News archive

March 26, 2019

Freshwater lakes are teeming with blue-green algae that produce a heady cocktail of substances. Little is known as yet about the health risks associated with these substances, although a review of the literature by Eawag scientist Elisabeth Janssen has now revealed some potentially harmful effects. Read more

March 22, 2019

Today's Unesco World Water Day has the theme "Leave no one behind". Many people still do not have access to safe water and sanitary facilities for various reasons. But access to clean water alone is not enough, knows behavioural psychologist Hans-Joachim Mosler of the Department of Environmental Social Sciences. Read more

March 19, 2019

In order to move from one host to another, certain parasites change their behaviour. The more effectively a parasite can manipulate its host, the greater its evolutionary advantage. It therefore passes on its characteristics to its descendants, as a new Eawag study has shown. Read more

March 14, 2019

Consumption of cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and methamphetamines is increasing all over Europe according to the latest findings of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). In Swiss cities, the consumption of cocaine and ecstasy certainly appear to have remained at a high level. Read more

March 14, 2019

A new device developed at Eawag now allows Scientists to determine whether, and to what extent, fragrances in the environment are absorbed in fish without using animals. This is possible thanks to the use of a mirror-polished stainless steel chamber and a permeable membrane with a layer of intestinal fish cells. Read more

March 11, 2019

It’s no secret that urine contains valuable nutrients – or that diluting them with water which is then flushed into sewers is not the most sustainable way of managing this resource. But how can urine be kept out of wastewater? Eawag has been investigating this question for many years, and one answer is to use a urine-diverting toilet to separate it “at source”. What may sound simple turned out in practice to be a tricky task, and several generations of toilets were needed to optimise the source separation technology to the point where it can be more widely deployed.  Read more

March 6, 2019

Political questions on environmental issues are multi-faceted and can often face several conflicting objectives at once. The solutions are therefore seldom simple, and seldom satisfy all stakeholders. Environmental social scientist and biologist Judit Leinert is investigating with her research group how such conflicting objectives can best be handled. Read more

March 4, 2019

A new study by an interdisciplinary team from Eawag has shown that substances from agriculture affect living organisms in rivers and streams to a greater extent than treated wastewater, which has less impact on the species composition of microorganisms.  Read more

February 28, 2019

Aquatic organisms are adapted to harsh conditions at high altitudes and are tolerant of a certain level of disturbances. However, according to a study conducted in the canton of Valais, frequent flushing of water intakes leads to a dramatic decline in populations of macroinvertebrates, such as insects or worms. Read more

February 26, 2019

When ecosystems tip abruptly out of balance, this can be catastrophic for humans and for biodiversity. Astonishingly little is known about the role of evolution in such processes. A research team including Eawag scientists has now published approaches to investigating such complex questions in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution”. Read more