The Academy of Finland organised the 2nd Water JPI Conference in Helsinki on 6–7 June 2018. Conference venue was Marina Congress Center. The aim of the international conference was to attract some 200 experts in emerging pollutants to meet and discuss common challenges and share their recent discoveries and knowledge. The conference was targeted at both researchers and end-users, especially policy-makers.
Millions of Europeans receive high-quality drinking water every day. However, the provision of safe water for drinking purposes is threatened by, for instance, the improper disposal of chemicals, animal and human waste, pesticides, emerging pollutants and emerging risks from “established” pollutants, aged water supply infrastructures, sub-optimal water management, and natural hazards.
By bringing together stakeholders from research and industry as well as policy-makers and relevant organisations, the conference contributed to filling knowledge gaps regarding the environmental behaviour of pollutants and their effects on human health. Specific topics covered included development of analysis and detection systems, water treatment opportunities, impacts of wastewater reuse on human health, new water management practices and risk predictions.
The Council of the European Union decided to launch a Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) in water research in December 2011. The aim the Water JPI is to have a joint European view of how to achieve sustainable water systems for a sustainable economy both in Europe and worldwide.
The 2nd Water JPI Conference was held in Helsinki, June 2018. Please find below the excellent conclusion of the talks and discussions of the conference by Maurice Heral, Water JPI Chair:
Thank you all for your participation!
The scientific programme of the conference will consist of keynote presentations, short scientific talks and panel discussions. There will also be thematic sessions such as:
- “Developing analytical techniques for groups of substances”
- “Understanding and predicting the environmental behaviour of by-products, pollutants and pathogens”
- “Developing strategies to reduce pollutants”
- “Emerging pollutants and their effects on human health”
- “New water management practices”.
Wednesday 6 June | Conference opening presentation
- Opening words by Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland,
and Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing
Thursday 7 June | Conference closing presentation
Keynote speakers confirmed to date:
- Fiona Regan, School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University and Director of the DCU Water Institute, Ireland
- Barbara Kasprzyk-Horden, Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, UK
- January 2018: Call for abstracts posted and advertised
- End of February 2018: Abstract submission closes
- End of March 2018: Authors notified of acceptance
- End of April 2018: Scientific programme posted
- 6–7 June 2018: Conference
- Dermot Diamond, Dublin City University
- Steven Eisenreich, Prof. em. Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Antonio Lo Porto, EurAqua, European Network of Freshwater Research Organisations
- Gilles Neveu, EU-INB, EU Network of River Basins Organisations
- Inmaculada Ortiz, Universidad de Cantabria
- Teppo Vehanen, EIFAAC, European Inland Fishery and Aquaculture Advisory Commission
Abstract preparation guide
While preparing your abstract, please bear in mind that conference participants consist of both researchers and policy-makers. Preference will be given to presentations that are of interest to end-user groups.
All abstracts must be written in English, using metric units. The title of the abstract must not exceed 160 characters. The body of the abstract is limited to 1,500 characters, excluding the title and the author listing. Please make the abstracts as informative and representative of your presentation as possible.
The organisers invite the submission of abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. To have your abstract considered for acceptance, you must register and submit the abstract before 23.59 (CET) on 15 March 2018 (the deadline has been extended!).
The abstract submission has ended. All presentators have been contacted and informed about the decisions. Thank you for your interest!
Talks are allocated 15 minute slots (12 minutes for presenting and 3 minutes for questions and discussion). The talk must not exceed these time limits. Please aim to present your work in the context of the relevant Theme 2 SRIA guidelines . When preparing your presentation bear in mind that conference participants are researchers, stakeholders and end-users. Please include one slide describing novelty, impact, and future research directions of your work.The presentation should be in PowerPoint format. Any files that you wish to present that are in other formats need to be tested with the help of the audio-visual technician before the presentation. Instructions on how to upload your presentation will be provided to speakers closer to the event.
Please aim to present your work in the context of the relevant Theme 2 SRIA guidelines . When preparing your poster presentation bear in mind that conference participants are researchers, stakeholders and end-users. Each poster will be assigned a number. You should put your poster up on the panel-board marked with this number. Posters will be attached to the board using pushpins that are provided by the organizers. The panel-boards are two-sided and there will be a poster on both sides of the board. Posters must be no larger than 95cm wide by 128cm high. Posters exceeding these specifications, may be subject to removal.
There is only one poster session at the conference.
Registration for the conference has ended. Please ask for last minute availability from the organisers.
