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.
Our new Annual Report shows what the aquatic research institute Eawag has experienced and achieved in this challenging year of 2020. For instance, Eawag’s water research proved – perhaps surprisingly – relevant to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
- Together with colleagues at the EPFL, and with partners in practice, our researchers developed a method for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater (p. 32).
- Our research into the pathogenic Legionella bacteria in sanitation systems helped to bring buildings safely back into use after lockdown (p. 8).
- And last but not least, Eawag enabled Martin Ackermann, ETH professor and Head of Eawag’s Environmental Microbiology department, to take over the leadership of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force (p. 44).
The origins of the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the impacts of food systems on habitats, ecosystem services and biodiversity. These are precisely the issues that have preoccupied Eawag researchers in Switzerland for many years – as they have done in 2020.
- Our research contributes to understanding how pesticides stress aquatic ecosystems and groundwater and suggests measures for improvement (p. 20).
- Novel methods allow us to predict biodiversity and thus the state of the river ecosystems (p. 12).
- With the research initiative on blue-green biodiversity, which we launched together with WSL, we are networking knowledge about aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in order to stem the loss of species (p. 8).
These and other projects represent the important contribution that Eawag researchers have made to a sustainable future for Switzerland and the world in 2020 – and how they will continue to do so in the future.