EWRE Seminar

Start Date: 
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Room 1670 Beyster Building (North Campus)

Peter Van Rolleghem

Speaker: Peter Van Rolleghem, Ph.D.
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Modeling
Department of Civil Engineering
Laval University, Quebec, Canada

Title: Climate Change and Wastewater Management  –  A Two‐Way Street 


Climate change is on the minds of the world’s population. One of the main impacts of climate change is on the water systems our society depends so much on. For instance, the more intense rain events make that wastewater infrastructures are subject to hydraulic disturbances. We therefore need to adapt our infrastructures to these new conditions.

However, the relationship between the wastewater system and climate change is a two-way relation. Wastewater infrastructures are among the largest infrastructures in our society, consuming considerable amounts of resources (energy, construction materials, chemicals) with the corresponding climate change impact. Moreover, some of the processes are intrinsically producing greenhouse gasses, e.g. carbon dioxide (organic material oxidation), and the stronger greenhouse gasses methane (sewer sediments, anaerobic sludge digestion) and nitrous oxide (nitrogen removal). Hence, next to adaptation, also mitigation is relevant for the wastewater infrastructures.

Overall, the presentation aims at structuring the complex two-way interactions between climate change and wastewater infrastructures and at providing insights in the range of mitigation and adaptation strategies society has at its disposal.

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