To construct buildings, it is often necessary to pump out groundwater, as process as ‘dewatering’. Most of that water subsequently ends up in the sewer system. An intolerable economic and ecological waste, which has caused more and more resentment in recent dry years. We have all heard our neighbor complaining along the lines of: "I'm not allowed to water my lawn while a construction site in my street is pumping up plenty of water and discharging it into the sewers."
Until now, it was thought that 6 million cubic meters disappeared through the sewers in this way every year. But groundwater specialist Professor Marijke Huysmans (VUB, KU Leuven) came to an even more shocking number of water wasted this way: around 63 million cubic meters per year.
63 million cubic meters disappear through the sewers every year.
There are also other problems with dewatering: flow meters do not always work correctly and there are still unlicensed dewatering operations going on. These are pressing problems due to the increasing water scarcity. Minister of Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) therefore announced that legislation would be amended so that water infiltration and reuse would become the rule for dewatering. This creates opportunities for Werfwater, a sustainability focused company in our portfolio. Werfwater has built a platform to connect local supply and demand, for example using construction water for agriculture. This saves water that otherwise ends up in the sewer system. Additionally, Werfwater’s digital platform allows to control and monitor the flow accurately, as well as alarm the construction dewaterers incase of a defect. With its platform, Werfwater wants to guide the construction sector towards a sustainable, circular and responsible water management model.