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New FIBER co-manager Sébastien Nusslé.
August 4, 2017

From August 2017, FIBER, the fisheries advisory service in Kastanienbaum, will again be managed by a team of two. Corinne Schmid, who currently heads up the office, is looking forward to working with Sébastien Nusslé as co-managers. Read more

The aeroplane Solar Impulse demonstrated the potential of clean-tech innovations. For countries like Switzerland, investment in photovoltaic research and development is more promising than the production of solar panels. Photo: Solar Impulse
July 26, 2017

The emergence of new technologies requires conditions tailored to specific industrial sectors. Social scientists at Eawag have developed a conceptual framework describing the relevant innovation drivers. This should make it possible to identify factors hindering innovation and to design industry‑specific support programmes.  Read more

Eawag scientists handle the wastewater disposal line mess at NEST: At the Water Hub, they develop technologies for the treatment of separated wastewater streams. (Foto: Roman Keller)
July 24, 2017

It has been a year since the research building NEST was inaugurated by Empa and Eawag. Since then, scientists working in the research platform Water Hub have investigated new models and methods to recycle waste water. Experiments for processing and reusing grey water started in June.  Read more

July 19, 2017

Central Switzerland is shaped by Lake Lucerne, which offers not only rich landscape diversity but also habitats for numerous animal species. As part of the Swiss-wide “Projet Lac” study, the lake’s fish fauna was surveyed for the first time using standardized quantitative methods – producing some surprising findings. Read more

Surface temperatures in Lake Geneva on 1.7.2017: while in Geneva and on the southwest shore near Nyon, temperatures below 10 degrees were recorded, in Évian swimmers were enjoying 22 to 23-degree waters. (Source: meteolakes.epfl.ch)
July 13, 2017

If the wind blows away the warm surface waters of a lake, cold water flows in from the depths. As a result of this effect the temperature in Lake Geneva recently sank to 8 degrees. A project led by Eawag and EPFL had predicted this cooling event. Read more

Photo: Universität Zürich
July 11, 2017

Alexander Damm has been appointed by the University of Zurich as Assistant Professor tenure track for remote sensing of water systems, effective as of 1 August 2017. The joint professorship at Eawag and the University of Zurich will enable Eawag to broaden its competence and knowledge in the field of remote sensing. Read more

Nicolas Derlon, Photo: Peter Penicka/Eawag
June 28, 2017

Eawag plays a key role in bridging between theory and practice. To strengthen its connection with the engineering sector in Western Switzerland (Romandie), Eawag has created a new group leader position within the Process Engineering Department. We interviewed the new group leader Nicolas Derlon on the possibilities and challenges of wastewater treatment in Western Switzerland.  Read more

Installation of an automated flow cytometer in a drinking water pumping station in the context of a joined project of Frederik Hammes (Eawag) and Michael Besmer (onCyt Microbiology AG) with a large water utility. (Foto: Frederik Hammes)
June 28, 2017

Flow cytometry has revolutionised the bacteriological assessment of water quality, and with its automation the revolution is progressing even further. Following his successful basic research into this area, a researcher at Eawag has become an entrepreneur. Read more

In the juvenile stage, the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) still has a transparent skin – hence the name “glass eel”. Photo: European Eel Foundation
June 21, 2017

European eels (Anguilla anguilla)  take three years to migrate from the spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea (east of Florida) to the coasts of Europe, where they grow to maturity. En route, they are guided by subtle local differences in the Earth’s magnetic field. Read more

The "Rainbow Biosystem" team with Severin Schwan (Roche) and Bundesrat Johann Schneider-Ammann (Photo: Alessandro Della Bella)
June 20, 2017

A new business idea – the “Rainbow Biosystem” – developed by researchers at Eawag received the 3rd prize in the business plan category at the award ceremony for the »venture» start-up competition on 19 June. Read more

In the fish room at Eawag: A spawning tray is placed into a tank in order to obtain zebrafish eggs for the FET (Fisch Embryo Toxicity) test.
June 13, 2017

Environmental toxicologists at Eawag have developed new methods to allow tests on new chemicals to be carried out without the need for animal experiments. In place of the conventional experiments using adult fish, the team is now working with fish cells and fish embryos. These alternative methods have numerous advantages, and are seeing increasing demand in industry. This has given rise to an Eawag spin-off. We spoke to its founders. Read more

Photo: Aldo Todaro, Eawag
June 8, 2017

Biologist Florian Altermatt of the Aquatic Ecology department has been appointed Vice‑President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences’ Biodiversity Forum. Altermatt, who holds an SNSF professorship at the University of Zurich, is head of the Spatial Dynamics research group at Eawag. Read more

Rotsee, © Eawag
June 7, 2017

In freshwater lakes, large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are oxidized by bacteria before it can be emitted into the atmosphere. A study in Lakes Rotsee and Zug has now shown that the bulk of this work is done, not by “classical” methane consumers, but by filamentous bacteria previously known only as contaminants of water supplies. Read more

Fig. 1: The scientists investigated water chemistry and biology in reaches upstream and downstream of WWTPs. (Photo: Eawag)
June 1, 2017

Micropollutants enter rivers and streams in effluents discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As well as having adverse impacts on individual species, these substances appear to alter aquatic ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition. This was shown by a research project launched by Eawag in view of the planned upgrade of selected Swiss WWTPs to reduce micropollutant loads. The effects of the first upgrades are already evident.  Read more

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

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

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