May 2018

Daily life

By Jieni Feng (Jessica)   The first time I join the team of other countries in the school to play together to complete the case, there are several small partners in the Hohai and Wuhan, and it is a very pleasant experience to get along with them. It is an unforgettable experience. Friends from Netherlands like to eat Teaching building’s sandwiches and drinks on the ground floor. They say they can use "perfect" to describe. Take them to the China Mobile Business Office to organize a mobile phone card and take them on a bicycle. In their opinion, the bicycles in China are so small that riding a path along the river feels that they have returned to their hometown. These days we are in the same classroom, discussing cases together, talking about their lives together, feeling that they are new to many things in China, and I also learned that some Dutch and...

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Being international @ home

Hi! My name is Shihan Lou, English name is Frances. It is a great honor for me to be as a member of Wetskills this time. The host place is Hangzhou which happens to be my hometown. It is my pleasure to welcome so many foreign friends. And it is also the first time I can use English to communicate in the daily life. With so many people who come from different countries with different cultures, I am really excited to contact the diversity of various cultures. We were divided into 4 groups to work on different cases. The case of our group is to design a tidal basin, which is a challenge for me since my major is Environmental Engineering which is not so related with the case, but I will try my best to help my teammates! Everyone in our group has his or her ability, which is very...

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The leisure part is over..

Wetskills Colombia 2018 Maria Gomes & Luuk Vermeulen   As the day before, the Dutch students woke up in the hotel and jumped into the taxi around 8:15. As soon as we all arrived at the university we took a group picture of everyone on the stairs. Then, the leisure part was over and the serious program started by explaining the cases.    The first case is about recovering the wetlands of Laguna de Sonso. The case owner (CVC and Waterboard De Dommel) explained about the issues that Laguna de Sonso faces. The Laguna has a high sedimentation rate and reduction of water surface. The consequences of these issues result in a loss of both economical aspects and biodiversity.     After this, a video was showed about the second case: water conflicts over the municipal aqueduct of Supía, due to water supply problems (Corpocaldas and Waterboard Rijn & IJssel).     The third case was pitched, also in a short...

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Wetskills China, a challenge of firsts

By Ioana Dobrescu   After a ten-hour flight plus another 4 hours of bus, train and taxi travel combined, I am in Hangzhou. My first time in China and the first one to arrive from a group of about 20 Dutch, Spanish and Chinese Wetskills participants and organizers. This is also my first time as a supervisor for a Wetskills Water Challenge and China is the place where the first Wetskills ever was organized.   So many firsts.   I am enthusiastic and wondering at the same time. How will this go? A big group of people in an entirely new environment without access to all the little conventions and apps that make life convenient for those coming from other countries, and most of all, having to communicate in a language that is foreign to us all. Saturday afternoon the participants start coming in, and I get to meet them one by one. A day later we are...

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Good food and hard work

by Conrad Balzer After two good days of relaxing and visiting a wastewater treatment and the beautiful wetlands the real work has to begin.             Everybody made a case choice and met their new group members. The groups with a Chinese case owner met them and got some more detailed information about the case and what expectation both sides have. The cases with a Dutch case holder called, skyped, mailed or contacted them in some other way. After all the new information al the groups could start with their research plan. All the groups where working very hard and worked till late in the evening. The hard work was a good reason to enjoy a good long night of sleep or a cold drink and a little shorter night of sleep because the work has to go on. The day after everybody finished their research plan and got some feedback. That day a whole...

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Many hands make light work

By Yuan Kong I am a postgraduate majoring in environmental engineering at Zhejiang University of Technology. I was pretty excited when I heard that Wetskills would come to our school. As for me, I didn't have such opportunities before so I really want to participate in this kind of team, so that I can learn a lot of specialized knowledge as well as make friends with foreigners. In the past two days, we spent a pleasant and fulfilling time with our Dutch friends. Yesterday, we were divided to four groups with different cases. Joris, Alvin, Sylvia and I are in one group. Our case is to research how can we use the existing aquifer capacity for both renewable energy and irrigation water in a harmonious way. It is not only an interesting case but also completely new filed and full of challenges for me. It’s quiet happy working with my partners who are...

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Cartagena, the gates of Latin America

Wetskills Colombia 2018 Ralph Wessling & Tim van de Staaij Wetskills Foundation   Cartagena, the port to the mainland of Latin America. Recognized as a historical city, the gate to the Caribbean. In its history it withheld several attacks by pirates, English, Portugese and Dutch. Until eventually the city released itself from their oversees rulers and become independent. Whereas nowadays Cartagena is one of the most vast developing cities of whole Latin America.   Spatial, economic and social development is literally sky rinsing. The rapid increase of harbor related activities led the Port of Cartagena as runner up for biggest port of South America. Unfortunately, the human driven development has a downfall as well.     Cartagena is surrounded by water on all sides: the Cartagena Bay is emphasized by its lagune, multiple creeks, ponds and streams. Former interlinked by nature, today controlled by men, led to a serie of complex challenges vary between water management, sedimentation transport, coastal erosion, ecosystem...

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Wetskills China 2018 opened with a splash

Wetskills China 2018

Edition 30

Today edition number 30 brings Wetskills back to the roots, back to China where the first edition was also held: Hangzhou. Again hosted by Zhejiang University of Technology and Science. 4 totally different challenges require a broad ranges of studies. This time 9 Chinese students from several Chinese universities and 8 students from Dutch Universities come together to meet the challenges


Flying in from The Netherlands proved to be difficult. Delays and cancellations for some, but in the end everyone was there for the startup. At least the one we planned for…. It proves to be quite difficult to pay with cards at hotels. So heaps of money need to be dragged from ATM to hotel (and back again to the bank I reckon). So after some tests in patience, we set off to the University grounds to explore a green campus in the spring mist. We get weird lunch items like meat floss on bread or tofu pizza. We do the intro Wetskills and move on to yet another ATM to get the next stash to pay off the hotel.


All set for tomorrow’s big teambuilding day with water related visits. We can have a bit of dinner and try out eating with chopsticks. After experiencing some great road and subway infrastructure here in Hangzhou, we gathered (with thousands of others) at the banks of West Lake. There is a music fountain spectacle to watch. Apparently a daily water spectacle with lights & music and dragon boats in the background. On the far bank, where the newer boats with red, blue, green alternating lights are passing by, a ‘broken bridge’ reminding of ancient tale.  It tells of a white snake living in the lake. It transformed into a young woman who fell in love with a handsome man she met on the bridge. They lived happily together for many years but a Buddhist monk turned the woman back into a snake and she disappeared near the bridge where they first met.

Wonder what tomorrow brings. This was a good first day all in all. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves already.