Please remember that the registration to the conference is binding. In case you need to cancel your registration to the conference, we need a notification of your cancellation by May 22 via e-mail (to: laura.forsstrom (at) aka.fi). In case we do not receive your cancellation by May 22 and you do not register on site by 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, 2018, we will charge you a fee of 75 EUR.
Conference has no registration fee. However, the number of participants will be limited to no more than 250. We will confirm your attendance by the end of April 2018. If we need to limit the number of attendees, priority will be given to those participants with presentations on relevant themes as well as experts/policy-makers working with emerging pollutants.
You are expected to book your own accommodation, and we do not guarantee room availability. We recommend that you book your accommodation early, as Helsinki has a low availability of hotel rooms during summer months.
We have made pre-reservations at Scandic Grand Marina, which is located right next to the conference venue. For reservations, use the code BAKA030618, available until 15 May 2018. Availability is based on a first-come-first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed.
Alternative hotels close by:
The hotel is built into a former prison offering a unique place to stay only 300 metres away from the conference venue.
Traveller’s with a budget:
A few kilometres from the city centre, Myö hostel offers something a bit special for travellers with a medium budget. The hostel is situated right next to the lush central park of Helsinki so going out for nature walks is easy to do, but due to excellent bus and tram connections, the shops, cafes and restaurants of the city centre are also easy to access. Myö offers jobs for people with disabilities, making the working world more inclusive to everyone.
Omenahotels provide an affordable place to stay at a walking distance to the conference venue and to all of central Helsinki. The hotel is unstaffed, but personnel can be reached by phone if needed.
Eurohostel is located ca. 500 metres from the conference venue. The city centre can easily be reached by foot or tram from the hostel.
Helsinki has also plenty of Airbnb rentals ranking from private rooms to entire homes.
The conference venue is Scandic Marina Congress Center, located right in the heart of Helsinki.
- 5 June 2018 at 19.00–21.00: Icebreaker event at The Finnish Museum of Natural History
- 6 June 2018 at 18.00–21.00: Poster session with wine & snacks at conference venue
Helsinki is the capital of Finland. Find out more about Helsinki and its main attractions from Visit Helsinki.
Read what the organisers recommend from their hometown:
"There are over three million saunas in Finland. One of my favorite ones is Kultturisauna http://kulttuurisauna.fi/ (“Cultural Sauna”) in Merihaka district. It is a small and relaxing wood-heated sauna with separate steam rooms for men and women. Bring a swimsuit so you can go swimming in the Baltic Sea. They take no reservations and no groups of more then three persons. Good way to get to the sauna is to use one of my other Helsinki-favorites, the yellow City Bike." - Laura F.
"If you want to sense touch of history in marine environment, I strongly recommend Suomenlinna, an old atmospheric sea fortress on six islands! This is a perfect getaway place around the year and easy to reach by frequent ferry connection from Kauppatori." - Harri
"My favorite place in Helsinki is the Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden. Although it is located in the city centrum the atmosphere is very relaxing and peaceful.The outdoor garden, covering approximately four hectares, attracts the visitor to experience the world of plants. The outdoor part of the garden has just been renovated and the plant families are now located in the garden according to the tree of evolution. The central garden, an open area with ponds and flowers, bordered by the glasshouses and rose bushes invites you to walk slowly between plants and to sit down for a while to enjoy the flourishing of plants. In the middle of the garden is located a historic stone building envisioned as the king’s castle now houses a herbarium. In addition to the outdoor garden ten glasshouses offer a glimpse into the plant life of torrid deserts, humid rainforests and tropical wetlands." - Laura R.
Keynote speaker Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern will focus on Water fingerprinting to inform the state of the environment and public health.
Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern comes from the University of Bath, UK, where she leads the Environmental Chemistry Group. Their principal research interests fall into the three interrelated research areas of environmental, analytical and water sciences. The group is especially interested in water pollution and novel technologies used to decrease contamination of water as well as urban water and human epidemiology.
Questions presented to Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern – and her answers:
Affiliation information? Professor in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, United Kingdom
What brought you to your current position? Genuine passion for furthering knowledge and strong desire to make our environment better for all.
What do you see as the biggest water-related transboundary challenge? It’s easier to do research globally than ever before but it is still difficult to get research enabling global partnerships funded. This also concerns interdisciplinary research as many focus on narrow aspects and do not engage with the process holistically.
What is the added value of international cooperation in solving water-related challenges? International collaboration is paramount to the success of projects trying to tackle water challenges.
