An Integrated Project Funded by the European Commission under the Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems Thematic Priority Area.
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Contract Number: 018320
Project Cordinator: Dr. Theo van den Hoven KIWA Water Research
Project Duration: 1st January 2006 to 31st December 2010

Technology for safe drinking water in the Baltic Region

First Regional Technology Platform, Riga, Latvia - October 5, 2006
Hotel Jumala Spa

 

Photo: Hajdu Kálmán

The first "Regional Technology Platform" focussing on "Technology for safe drinking water in the Baltic Region" raised a broad interest among regional stakeholders.

 

About 70 water experts from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania gathered on October 5th, 2006 in Jurmala (Latvia) to discuss with TECHNEAU representatives about the drinking water situation in the Baltic Region and to get informed about the TECHNEAU research and its results so far. The event was hosted by the Riga Technical University, member of the TECHNEAU Consortium. Special focus was laid on highlighting the water situation in the Baltic States and identifying future challenges.

 

Water supply in the Baltic States heavily relies on groundwater resources, which often contain high concentrations of iron, manganese as well as in some cases sulphate and ammonia. Major treatment therefore aims at iron removal by using simple aeration and in special cases chlorination.

Several future challenges were identified during the RTP which have to be addressed also by TECHNEAU research:

  • Due to the decrease of water consumption and urgently required investments for treatment plants, water companies face en enormous financial burden. This resulted in the increase of water prices and also in the increase of percentage of unpaid water.
  • Within the water companies, there is a need for improved management practises and investment in staff training
  • Outdated distribution networks, long retention time due to the decrease of consumption and no stabilization before distribution results in deterioration of water quality in the distribution networks. Thus there is a strong need to improve further the distribution management (e.g. stabilization of water, online-monitoring) in the Baltic States
  • Although pollution loads in the water have decreased due to tightening of environmental laws, water quality only improves slowly. There must be further efforts to reduce the pollution especially in industrial effluents.

The workshop enabled new contacts and an intensive information flow between local stakeholders on the one hand as well as between the local stakeholders and the TECHNEAU project representatives on the other hand.
A network of interested stakeholders has been established and several follow-up meetings, coordinated by the local partner, the Riga Technical University (RTU), have been planned. This will assure that newly established contacts will be tightened and information exchange in the network will be intensified.
RTU will assure that TECHNEAU research results and new technologies will be distributed among regional stakeholders.