IHE Delf Institute for Water Education de UNESCO provides education and training through MSc degrees and PhD degrees in collaboration with partner universities. In the framework of a study trip organized by the Institute for master students with specialties in water supply, sanitation and water management, they have visited IMDEA Water Institute.
The attendees were received by researchers at IMDEA Water Institute who, in addition to showing them the facilities, laboratories and pilot plants, introduced them to the different research fields and projects they are working on, such as research line about biological contamination and antibiotic resistance in aquatic ecosystems.
The students visited the laboratories where they verified the advanced analytical technologies for obtaining necessary data to our research work.
In the bioelectrogenic wetland pilot plant they met the European project iMETland, a new generation of microbial electrochemical wetlands for effective decentralized treatment of wastewater, in which a real-scale application of a device has been built and validated for the treatment of urban wastewater in small communities with a zero cost in energy while obtaining water free of pathogens for irrigation. This pilot plant has a TIC remote control system.
The outdoor mesocosm facilities run by the Ecotoxicology group consist independent stream channels, lotic model ecosystems and a biodiversity lagoon. The students could learn about the utility of these facilities to assess the dissipation and fate of contaminants in environmental matrices (water, sediment, biota), to assess the direct and indirect effects of contaminants on several biological endpoints in order to calculate safe environmental concentrations and to evaluate the interaction between multiple stressors (chemical and non-chemical) on aquatic ecosystems.
Researchers of the membrane group showed the membrane pilot plant and explained the use of this technology during desalination and wastewater treatment for water reuse processes. Also, it was showed the research carried out under the umbrella of LIFE+2013 TRANSFOMEM project, an innovative and environmentally-friendly recycling process for waste reverse-osmosis desalination membranes, currently landfilled, in order to produce membranes for other uses.