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Waste Water conference: Contributing to the national debate

Publication Date: 09 May, 2014

 

In conjunction with the EPA and the UCD Dooge Centre for Water Resources Research, the UCD Earth Institute hosted a timely workshop on the issue of waste water policy in Ireland on 8th May in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science.

At a time when public debate is focused on the pricing structure proposed for domestic water usage, the issue of waste water management should not be overlooked. It can be not only a costly piece of the water supply puzzle to get right, but is vital in ensuring the health of our environment, economy and personal well-being alike.

Joint convener of the workshop, UCD Earth Institute’s Prof Frank Convery, said the event was a unique opportunity to get “all the main players into the same room, to hear all the different perspectives, and to consider a range of possible solutions that can guide what the next steps should be.”

The workshop brought together the leading people from policy, academic, industry and government sectors to set out the challenges and explore the potential solutions. Gerard O’Leary (EPA) and Jerry Grant (Irish Water) set the stage by identifying the key challenges at both a national level and also through the lens of Dublin as a case study. Mikael Skou Andersen of Aarhus University presented the latest thinking on best practice from the European perspective, followed by two sessions focused on solutions and innovations to address the challenges – both technology and policy derived.

The workshop was a prime example of the UCD Earth Institute’s drive to intertwine policy and scientific research in a meaningful and holistic way, to generate informed and influential research output for the benefit of society.