Water chemistry and technology
Intensive land use like agriculture and horticulture has strong impacts on the quality of natural waters causing pollution with nutrients, pesticides and heavy metals, but also veterinary drugs, hormones and even natural toxins. Situations become aggravated during storms and flooding, causing contaminant flushes and drowned landscapes with substantial releases of contaminants. For cities flooding may give rise to bursts of contaminants. We study the bioavailability, mobility and transport of contaminants in relation to different land uses, changing climate and fluctuating natural conditions such as flooding.
In the recent years landscape-based management of stormwater runoff in urban areas has gained ground. This approach entails that stormwater runoff is delayed and possibly treated locally. The water may be used to provide amenity assets by exposing it in channels or ponds, and/or infiltrated into the soil, or discharged at a reduced rate to a natural water body like a stream or groundwater, or to the conventional sewer system. Our research is focused on characterizing the pollutant profile of stormwater runoff from different catchment areas, as well as improving the treatment ability. This is done in close collaboration with among others Municipalities and Supply Companies, as well as colleagues at IGN.