The latest news from Eawag

Nutrient changes, invasive species and climate change have a major impact on the ecosystem of Lake Constance. (Photo: Simon Dux Media/Shutterstock)
Lake Constance: Life under changing conditions
June 7, 2023

Nutrient changes, invasive species and climate change have a major impact on the ecosystem of Lake Constance. This is the conclusion of a large-scale project conducted by seven institutions in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. At the close of the project, the results will be presented at two events.

Through their work, Eawag trainees provide the basis for many years of water quality monitoring (Photo: Eawag, Manuel Koller)
Trainees in the focus of a national monitoring programme
May 30, 2023

Trainees from Eawag’s analytical and training laboratory assist in the analysis of a wide variety of water samples. A prominent example is the National River Monitoring and Survey Programme (NADUF). In a video, we take a look behind the scenes of the laboratory and show its role for the NADUF programme.

Linda Strande and Sylvain Usher, Executive Director of AfWASA, with the Memorandum of Understanding (Photographer: Unknown)
Memorandum of Understanding Signed with African Water ...
May 25, 2023

At the recent joint 21st AfWASA International Congress and Exhibition and 7th Conference on Faecal Sludge Management (FSM7), Eawag signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the African Water and Sanitation Association. The two conferences took place under one roof in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The contribution in the German pavilion at the Biennale of Architecture is more than just an exhibition. It wants to provide an action framework for a new building culture. (Photo: ARCH+ SUMMACUMMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB)
Eawag technology at the Venice Biennale of Architecture
May 23, 2023

On Saturday, 20 May, the 18th Biennale of Architecture in Venice opened its doors. In the German pavilion, which focuses on building in existing contexts and the recycling economy, also the Nutrient Harvester developed at Eawag is demonstrated. It processes the urine from two on-site dry separation toilets into fertiliser.

Generating carbon credits with container-based ...
May 16, 2023

Container-based sanitation has the potential to generate carbon credits through avoided greenhouse gas emissions. Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, worked on developing a draft methodology to quantify these emission savings.

In close exchange with various universities in Switzerland and abroad, Eawag is committed to the education of undergraduate and doctoral students in natural, engineering and social sciences. In 2022, Eawag employees supervised 149 doctoral theses – such as that of Dorothee Kurz. In collaboration with ETH Zurich, the engineer in Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez’s research group is investigating how bacteria form biofilms in soils and groundwater aquifers. To do this, she works with simplified models that simulate the natural environment. (Photo: Eawag, Alessandro Della Bella)
Eawag in the year 2022
May 11, 2023

The aquatic research institute Eawag has published its latest annual report and looks back on the year 2022. Water is at the heart of the most important environmental issues.

Eawag researcher Johannes Raths (right) has won the SETAC Europe Rifcon Early Career Scientist Award for his paper on the toxicokinetics of amphipods at increased water temperatures. Here, receiving the award in Dublin. (Photo: SETAC)
Climate change leads to disproportionately high ...
May 10, 2023

Eawag researcher Johannes Raths has won a prize for his study of increased pollutant absorption with rising water temperatures.

The four founders of the Eawag spin-off (Photo: Eawag, Peter Penicka)
New Eawag spin-off advises wastewater treatment plant
May 9, 2023

Environmental engineer Wenzel Gruber and microbiologist Robert Niederdorfer – both Eawag postdocs – founded the spin-off Upwater together with two other partners at the beginning of November 2022. It offers measurements for wastewater treatment plants to support them in reducing process instabilities, greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy consumption.

In comparison: at the back, the glacier-fed river with turbid cold water, and at the front, the inflow of warmer, clear water. For many microorganisms, these ice-cold bodies of water are the ideal and only habitat. (Photo: Lee Brown)
Glacial melt threatens habitats of alpine river ...
May 8, 2023

When glaciers retreat, the habitats for cold-water organisms also change. Researchers have now modelled where refuges that are vital for biodiversity in glacial rivers will remain in the future.

Fundifix staff producing chlorinators in Kenya. (Photo: Lisa Appavou)
Prevent drinking water recontamination with passive ...
May 5, 2023

Chlorination protects safe water from recontamination after transport and storage. Eawag engineers developed and tested two types of chlorinators.

The groundwater samples examined by the researchers come from 20 different wells in the catchment basin of the river Töss in North-Eastern Switzerland. These wells are located either in forested or in agriculturally used areas. (Photo: Eawag, Angela Studer).
DNA traces in groundwater
May 3, 2023

An Eawag study shows that a large variety of living organisms leave their DNA traces in groundwater – which also depends on the land use in the catchment area. In future, these biological parameters could be used to assess groundwater quality.

The dry summer of 2022 led to unconventional solutions - such as supplying water to an alp near Grandvillard/FR with army helicopters. (Picture: DDPS, Jonas Kambli)
Review of the Water Policy 2022
April 28, 2023

The hot summer made water supply security a political issue in 2022. Added to this were deficits in groundwater protection and "eternal" chemicals.

The River Rhone in the Forest of Pfyn-Finges. (Photo: Michel Roggo).
Addressing diversity with diversity: Interdisciplinary ...
April 25, 2023

The research project “Riverscape” shows the importance of sediment transport for safety and ecology.

More than 3,000 wastewater treatment plants in the Indian city of Bengaluru recycle the wastewater from large apartment buildings on site, which then has to be reused locally as well. (Photo: Eawag, Josianne Kollmann)
Improving the microbial quality of recycled water in ...
April 20, 2023

In urban India, rising water scarcity and increasing pressure on water supply utilities have prompted the use of treated wastewater as an alternative source. A study of Eawag together with Indian partners explains how the use of sensors and automated chlorination can improve microbial water quality in on-site water reuse systems for increased user safety.

105 days in office – Eawag Director Martin Ackermann is setting a new course, but is also well aware of the many strengths of the aquatic research institute. (Photo: Eawag, Peter Penicka)
“Eawag is also a solutions institute”
April 13, 2023

Martin Ackermann has been director of Eawag since 1 January. Enough time to take stock and look ahead to the future direction of the Swiss aquatic research institute.

The Catoca mine on a satellite image from Sentinel-2. In the right half of the picture, at the top, the Tshikapa River can be seen flowing from south to north, changing colour as the mine's runoff reaches it. (Source: Copernicus Sentinel data from 30.7.2021, processed by Sentinel Hub)
Tracing mine accidents with satellite data
April 13, 2023

Mining repeatedly causes water pollution. In the Global South, polluters often get away with it because the waters are seldom monitored. Satellite data can provide evidence of the origin, spread and extent of environmental disasters.

Prof. Florian Altermatt explores aquatic biodiversity. (Photo: Eawag, Esther Michel)
“It is important to me to communicate knowledge broadly ...
April 12, 2023

Ecologist Florian Altermatt has been promoted to full professor of aquatic ecology by the University of Zurich. What fascinates him about research and why is he committed to academic teaching?

The black exhaust hood is used to take a sample of the exhaust air from the treatment of sludge liquid at WWTP Lake Thun in order to be able to determine the nitrous oxide emissions. (Photo: Christoph Dieziger, AWEL)
Wastewater treatment plants: On the trail of the climate ...
April 11, 2023

Nitrous oxide is one of the main greenhouse gases and also contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. One of the places where it is released is in wastewater treatment plants. A study has now investigated how much of this is due to the treatment of sludge liquid, which is to be expanded over the next few years.