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Aquatech has become the world’s leading trade exhibition for process, drinking and wastewater

Alison Ireland, WaterBriefingGlobal’s roving report, takes a look at what was on offer at this year’s Aquatech Amsterdam.

Alison Ireland: Four days of the latest water trends, products and services brought together international delegates for workshops, inspirational keynotes, educational presentations and networking during this year’s Aquatech Amsterdam, held (almost) in the heart of the city at the RAI. The landmark exhibition for the 28th time once again opened its doors to more than 25,000 water experts and 1000 companies from over 140 countries to share and promote the latest innovations in the water sector.

Aquatech has become the world’s leading trade exhibition for process, drinking and wastewater, and a meeting point for all working in the water sector. Europeans attend in the knowledge that they can catch up with everyone they  need to during the show, which expands, grows and benefits from this organic outreach, all under one roof.

Some of this year’s highlights:

Firstly, space was made for two new halls for Point-of-Use and Point-of-Entry water systems, for domestic and commercial applications this year. Another useful logistic addition this year was the brand new metro line (north-south metro line 52) which made access to the exhibition much swifter from the city centre!

Innovation came to Aquatech in a big way: the Aquatech Innovation Forum was launched with 250 delegates, speakers and moderators. The overall winner of the Aquatech Innovation Award was Kaumera Nereda Gum by Royal HaskoningDHV and partners. This year, a 500 metre long Aquatech Innovation Avenue connected the halls from the InnovationLAB to the Industrial User Experience.

This year the general public, as well as exhibitors and event attendees were introduced to an ultra-modern example of water purification: “Pee-to-Tea”. Situated on the square in front of the RAI, Dutch company Semilla Sanitation, part of Nijhuis, who have worked on the project for four years, presented their smart technology to passers-by who experienced for themselves how urine can be turned into a fresh cuppa. For some reason, only men were able to do the ‘pee’ part of the exercise!

On the downside, some big players were missing from the exhibition: no Siemens, Suez, Grundfos, while Veolia exhibited in their industry sectors such as the ‘Biothane’ one.

What were this year’s trends? UV-C LED, the technology which in 2017 was still supposed to be ten years out according to the big UV players, has grown in presence and impact with four companies exhibiting:

  • Typhon Treatment Systems, creating the first municipal-scale UV-C LED plant for United Utilities in the UK
  • Crystal IS / Klaran, whose UV-C LED-powered water disinfection products claim to provide a 99.998 percent reduction of Legionella, a new risk parameter for drinking water proposed under the Revision of the EU Drinking Water Directive.
  • Sweden-based company WaterSprint, whose UV-C LED technology has so far made a commitment to safely disinfect and provide clean drinking water to 50,000 people in Bangladesh by 2020.
  • Canadian company Acuva, whose Eco 1.5 is the first and only UV-C LED drinking water purifier in the world to receive NSF/ANSI 55 Class B Certification for verified microbiological disinfection.

Independent water treatment systems are also growing in popularity. Azud, from Murcia, Spain, Ion Exchange from India, LennTech and Hatenboer Water on their home turf of Netherlands, and PALL from the USA, were all present, with offerings of a larger, community scale than the many POU/POE systems on show in the new halls.

As the 3G network starts to be phased out across the world, providers of telemetry units and loggers are having to up their game to include NB-IoT and CAT-M1, viewed as futureproof and operating on 4G and 5G networks. In line with this, UK and Australia-based Metasphere were exhibiting their newly-launched Point Orange IoT remote telemetry unit.

Ret Mathieson, Metasphere’s Market Development Manager, found Aquatech ticked the necessary boxes:

The quality of visitors was high and there was a wide range of visitors both geographically and in terms of the entire industry, which is exactly what Metasphere is looking for as we look to diversify our product set into different market sectors’’.

We left this canal-filled city inspired to keep working together to provide our world with ever-more efficient and accessible technologies in the face of climate change and threats to our fresh water resources, and look forward to what next year’s exhibition will bring!

Mark your diaries for the next event: Aquatech Amsterdam 2021 will be held on 2-5 November 2021. The Aquatech Innovation Forum is set for Monday November 1, 2021.

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