Department Urban Water Management

Urban Water Management

Research in this department aims at the urban water system as an entity and at developing the corresponding ecological, economical and social services into a sustainable future. In addition to traditional questions concerning urban hygiene and water pollution control, the sustainable use and management of the resources is a primary concern. Read more

Urban Water Observatory

The Urban Water Observatory (UWO) is a long-term initiative of ETH and Eawag to establish a sensor network in Fehraltorf, allowing spatially-distributed monitoring of urban water cycle processes.  Read more


October 30, 2019

What developments do urban water researchers and professionals see as important – or worthy of scepticism? A pioneering horizon scan conducted by Eawag scientists indicates that, for this community, digitalisation is a particular concern – in a positive and negative sense. In this interview, Frank Blumensaat, an environmental engineer at ETH Zurich and Eawag, discusses the opportunities and risks it creates in the urban water field.

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October 23, 2019

One of the most popular drugs in Central and Southern Europe is cocaine, according to the new European drugs report. In Eastern Europe however, it’s methamphetamine — more commonly known as crystal meth — that is the drug of choice.

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Moy de Vitry, M.; Schneider, M. Y.; Wani, O.; Manny, L.; Leitão, J. P.; Eggimann, S. (2019) Smart urban water systems: what could possibly go wrong?, Environmental Research Letters, 14(8), 081001 (4 pp.), doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab3761, Institutional Repository
Blumensaat, F.; Leitão, J. P.; Ort, C.; Rieckermann, J.; Scheidegger, A.; Vanrolleghem, P. A.; Villez, K. (2019) How urban storm- and wastewater management prepares for emerging opportunities and threats: digital transformation, ubiquitous sensing, new data sources, and beyond – a horizon scan, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(15), 8488-8498, doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b06481, Institutional Repository
Schneider, M. Y.; Carbajal, J. P.; Furrer, V.; Sterkele, B.; Maurer, M.; Villez, K. (2019) Beyond signal quality: the value of unmaintained pH, dissolved oxygen, and oxidation-reduction potential sensors for remote performance monitoring of on-site sequencing batch reactors, Water Research, 161, 639-651, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.06.007, Institutional Repository
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Research Projects

Goal is an improved planning procedure for sustainable water supply and wastewater infrastructure management that links into the existing Swiss governance structures.
An inter- and transdisciplinary strategic research program that strives to develop novel non-gridconnected water and sani- tation systems that can function as comparable alternatives to network-based systems.
Advancing estimation of illicit drug use from wastewater samples - the role of in-sewer drug transformation.
Kanalnetzbewirtschaftung für besseren Gewässerschutz