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At Tiefencastel (Canton Graubünden), a bypass tunnel built in 2012 ensures that, rather than accumulating in the Solis reservoir, sediments are transported downstream during high flows. Photo: ewz-Medienarchiv, Matthias Kunfermann
May 18, 2017

Bypass tunnels designed to reduce sediment deposition in reservoirs also have beneficial effects on ecological conditions in downstream receiving waters. This was the conclusion of a study carried out on the Solis reservoir in Graubünden by biologists from Eawag and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).  Read more

Carpanak close to Van was until the years of 1960 a peninsula, accessible by foot. Photo: Yama Tomonaga
May 16, 2017

The sediments of Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) are a valuable climate archive. Now, using the salinity measured in sediment porewater, scientists have reconstructed the huge lake-level fluctuations that occurred over the past 250,000 years. This approach – based on simple physical concepts – is likely to be more widely applied in the future. Read more

On Soppensee (Canton Lucerne) – photo: Eawag
May 9, 2017

Analyses of environmental gases which previously required months of laboratory work can now be carried out rapidly in the field. A group of Eawag scientists have developed a portable mass spectrometer allowing on-site measurements – and a spin-off has been created to commercialize the new system. Read more

Jürg Sigrist – winner in SNSF photography competition
May 4, 2017

Jürg Sigrist has won first prize in the “Women and Men of Science” category in the Swiss National Science Foundation photography competition. Read more

Fieldwork on Lake Victoria
May 2, 2017

A conflict is developing in Africa’s Lake Victoria between fish farming in cages and the “normal” fishing industry. Added to that are other factors such as invasive species, wastewater pollution, pesticides and dam construction are putting the unique ecosystem under increasing pressure.  Read more

Janet Hering
April 28, 2017

The IHE Delft Institute for Water Education has awarded Eawag Director Janet Hering an honorary fellowship. The Dutch institute researches aquatic issues in developing countries and emerging economies, promotes knowledge transfer in these regions and contributes to the training of local aquatic professionals.  Read more

Fig. 1: In the laboratory, scientist Tony Merle tests the novel membrane-based process for ozonation of bromide-containing water: ozone gas fed into a glass reactor diffuses into the water through PTFE membranes. Photo: Andres Jordi, Eawag
April 27, 2017

If drinking water or wastewater containing bromide is treated with ozone to remove micropollutants, bromate – a potentially carcinogenic substance – is formed. Eawag scientists have developed a new process which makes it possible to minimize bromate formation during ozonation. This is achieved by transferring ozone to the water in small doses through the pores of PTFE membranes.  Read more

Grafik: ENSI
April 19, 2017

In early 2015, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, Nagra, proposed two locations for storage in deep geological repositories. Read more

Photo: Eawag / Plancton
April 11, 2017

Although chemical micropollutants are known to affect the ecology of natural waters, it has remained unclear how they do so. An Eawag study has now shown that increasing concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products reduce the diversity of algae in a lake, giving rise to more homogeneous communities with a reduced capacity to adapt to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Read more

Synthetic silver  nanoparticles , magnified by a factor of 100,000 (Eawag, Ralph Kägi)
April 6, 2017

Over the past five years, 23 Swiss research groups have been investigating the behaviour of synthetic nanomaterials. Today the steering Committee and project leaders present their findings and a synthesis in a press conference at Bern. One of the main aims of National Research Programme 64 was to assess the risks they pose for human health and the environment.  Read more

Photo: Markus Zeh
April 4, 2017

Small watercourses are contaminated with large numbers of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. A study commissioned by the Federal Office for the Environment and published today shows that the legal requirements specified for water quality are not met in any of the five Swiss streams investigated.  Read more

Die beiden Eawag-Forscherinnen Maryna Peter (mitte) und Regula Meierhofer (rechts) mit der prix.eco Auszeichnung. (Foto: eco.ch)
April 3, 2017

On 31 March 2017, «Gravit’eau» – a project run jointly by Eawag and the FHNW School of Life Sciences – was awarded the main eco.ch 2017 prize in front of around 500 guests in Theater Basel. Read more

Fig. 1: A rickshaw-mounted megaphone – an option for promoting behaviour change in Bangladesh. (Photo Eawag)
March 29, 2017

Changing people’s behaviour is no easy matter. Having developed a method that has been shown to promote behaviour change, Hans-Joachim Mosler of Eawag’s Environmental Social Sciences department has now set up a consulting firm – attracting considerable interest among development cooperation professionals in particular.  Read more

Photo: SIA/Reto Schlatter
March 23, 2017

On 22 March 2017 the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA) awarded NEST a prize as part of its "Umsicht – Regards – Sguardi 2017" awards. The modular research and innovation building created by Empa and Eawag was acknowledged as providing a major contribution to the future design of Switzerland's living space. Read more

