Drinking water living lab

Ramboll is part of a contractor-led team that has been selected by the Dutch water utility Vitens to develop a drinking water ‘living lab’ on semi full-scale size for and together with the water utility. This ‘living lab’ will drive innovation, which is highly needed, not only by Vitens but also many other water utilities around the world.
Large industrial water treatment and boiler room. Shiny steel metal pipes and blue pupms and valves.
Many current water sources are under pressure, forcing water utilities globally to rethink their water abstraction, treatment, and distribution concepts. In the Netherlands high-quality groundwater is becoming a scarce resource, which means that the groundwater-dependent water utility Vitens needs to rethink its current water supply concept and strategy. To develop a new future-proof drinking water concept, Vitens is investing in a ‘living lab’ which will become a testing facility for both a new water landscape and new drinking water treatment technologies.
The project aims to develop a so-called blueprint for futureproof standardised drinking water facilities that are modular, adaptive, and scalable as needed. The facility will be home to practice-oriented innovation and help to meeting Vitens’ short-term need to produce extra drinking water. 24/7 high-quality water supply in the Netherlands is at risk by year 2030 due to water scarcity according to the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This also applies to Vitens. The necessary additional production capacity must come from new surface water sources combined with several alternative water sources based on a multisource strategy.
Towards a more resilient water infrastructure
Vitens, ADS Groep Water B.V. and all partners including Ramboll are working together on this project (water landscape, water works and transmission pipelines) as one team with a three-phase contract (Design, Built, and Operate & Maintain) The design will be made in phase 1, the full scale demonstration plant with a capacity of 5-10 million m3 per year built in phase 2 and, in phase 3 , its operation will be demonstrated and optimised. The demonstration plant adds six hundred m3/h production capacity to Vitens’ water supply capacity as a minimum.
Ramboll brings knowledge and vast expertise on groundwater- and- surface water- based water supply, where possible with traditional water treatment technologies, and where necessary, with both innovative and proven advanced water treatment technologies
As many utilities share Vitens’ challenges and need for a more resilient and sustainable water infrastructure, an international panel of experts from leading water utilities and universities will support the project and gain from the insights and innovation generated.
Besides by Ramboll, ADS Groep Water B.V. will be supported by Logisticon Water Treatment, Aveco de Bondt, IA Groep, Visser & Smit Hanab, H+N+S Landscape Architects, and Dutch process innovators. The name of this team is abbreviated LLEV which means ‘guts’ in Dutch.
Connecting long- and- short- term ambitions
Vitens' long-term ambition is to develop the so-called 'eternal source' of clean and well-protected groundwater. For this purpose, the Panorama Waterland concept was previously developed, in which water abstraction, nature development, circular and sustainable agriculture, and recreation go hand in hand. LLEV has responded to this by linking this long-term ambition to the short-term need to produce extra water from alternative sources.

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  • René Hoeijmakers

    René Hoeijmakers

    Global Division Director

    +31 6 83191061

  • Cor Merks

    Cor Merks

    Managing Consultant

    +31 6 53872523

  • Gilbert Galjaard

    Gilbert Galjaard

    Senior Expert, Water and Wastewater Treatment

    Not available