baltics 2018 event (https://lsb2018.com/) that is the only international forum in the Baltics for world-class biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices experts from all around the world. Linda presented a poster that describes all WRL competences in the field of fluorescent imaging and new microbial identification tools.
On 20th of September the results of the 3rd call for INTERREG Baltic Sea region (https://www.interreg-baltic.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/News/2018_all_news/2018.10_all/2018.10.01-projects_approved_3nd_call_overview.pdf) Projects were announced. One of the Projects to be funded will be NOAH lead by Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture from Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia (https://www.ttu.ee/institutes/department-of-civil-engineering-and-architecture/).
The project will tackle the challenge of reducing urban stormwater runoff and the spillages of untreated wastewater into the receiving waters caused by extreme weather such as heavy rains and floods. NOAH develops a new layer for extreme weather events to be used in computer based modelling of drainage. By combining this modelling with traditional city planning techniques municipal planning shifts from fragmented individual site based planning to a holistic approach covering the entire urban catchment.
In the NOAH project RTU will be represented by Water Research Laboratory and Spatial and Regional Development Research laboratory both from Faculty of Civil Engineering. RTU team will be complemented by Department of Modelling and Simulation in the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology.
Three municipal enterprises from Latvia will be involved in the NOAH Project: Jurmalas udens Ltd (http://www.jurmalasudens.lv/), Liepaja municipal authority “Komunālā pārvalde” (http://www.kpliepaja.lv/index.php/lv/) and Ogre municipality (http://www.ogresnovads.lv/).
NOAH Project will begin in 01.01.2019.
From 24th to 28th of September the staff members of Water Research Laboratory Jānis Rubulis, Dāvids Štēbelis, Tālis Juhna and Jānis Zviedris (representing as well company Inducont and CleanTech Latvia) visited Leeuwarden (Netherlands). In these days were official kick-off meeting of the iWatermap project (https://www.interregeurope.eu/iwatermap/).
The meeting was dedicated for exchange of information regarding the critical mass in the water sector in all partner countries/regions.
The meeting was attended by several Latvian stakeholders. From RTU Engineering High School (http://www.izv.lv/?lang=en) joined chemistry teacher Laura Fjodorova, from CleanTech Latvia (https://cleantechlatvia.com/en/home/) Evija Pudāne and Andrey Belogorsky (also representing company Karme Filtrs http://karme.com/en).
Within the framework of the iWatermap project, cooperation between the Latvian water industry stakeholders will be strengthened taking into account experience of the iWatermap consortium leader Wetsus (https://www.wetsus.nl/).
The iWatermap project has activated the collaboration of the Water Research Laboratory with CleanTechLatvia, which focuses on the development of research topics defined by the original equipment manufacturers. Also, better targeted cooperation with the RTU Engineering High School is expected for high school students to test their talent in research related to the water sector.
Within the framework of the project, the issue of lifelong learning in the water sector will be activated, which is critical for municipal companies in the context of the aging of employees, as shown by data collected by the State Employment Agency (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq4tLa1UCAM).
The iWatermap meeting was held at the same time as the European Water Tech Week (EWTW 2018), which brought together hundreds of stakeholders and during event sixth global water technology innovation hubs signed agreement of cooperation:
- Water Alliance (https://wateralliance.nl/en/) from the Netherlands
- Jiangsu cluster, located in the province, the second largest GDP investor in the Chinese economy,
- Mekorot (http://www.mekorot.co.il/eng/newsite/Pages/default.aspx) from Israel
- Yeungnam University (http://www.yu.ac.kr/en/main/index.php) from South Korea,
- PUB (https://www.pub.gov.sg/) Singapore National Water Agency
- Water Council (https://thewatercouncil.com/) from the United States.
From 20th till 21th of June the Water Research Laboratory researchers Janis Rubulis and Sandis Dejus visited SIA Madonas Ūdens.
The purpose of the visit was together with SIA Madonas Ūdens to carry out a study and analysis of the risks of the water supply system of the city of Madona. From the company participated chairman of the board Guntars Dambenieks, technical director Guntis Šahno and wastewater treatment plant, iron separation station manager Kaspars Bremsmith. In the end, a priority risk prevention program was drawn up.
Madona has been selected as a pilot site for testing the concept of water safety plans in Latvia. During the visit, we also got acquainted with the water extraction and treatment facilities, as well as SIA Madonas Ūdens demonstrated the city and the other 14 managed water supply network infrastructure and maintenance management software (CMMS) for scheduling daily work.