Urban water management 4.0 on World Water Day
March 22, 2017

The future of urban water management is also our future – this was the opinion of seven PhD students from Eawag came to, who decided to write a paper on the subject.  Read more

Larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) are fed on organic waste to produce protein-rich animal feed. (Photo: Stefan Diener)
March 21, 2017

Inadequate solid waste management poses significant health and environmental problems in low- and middle-income countries. However, numerous treatment and recycling options are now available which can not only improve sanitary conditions but also provide commercial opportunities for local enterprises.  Read more

March 20, 2017

Manuel Fischer, tenure track researcher and group leader within the Department Environmental Social Sciences, has successfully passed his habilitation exam at the University of Bern. In his habilitation, he pointed out the factors that influence collaboration among political actors.  Read more

Lake Constance: sustainable thermal use is possible in the case of deep Swiss lakes (Photo: plainpicture/Westend61/Holger Spiering)
March 16, 2017

Switzerland’s surface waters contain vast amounts of thermal energy which could be used for heating or cooling. Based on numerous studies, Eawag scientists have now estimated the ecological impacts of thermal use.  Read more

Assessments of the ecotoxicity of pharmaceuticals focus on parent compounds because data on transformation products is generally unavailable. (Photo: Caro/Sorge)
March 14, 2017

Over 8000 pharmaceuticals, with more than 3000 active substances, are currently authorized in Switzerland. Transformation products – arising from biological and chemical degradation processes – can sometimes be more toxic to aquatic organisms than the parent compounds; they may also be problematic as a result of their higher mobility.  Read more

Fig.1: Large amounts of water are used in maize production. But assessments of the grey water footprint vary widely, depending on how it is calculated. (Photo: Okapia)
March 9, 2017

The water footprint indicates how much water is used to produce consumer goods. A study by Eawag scientists shows that there is a need for standardization in assessments of the grey water component. Comparability is impaired, for example, by the use of different water quality standards.  Read more

Lenny Winkel
March 2, 2017

Lenny Winkel, group leader of Environmental Inorganic Geochemistry within the Department Water Resources & Drinking Water and professor at ETH’s Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, was selected to be the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) Distinguished Lecturer 2017.  Read more

Photo: Michael Sieber/ETH-Rat, 2012
February 28, 2017

Tove Larsen has been appointed adjunct professor at DTU, the Technical University of Denmark. Tove Larsen is group leader in the department of Urban Water Management and member of the Directorate at Eawag. Her ties with DTU go back to the early stages of her career, where she graduated in Chemical Engineering at DTU and obtained her PhD at DTU Environment.  Read more

Agroscope (Gabriela Brändle, Urs Zihlmann), LANAT (Andreas Chervet)
February 21, 2017

As a result of climate change, concentrations of the trace element selenium in soils are likely to decrease. Because the selenium content of crops may also be reduced, the risk of selenium deficiency could be increased in many regions of the world. This was shown by a recent study which used data-mining to model the global distribution of selenium. Read more

Biodiversity can promote ecosystem efficiency
February 16, 2017

Humans influence evolution. In the case of whitefish in Swiss lakes, one consequence of this is replacement of a diversity of specialised species by fewer generalists. A recent analysis now suggests that communities of diverse specialists utilise trophic resources more efficiently. Read more

Sediment was retrieved with a Multicorer to allow for a detailed analysis of sediment biogeochemistry and its inhabitants along a transect of oxygen concentrations. (© R. North, Eawag, Switzerland)
February 10, 2017

Periodic oscillations of bottom-water oxygen concentrations can alter benthic communities and carbon storage for decades, reveals a new study published in Science Advances. This is particularly relevant as low oxygen conditions are on the rise in the world’s oceans. Read more

Kreuzung zweier Arten liess Artbildung explodieren
February 10, 2017

No less than 500 new species of cichlids, brightly coloured perch-like fish, evolved in Lake Victoria (East Africa) over the past 15,000 years – a record in the animal and plant world. This evolutionary puzzle has now been solved by scientists from Eawag and Bern University. Read more

Hanspeter Zöllig receives the Otto Jaag Waterprotection Prize from ETH rector Prof. Dr. Sarah Springman. (Photo: ETH Zurich)
January 10, 2017

Hanspeter Zöllig has been awarded the 2016 Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize for his dissertation entitled “Electrolysis for the Treatment of Stored Source-Separated Urine”, which examined how electrolysis can be employed to recover nitrogen from urine. The prize recognises excellent PhD theses and masters dissertations in the fields of water protection and hydrology. Read more

Fig. 1: Cyanobacterial bloom: the proliferation of cyanobacteria can produce allergic reactions in humans and animals. Pictured here: the Zwischenahner Meer, a lake in Lower Saxony (Germany). Photo: Peter Duddek, Visum
December 15, 2016

In the past, Lakes Zurich and Greifen have repeatedly been affected by blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. This was confirmed by an analysis of sedimentary DNA carried out by Eawag scientists. Read more

