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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

Fig. 1: The blaze in Schweizerhalle resulted in catastrophic environmental pollution. Thirty years on, however, the overall picture in terms of water protection is a positive one.
October 31, 2016

On 1 November 1986, a chemical warehouse at Schweizerhalle near Basel was destroyed by a fire. Aquatic life in the Rhine suffered catastrophic damage as a result of inflows of toxic, red-coloured firefighting water. Read more

Ozone generator at a WWTP. (Photo: Urs von Gunten)
October 25, 2016

In the coming years, around a hundred wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across Switzerland are to be upgraded with an additional treatment step in order to eliminate micropollutants. The method of choice is often ozonation. Read more

Maldi-MSI imaging method visualises cocaine accumulation in zebrafish.
September 29, 2016

A study by Eawag and Zurich University researchers using a new imaging method has revealed that, surprisingly, cocaine accumulates in the eyes of zebrafish. The findings indicate that chemicals – especially psychoactive drugs – need to be assessed quite differently with waterborne exposure than, for example, when pharmaceutical substances are tested in mice. In particular, the uptake mechanisms and effects of cocaine in fish cannot simply be transferred to mammals or humans. Read more

Abb. 1: Während sechs Tagen arbeiteten die Studierenden in 18 interdisziplinären Gruppen an ihrer Problemdefinition und praktischen Lösungsansätzen. (Foto: ETH Zürich / Alessandro Della Bella)
September 27, 2016

Together with Eawag, the ETH organized at the beginning of September 2016 the second ETH Week. More than 180 students from 20 countries and all 16 departments accepted the challenge of formulating problems on the theme “Challenging Water” and searching for sustainable solutions. Read more

Fig. 1: The diverse demands placed on lakes were reflected by the wide variety of topics discussed at Eawag’s Info Day in Lucerne. (Photo: Peter Penicka)
September 16, 2016

Switzerland’s lakes are not only diverse ecosystems, but also recreation sites, fishing grounds and energy sources. At this year’s Info Day, the tensions between these competing interests were explored. It was concluded that sustainable management calls for an understanding of the complex interactions occurring in lakes – which in turn requires scientific data and appropriate methods of observation. Read more

Fig. 1: Gammarus alpinus preserved in alcohol: the distinctive morphological features of this amphipod species are only apparent under the microscope. (Photo: Roman Alther)
September 8, 2016

Biologists at Eawag have described a new amphipod species which is endemic to the Alps. While alpine lakes provide relatively undisturbed habitats for Gammarus alpinus, this species is being displaced by an invasive amphipod in Lake Constance. Read more

Scientist looking in the lake with an aquascope. Photo: Eawag, Aldo Todaro
September 6, 2016

Lakes are major ecosystems. Their secrets have been investigated in Switzerland for more than 100 years. Nonetheless, scientists and their partners at the federal and cantonal specialist departments can still be surprised. For example, a fish in Lake Constance that had been declared extinct, or the results of Roman forest clearing around Lake Murten or concentrated antibiotic-resistant genes in the vicinity of wastewater discharges in Lake Geneva. Read more

Bailed sample for DNA analysis (Photo: Eawag)
August 30, 2016

“We should soon be able to monitor biodiversity just as we can now assess water chemistry,” says Florian Altermatt of the Aquatic Ecology department. Genetic material is known to be continuously released into the environment (eDNA) – e.g. in faeces or skin cells – and the biologists now demonstrated the practicability of this approach. In one litre water from the Glatt river (Canton Zurich), they identified numerous species ranging from the mayfly to the beaver. The method can be automated. Read more

Current approaches often focus on the protection of rare or endangered species like the Kingfisher.  Photo: plainpicture/NaturePL
August 23, 2016

Despite extensive conservation efforts, the global loss of biodiversity is continuing. According to an article by biologists at Eawag and Zurich University, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, this is partly due to the inadequacy of existing conservation measures. Read more

Fig. 1: Are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump less far apart politically than they might believe? At Trump’s wedding in 2005, at any rate, there was no sign of the bitter rivalry that now divides the two US presidential candidates.
August 17, 2016

Political actors tend to perceive their opponents as more influential than they really are, and to overestimate the differences between opposing groups. As a result, policy‑making and the search for feasible compromises become more difficult. This phenomenon, as Eawag political scientists have now shown, is apparent even in a consensus-based democracy like Switzerland. Read more

In the Umwelt Arena Eawag can show, how reusable substances from wastewater can be put back into the nutrient cycle.
August 15, 2016

The VUNA recycling process, which recovers nutrients from urine, recently had its own display as part of an exhibition at the “Umwelt Arena” (Environment Arena) in Spreitenbach. Eawag’s exhibit was designed to raise awareness amongst visitors to the exhibition of the fact that wastewater also contains reusable substances, which can be used, for instance, for making fertilizers. Read more

Ole Seehausen has been researching the speciation of the cichlid for 25 years.
August 11, 2016

Ole Seehausen, Head of the Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution at Eawag in Kastanienbaum and Professor of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Bern has been awarded the “Kilham Memorial Award” by the International Society of Limnology (SIL). Last week, at the 33rd SIL Congress, he gave the Kilham Memorial Lecture in Turin. Read more

(LTR): Rik Eggen (Deputy Director Eawag), Marcel Stoll (Project leader 3 FI Construction section), Thomas Lichtensteiger (Head Eco-Team Eawag), Andreas Müller (Architect), Rainer Bendel (General contractor, Helbling Beratung + Bauplanung)
July 12, 2016

The new laboratory and experiments building the “Aquatikum” on the grounds of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, in Dübendorf is the first laboratory building in all of Switzerland to receive the Minergie P-Eco Certificate. This commendation honours not only an especially sustainable use of energy, but also the care exercised in choosing building materials and procedures that are both ecologically sound and conforming to health and safety standards. 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

June 23, 2016

When water enters a new plumbing system for the first time, microorganisms will immediately start to colonize the pipes. Read more

June 22, 2016

The rain poured down on the day, but it was outdone by the large numbers of people streaming into Eawag’s open house in Kastanienbaum. Read more

Richard Vollenweider and Heinrich Wolff in the laboratory around 1950
June 9, 2016

The hydrobiological laboratory in Kastanienbaum, today part of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is celebrating its 100-year jubilee with an opening ceremony for invited guests today and an open house for everyone during the weekend of 18/19 June. Read more

June 3, 2016

Head of the Environmental Social Sciences department, Bernhard Truffer gave his inaugural lecture at the University of Utrecht on 20 May, 2016. Read more

Bouziane Outiti receives the Energy Globe Award 2015. Photo: Raoul Schaffner
June 2, 2016

On 1 June, Bouziane Outiti of Eawag received an Energy Globe Award for his wastewater treatment project in Morocco. The Energy Globe Awards, presented annually, honour innovative environmental sustainability projects around the world. 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