The protection of water resources from deterioration in quality by pollution discharges is probably the biggest challenge in sustainable water resources management in the recent decades. In practice, most countries have adopted pollution control strategies and measures which are based on ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions: wastewater treatment plants and adjustments to the regulations, including taxes for wastewater discharges (Conventional Strategy). Although this approach involves very high costs, on many occasions, this strategy has been a complete failure. The research described in this book contribute to the development of sustainable solutions for the previously outlined problem. It was based on the validation of the Three-Step Strategic Approach concept (3-SSA), which includes: 1) prevention or minimisation of waste production; 2) treatment aimed at recovery and reuse of waste components, and 3) disposal of remaining waste with stimulation of natural self-purification of the receiving water body. The study showed overall positive effects of the 3-SSA, in comparison of Conventional Strategy, on wastewater management in the Upper Basin (389 km) of the Cauca river, the second most important river in Colombia. The Cost Benefit Analysis clearly favoured the 3-SSA, generating a major impact on the river water quality at lower cost compared to the Conventional Strategy.
General introduction, Literature review, Evaluation of pollution prevention options in the municipal water cycle, Conceptual framework to select urban drainage system technology based on the Three-Step Strategic Approach, Financial aspects of reclaimed wastewater irrigation in three sugarcane production areas in the Upper Cauca river basin, Colombia, Comparing dynamic and steady-state modelling to study the impact of pollution on the Cauca river, Validation of the Three-Step Strategic approach for improving urban water management and water resource quality improvement , Conclusions and recommendations.
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.