Our Wetskills Challenge in the Netherlands has started! Over the next two weeks young water professionals from all over the world are working intensively on current water issues of governments, companies and research institutions . The Challenge, of which the finals take place during the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW), started with a tour through the Dutch delta.
The kick-off of the Wetskills Challenge Nederland took place October 11 at Waternet in Amsterdam. “After the first Wetskills Challenge in Beijing in 2010, this is already the twenty-seventh global challenge,” says Floor van der Heijden (HHNK), who organizes the event together with Frank Tibben (Waternet) and Johan Oost (Wetskills Foundation). “This time we have twenty-three participants; students and young professionals from Oman, Romania, Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Honduras, Israel, South Africa, Indonesia and the Netherlands. In small groups with different cultures and backgrounds, they work in complex cases. Due to the “pressure cooker” we put them in, they come with out-of-the-box solutions that often follow in so-called WetsNext projects.”
Particular to this edition of the challenge is that it starts with a tour through the Dutch delta. Tibben: “We go on an excursion to the Afsluitdijk, we build the watercourse of Midden-Kampen and we visit the former island of Schokland. This will enable us to meet typical challenges in the Dutch Delta. We will also visit the Water Authorities of Hollands Noorderkwartier, WaterAlliance, Water Application Center, Water Education (Waterhuis Nieuwegein), TU Delft, IHE Delft and Cambridge Innovation Center Rotterdam. ”
During four so-called BrainHurricanes with experienced water professionals, participants get the chance to gain information and test ideas. The BrainHurricanes will take place at Wetsus in Leeuwarden, Water Authority Drents Overijsselse Delta in Zwolle, KWR Water in Nieuwegein and the Water Authority Delfland. In the second week of the challenge, participants further develop their case solutions at the location of Campus RDM Rotterdam.
One of the participants is Radwa Raafat Elzeiny from Egypt. She studied civil engineering at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation after her studies. “I want to see how the Netherlands is dealing with climate change and I hope to discover new irrigation techniques. Of course, the circumstances are different, but you can always learn from each other.” Merlin van Selm, who studies Water Science and Management in Utrecht:” I’m curious about the perspective of foreign participants and I consider the deltatour as a great chance to get a complete tour through the Dutch water sector. Educational and good for my network. “