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2021 Annual Report published

May 19, 2022,

With research, teaching and consulting on all aspects of water, Eawag is committed to a sustainable future – in Switzerland and worldwide. This is illustrated by the diverse and exciting projects that we present in our Annual Report.

Data provides a central basis for scientific work. In the process, the possibilities for obtaining data are rapidly increasing, as is the spatial and temporal resolution of this data. This wealth of data – such as plankton images from an underwater camera (p. 12), noble gas concentrations in groundwater (p. 15). the genetics of fish (p. 16) or chemical concentrations from a mobile mass spectrometer (p. 17) – poses enormous challenges for data management and evaluation. Machine learning methods (p. 12) help our researchers to transform data into useable information. The data and results of our research are freely accessible on the Eawag platforms for open research data (ERIC) and for open access to publications (DORA) (p. 9).

Part of our research activity also documents the changes in our environment. For example, a study brings to light the rapid increase in lake formation in the Swiss Alps between 2006 and 2016 (p. 13) – a sign of global climate change. However, not only natural systems are subject to change, but also social ones. For instance, the acceptance of modular wastewater treatment systems among wastewater professionals and experts has increased significantly over the past 25 years (p. 18). And even in the way in which scientific work is done, changes are noticeable. Here, the involvement of citizens (citizen science) is playing an increasingly important role and was instrumental in the discovery of a new amphipod species (p. 14).

These and other projects represent the important contribution that Eawag researchers have made to a sustainable future for Switzerland and the world in 2021 – and how they will continue to do so in the future.

Cover picture: Tobias Ryser, Eawag

Created by Annette Ryser