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World Congress emphasizes DTU’s position in water research

Friday 23 Oct 15


Peter Steen Mikkelsen
Professor, Head of Outreach
DTU Sustain
+45 45 25 16 05

About Water DTU

  • Water DTU was established in 2014.
  • Water DTU is an interdisciplinary centre whose aim is to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration within DTU’s water research.
  • In terms of education and research, Water DTU comprises 12 DTU departments—as well as DTU Diplom.

Read more about Water DTU.

Find out more

DTU is home to Denmark’s largest research and educational environment in the field of water technology. This has been a contributing factor in the decision to allow Denmark to host the World Water Congress & Exhibition in 2020.

When Denmark welcomes 5,000 international water experts to Copenhagen in 2020 in connection with the World Water Congress & Exhibition it will be due, in part, to DTU’s interdisciplinary research and educational environment in the field of water technology. The research department at DTU is Denmark’s largest water technology research environment and many DTU researchers will be participating in the International Water Association’s (IWA) academic activities. IWA recently chose Denmark to host the next world congress in 2020.

The centre Water DTU was established at DTU in 2014 to better exploit synergies within the University. Professor Peter Steen Mikkelsen, Director of Water DTU, has played an active role in securing Denmark’s nomination.

“What separated Denmark from the other countries seeking to host the event was the fact that the Danish research environments were also represented in the presentation proposal and will impact future planning of the event’s academic content,” says Peter Steen Mikkelsen.

Water for smart liveable cities
In cooperation with DANVA—Danish Water and Waste Water Association, the City of Copenhagen, the Capital Region of Denmark, Wonderful Copenhagen, and the Ministry of the Environment and Food of Denmark, Water DTU has coined the working title ‘Water for smart livable cities’ for the world congress.

Peter Steen Mikkelsen is looking forward to the next five years, and expects that all the parties—i.e. research environments, utility companies, industry, and public authorities—to work even more closely together to develop new solutions to water challenges, including cloudbursts, clean drinking water and wastewater management.

"I hope that the coming years’ intense focus on water will increase young people’s interest in water as well as in the study programmes DTU can provide."
Professor Peter Steen Mikkelsen, Water DTU

“In Denmark, we are already very good at collaborating. However, I expect to see an even greater number of collaborative projects and the development of new solutions by 2020, when Denmark will be able to exploit the world congress as a display window for the water technology the world so desperately needs,” says Centre Director Peter Steen Mikkelsen from Water DTU.

New generation of engineers needed 
Eva Kjer Hansen, Minister for Environment and Food, recently stated in a press release that Denmark can create up to 4,000 new jobs by doubling its water technology exports. This also places demands on DTU as an educational institution, says Peter Steen Mikkelsen:

“If Denmark is to succeed in creating so many new jobs within the water industry, we will also need to train a new generation of young people with the right expertise and interdisciplinary competencies for the job market. I hope that the coming years’ intense focus on water will increase young people’s interest in water as well as in the study programmes DTU can provide, enabling the University to supply the future candidates the water industry will need.”  

Facts about water

  • Globally, 80 per cent of water is discharged without purification with major consequences for our ecosystem (Water Vision 2015).
  • World Economic Forum points in 2015 to the over-exploitation of water resources as being the biggest global risk to human well-being and prosperity over the next decade.
  • The UN estimates that half of the world’s population in 2030 will live in areas with limited access to clean drinking water. At global level, approximately 70 per cent of freshwater resources are consumed by agriculture and 20 per cent by industry (Water Vision 2015).
  • Currently, 750 million people are without access to sufficiently clean drinking water (Water Vision 2015).
  • Global freshwater resources water projects at DTU: 68.9 per cent is accounted for by glacial ice, 30.8 per cent by groundwater and 0.3 per cent by lakes and rivers (UN).
  • Every 20 seconds a child dies as a result of diarrhoea caused by a lack of sanitary conditions. (Water Vision 2015). 

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