Kathrin Fenner
December 14, 2016

Kathrin Fenner was appointed as extraordinary professor ad personam in the field of environmental chemistry. Kathrin Fenner is group leader in the department of Environmental Chemistry at Eawag. She graduated in Chemistry at the University of Zurich and obtained her PhD at the Department of Chemistry of ETH Zurich. Read more

Main switch of the ozone generator at Neugut WWTP. Foto: Flurin Bertschinger/Ex-Press
December 1, 2016

In Switzerland, even though levels of antibiotic use in medical and veterinary applications are comparatively low, the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing. These bacteria can also enter water systems via wastewater treatment plants. Read more

With mass spectrometry, even minute traces of substances can be detected. (Photo: Raoul Schaffner)
November 24, 2016

Database experts from Japan, the US and Europe have developed an algorithm which allows information on mass spectra to be standardized. The so-called SPLASH (SPectraL hASH) makes it easier to search for mass spectra online. Read more

November 23, 2016

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the redesignation of Eawag as a “WHO Collaborating Centre for Sanitation and Water in Developing Countries”. Eawag is one of 21 such collaborating centers in Switzerland and 281 throughout Europe. Read more

Source: ZHAW, Andi Hofstetter
November 17, 2016

The residual flow in the Sarine River is insufficient to maintain its dynamic flow. Research is currently being carried out as part of the “Energy Turnaround” National Research Programme (NRP 70), to ascertain whether hydropower can be made more environmentally friendly through controlled experimental flooding. The first experimental flood event has taken place, and researchers are now analysing all the data and records that have been collected. Read more

Fig. 1: To help them better understand the system dynamics of wastewater disposal, the researchers install wireless sensors directly in the sewage system.
November 16, 2016

With the help of modern sensors and the innovative remote data transfer system LoRaWAN, researchers at Eawag are investigating the relationships between precipitation and the resulting drainage processes. It is hoped that the new technology, otherwise known as the “Internet of Things”, will enable wastewater disposal and sewage systems to be run as efficiently as possible, as well as allowing the quality of wastewater and waterbodies to be monitored. Read more

Photo: Eawag, Florence Metz
November 14, 2016

The “Regional Water Supply for Basel-Landschaft 21” project, which was started in 2013, culminated today in a media conference in Liestal. Read more

100 Years of lake research in the Lucerne Nature Museum
November 14, 2016

A small exhibition in the Lucerne Nature Museum has been curated to commemorate the founding of the Hydrobiological Laboratory in Kastanienbaum 100 years ago in 1916. Visitors will also be able to view the exhibition “A Chance for the Otter”, which will be showing throughout the same period in the Forum Treppenhaus, as well as having the opportunity to learn about the early years of the Institute. Read more

The Aqua Urbanica conference 2016 was held on the Rigi. Photo: Max Maurer
November 10, 2016

The theme of the recent Aqua Urbanica event, held on the Rigi by Eawag and the Swiss Water Association (VSA), was the importance of measurements. Read more

In 2016, the hydropower company Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG opened a retention basin at Innerkirchen to mitigate unnatural discharge fluctuations in the Hasliaare. Photo: Markus Zeh
November 8, 2016

Hydropeaking operations at storage hydropower plants affect hydrological processes and have adverse impacts on river ecosystems. For example, rapid and intense fluctuations in discharge can cause fish and macroinvertebrates to be flushed downstream or stranded. Read more

The wastewater treatment project in Asselda (Morocco) provides clean water for the inhabitants as well as for the irrigation of  fruit trees.
November 7, 2016

Eawag colleague Bouziane Outiti has been nominated for the 2016 Energy Globe World Award for his wastewater treatment project in Morocco. The award, which will be presented on 10 November at the World Climate Conference in Marrakech, is designed to highlight the existence of sustainable and innovative projects that tackle many of our environmental problems while protecting our resources. Read more

Fig. 1: The section of the Linth Canal at Benken (Canton of St Gallen) restored as part of the “Linth 2000” flood protection project is popular with swimmers. But how does nature benefit from river enhancement? (Photo: Markus Forte/Ex-Press/FOEN)
November 3, 2016

Stream and river restoration measures may be showcase projects for conservationists, but – in the absence of systematic monitoring – it is often unclear what benefits they provide for ecosystems. Read more

Photo: Aldo Todaro
June 29, 2016

In recent decades, Swiss water protection efforts have focused on reducing nutrient inputs; today, one of the main concerns is controlling micropollutants. Read more

Fig. 1: Juvenile whitefish prior to their release from a hatchery into Lake Thun. (Photo: Emanuel Ammon, Ex-Press)
April 21, 2016

In the last century, the natural reproduction of whitefish and Arctic char in several Swiss lakes was adversely affected by high levels of nutrient inputs. So far, stocking measures have been implemented in efforts to support fish populations and maintain yields. The effectiveness of these measures varies according to the particular species and lake. Read more