What are the most crucial research needs in terms of emerging pollutants? We need to engage more with interdisciplinary research, cross research boundaries to provide more comprehensive, less target driven risk assessment.
What role do lakes and rivers have in your life? I grew up next to a river. Water runs through my veins!
Keynote speaker Professor Fiona Regan will focus on Technical solutions and strategies to monitor and reduce pollutants.
Fiona Regan is Professor in Chemical Science at Dublin City University and Director of the DCU Water Institute. Her research focuses on environmental monitoring and she has a special interest in priority and emerging contaminants as well as the establishment of decision support tools for environmental monitoring using novel technologies and data management tools.
We asked Professor Regan to tell us about herself and what water means to her professionally and in everyday life.
Affiliation information? Director, DCU Water Institute, School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland.
What brought you to your current position? I studied Environmental Science and Technology and later completed a PhD in analytical chemistry in 1994. In 1996 I took up a lecturing position at Limerick Institute of Technology. In 2002 I joined the School of Chemical Sciences as a lecturer in analytical chemistry, in 2008 I became senior lecturer and in 2009 became the Beaufort Principal Investigator in Marine and Environmental Sensing. I established the DCU Water Institute at a time when water governance and management in Ireland was experiencing huge challenges and in a backdrop of a global water scarcity and quality crisis. There are real opportunities for leaders to change the way that we manage our water to provide a clean, safe and secure resource for everyone.
What do you see as the biggest water-related transboundary challenge? As the world’s population and economy grow, there will be an increase in pressure on water resources. For many years the World Economic Forum has identified the global water crisis as one of the top three risks. It is really critical that we can identify ways that we can share this really important freshwater resource. Water management is an issue of policy and governance the world over and we all need to work together to ensure a safe, secure water resource for everyone.
What is the added value of international cooperation in solving water-related challenges? Because of the cross-border nature of water we must strive to cooperate in order to achieve good water management and governance. Things like water pollution and flooding are scenarios that do not stop at borders and therefore we need to work together to solve these problems. Also, water scarcity is a growing concern that we can only learn from colleagues who are experienced in these areas and have been developing solutions for decades to combat scarcity.
What are the most crucial research needs in terms of emerging pollutants? Emerging pollutants are a topic of concern because of the growing numbers of chemicals in our waters and the lack of knowledge of their impact on human and ecosystem health. The current monitoring approaches deal only with spot sampling and do not consider the synergistic effects, the toxicity of chemicals, their level of occurrence and residence time in the environment. Research is needed to establish new and innovative monitoring approaches that take into account the toxicity of the water in relation to the occurrence of emerging contaminants. We need to understand the breakdown of the chemicals and the effects of these metabolites or degradation products. A strong approach linking sources of the chemicals and their occurrence in freshwaters is needed along with a study of toxic effects.
What role do lakes and rivers have in your life? As Director of the DCU Water Institute I think about the aquatic ecosystem every day and the importance of this resource in our lives in Ireland and across the world. We all have a role to play in managing this resource for the benefit of everyone on the planet. Understanding the value of the resource is key to that. In Ireland you are never far from rivers and lakes. Our freshwater forms our landscape and provides an important resource for drinking water and leisure. My research brings me to rivers and lakes frequently where I deploy sensors, monitor water quality, test our new sensors for e-coli and nutrients and teach students about aquatic chemistry. Flooding in Dublin is influenced by the rivers in this city and we are interested in studying how our rivers here respond to the new challenges of climate change effects on our rainfall.
Invited speaker Seppo Rekolainen
Seppo Rekolainen is the Director of International Water Cooperation at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Vice-Chair of Water JPI Scientific and Technological Board.
We asked Seppo Rekolainen to tell us about himself and what water means to him professionally and in everyday life.
Affiliation? Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland.
What brought you to your current position? I have always been interested in international water issues, both from research and governance point of view. My position in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides an excellent opportunity to get more acquainted and also to have some impact on water governance internationally.
What do you see as the biggest water-related transboundary challenge? The very basic issues are lack of trust, and due to that lack of political will. Very often full sovereignty is seen more important that cooperation with neighboring countries sharing the same water resources. The benefits of cooperation is maybe not fully understood are neglected.
What is the added value of international cooperation in solving water-related challenges? In case of shared waters, the benefits are often more clear to downstream countries: more equitable water allocation for various uses, less polluted waters etc. But also upstream countries may benefit, e.g. better economic and social development, reduced risks caused by weather extremes, better living conditions for migratory wish, and avoiding conflicts and increased migration. For example, in case of Syria, one of the root causes of the present crisis have been droughts and lacking cooperation with upstream countries, who now suffer for huge amount of exiles.
