Sustainable Water Management Online Training Series Started

Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) has started an online training on “The Sustainability of Water and Wastewater Management” within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partnership with the Danish Consulate General in Istanbul and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT). The training is organized for technical staff and managers working in water and sewerage administrations at 30 metropolitan municipalities in Turkey. The first online training session addressing the case of Aarhus water management was held on 17 December 2020.

The program started with the opening speeches of the Danish Consul General Anette Galskjøt, MMU Secretary General M. Cemil Arslan and UMT Secretary General Birol Ekici. In her speech, Galskjøt said that Denmark has been one of the leading countries on water technologies, and has efficient and transparent water management thanks to the usage of the cutting edge technology applications. She also added that they are planning to inspire Turkish municipalities with this training series.

Referring to his own life experiences on bringing water to the places without water, Ekici said “This is the most exciting program I've attended recently. We are aware that our country is poor in terms of water resources. We are aware that we must not pollute the water and water resources and that we must protect them. Clean and healthy drinking water resource is one of the features that will make cities attractive.”

MMU Secretary General M. Cemil Arslan underlined that MMU has continued its efforts to increase the capacity of its members during the pandemic. He stated that MMU aims to create a suitable ground for the exchange of experience and best practices with this online training which brings together Danish experts and representatives and the water and sewerage administrations at Turkish metropoles. Arslan also expressed his wishes that the program would be beneficial to everyone and that the common benefits would continue to increase.

The program continued with presentations made by Aarhus Municipality's Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs Bünyamin Şimşek, Aarhus Water Administration Operations Director Flemming F. Pedersen, Aarhus Water Management Project Manager Flemming B. Møller. In his presentation, Şimşek said “Our goal is to provide clean water to our citizens at low cost and to keep the water quality high. This applies not only to drinking water, but also to seas and lakes. Since we make the necessary investments, we are about to reach this goal very soon.” He added “As Aarhus, we aim to reach the zero carbon target by 2030. This is a big target that we set in 2018. It is very important to be able to drink clean water from the fountain. One hundred percent of the city can drink water from the tap. Our tap water is better and cleaner than the values of samples taken from plastic bottles."

The second speaker Flemming F. Pedersen made a presentation titled “Operations, Investments, Technology, Challenges and Opportunities”. Pedersen said “You can drink water from a fountain all over Denmark. Drinking tap water is not very common in the world, generally bottled water is more trusted. The city's drinking water is supplied from groundwater and we do not add chlorine since the water is generally sterile. For this reason, we provide 15 million m3 drinking water to our city annually while refining the groundwater from the source to the tap in a closed circuit without human touch. With 4 wastewater treatment plants, 35 million m³ wastewater is refined."

Giving presentation on “The State of the art technology, wastewater treatment plants producing net energy - technology and operation optimization”, Flemming B. Møller said that the wastewater treatment first phase master plan was made to cover the period 2006-2016, while the second phase was planned and developed to cover the years 2017-2025. He stated that, according to the 2020 Energy and Resource Strategy, they plan to make Aarhus a carbon neutral, energy neutral, net energy producer and to recover 50 percent phosphorus as their 2030 goals.

Mini Panel : “Energy Neutral Water Sector”

Following the presentations, a mini-panel session titled “Energy Neutral Water Sector” where managers from Danish companies, namely Grundfos, Danfoss, and AVK were speakers. In the panel,  Ismail Sincik,  Country Manager AVK International in Turkey, emphasized there are two different ways to have energy neutral water sector; one way is to minimize and optimize the current energy consumption, whereas the other is to produce more energy using existing resources. He added "We export valve more than 100 countries and work on minimizing energy consumption. In this context, we have recently focused on reducing losses and leakages the most. "

Danfoss Turkey General Manager Emre Goren stated that Danfoss, founded in 1933, is Denmark’s one of the largest industrial companies, and has an intense interest in the products and solutions that serve energy efficiency. Adding that district heating is a very important energy efficiency factor, Gönen said that they work with municipalities in this regard. Burak Gürkan, Area Managing Director at Grundfos, said that although Grundfos is known as a Danish pump manufacturer founded in 1945, it works intensely on water and energy efficient technologies in line with the current needs of the produced pump.

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