What are the most crucial research needs in terms of emerging pollutants? Measures how to reduce the use of such pollutants and how to keep them away from soils and waters.
What role do lakes and rivers have in your life? They provide me life and fun.
Panelist Dr. Nonhlanhla Kalebaila
Dr. Nonhlanhla Kalebaila is a Research manager at the Water Research Commission (South Africa) and holds a PhD in Chemical technology. Dr. Kalebaila is responsible for a portfolio of research on water supply, quality and treatment technology. Under this portfolio is a dedicated research programme on water quality and emerging contaminants.
We asked Dr. Kalebaila to tell us about herself and what water means to her professionally and in everyday life.
Affiliation information? Water Research Commission, South Africa. The Water Research Commission is a national public agency responsible for stimulating and funding research, as well as providing a strategic direction on water related matters.
What do you see as the biggest water-related transboundary challenge? Water stress due to a decline in water quality (and availability of usable water) is one of the significant challenges in inter-state water relations, and more so, where there are discrepancies in the governance of water quality, thus impacting on spatial targeting and implementation of harmonized water quality policies. Water quality changes are dynamic and erratic, thus, require forward thinking policies and agreements, that are flexible enough and adaptive in order to deal with emerging water quality conflicts.
What is the added value of international cooperation in solving water-related challenges? Water is a shared resource, thus, solving any related challenges, being it access, quantity or quality, require cooperation. Global collaborations and partnerships in tackling water challenges contributes to a heightened level of understanding and capacity to respond to these challenges much faster.
What are the most crucial research needs in terms of emerging pollutants? Need for development of rapid, accurate and highly sensitive analytical methods for detection and monitoring of emerging pollutants and also methods for assessing the risks thereof.
What role do lakes and rivers have in your life? Water plays a vital role in sustainable development and the availability of sufficient water of usable quality is necessary for economic growth, sustaining livelihoods and keeping the environment healthy.
Panelist Prof. Olli Varis
Professor, Vice Dean Olli Varis leads the Water and Development Research Group at Aalto University, Finland.
We asked Olli Varis to tell us about himself and what water means to him professionally and in everyday life.
What brought you to your current position? I have been working in a multifaceted way on sustainable freshwater management in an array of scales and from various viewpoints over quite a while. Trained as civil engineer, limnologist and systems scientist, I have kept integrating environmental, societal and economic aspects of water in a solution-seeking manner. My professional ambition has been to link scientific rigor with practical relevance, and these both with education of the young generation. A big part of my research and teaching has targeted developing parts of the world, with a focus on Asia.
What do you see as the biggest water-related transboundary challenge? Narrowness and selfishness, be it nationalism, deficiency of responsibility, lack of political will, or disciplinary chauvinism.
What is the added value of international cooperation in solving water-related challenges? International co-operation in terms of knowledge and information sharing, policy integration, cost and benefit sharing etc. should be the baseline in solving water-related challenges. This is most stringent with transboundary waters, but also crucial in all water issues since water problems and solutions are intrinsically shared through the hydrological cycle.
What are the most crucial research needs in terms of emerging pollutants? Addressing the ever-growing knowledge gaps and linking them to policy and public awareness.
What role do lakes and rivers have in your life? As a part of nature as a whole, a source of mental and physical integrity and recreation. I am very quickly lost if I am detached from nature, and cannot for instance follow the seasons of the nature.
The photo competition for the 2nd Water JPI Conference
Join us and take part in the Water challenges for a changing world Photo Competition "Take a picture of your research!".
The Water Joint Programming Initiative has launched a Photo Competition with the aim to communicate through an outright language the scientific topics of the Water JPI and the knowledge and results produced within the research developed.
The competition is open to all and the research community is invited to submit photographs by 15 May 2018 illustrating the Water JPI Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda thematic areas:
- Improving Ecosystem Sustainability and Human Well-being
- Developing Safe Water Systems for Citizens
- Promoting Competitiveness in the Water Industry
- Implementing a Water-wise Bio-based Economy
- Closing the Water Cycle Gap - Improving sustainable water resource management
The submitted photos will be on show during the 2018 Water JPI Conference to be held on 6-7 June 2018 in Helsinki (Finland) and the top 3 photos will be awarded on 6th June 2018 during the poster session.
More information on the photo competition, visit www.waterjpi.eu/