Interuniversity Research Center “Water” – cooperation for resource conservation

Międzyuczelniane Centrum Badawcze

In June 2023. The chancellors of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow, the Cracow University of Technology and the Cracow University of Agriculture signed an agreement on cooperation – the Inter-University Water Research Center. The project was developed within the framework of the InnoTechKrak Association of Universities. Krakow universities have established scientific teams that will conduct hydrogeological, hydrogeochemical and water management research at the Inter-University Research Center “Water.” They will also deal with the implementation of complex projects in the area of water supply problems for the population. The Inter-University Water Research Center has the largest scientific potential in the broad field of water engineering and management. Inter-University Research Center Inter-University Research Center Inter-University Research Center.

Inter-University Research Center “Water” – rational management of resources

Over the past 100 years, due to population growth and economic development, global water consumption has increased sixfold. The Inter-University Water Research Center is to take on the enormous challenge of finding a way to rationally manage the resource. Its plans include work on measures to measure and monitor environmental water safety, reduce pollution, eliminate wastewater discharge and minimize the release of hazardous chemicals into the environment.

“In the face of extremes in climatic events, comprehensive water management is a key factor in human survival,” – says Prof. Andrzej Szarata, rector of the Cracow University of Technology. – “In the modern world, there is no entity that specializes in absolutely all areas of issues, hence the idea to combine the strengths of Kraków’s universities and create a joint research center, operating in the field of engineering and water management.”

For 75 years, Krakow University of Technology has been involved in quantitative and qualitative aspects of water. The Inter-University Water Research Center, through the exchange of experience in the field of hydrology and water management, is expected to contribute to increasing the prestige of Krakow’s scientific community on the Polish and European arenas. “We will collect data together with the Marshal’s Office, which is our main partner in this effort. We will try to reach out to municipalities and local governments with offers of training and joint work. The offer will also be addressed to student circles and organizers of workshops at universities.” – AGH rector says.

Inter-University Research Center “Water” – a strong inter-university unit

“Our goal was to create a strong inter-university unit, able to quickly delegate a group of experts looking at water comprehensively – from its intake, through processing, testing, supplying, whatever the size of the unit that needs this water may be,” – explains prof. Stanislaw Rybicki. – “AGH has wonderfully developed chemical analytics, and the University of Agriculture is a recognized authority in Polish science in the field of water supply for smaller settlement units. Krakow University of Technology, working with all water supply companies in Poland, has a technological, water supply, treatment plant knowledge base and experience in solving everyday, real-world problems related to water treatment or pumping facilities and equipment.”

The main activities of the Inter-University Research Center “Water”:

The Water Research Center is expected to address, among other things:

  1. research on key aspects of the threat of water scarcity, natural hazards and related social challenges;
  2. Improving and consolidating climate-resilient water resource management systems;
  3. development of hydro-economic models aimed at the pursuit of water security in Poland, Europe and other parts of the world;
  4. Sustainable management of water resources in the context of a circular economy;
  5. Increasing the efficiency of water storage;
  6. assessing potential responses to global threats through mitigation and adaptation measures;
  7. Reduction of industrial water consumption and reusability;
  8. training a new generation of scientists with the skills to deal with the complex challenges of the future in the global aspects of water-energy-food-climate;
  9. climate change – preparing ecological, social and economic models for the use and management of water resources.

Poland in the group of countries threatened by water deficit

Poland is one of the countries most vulnerable to the water crisis. According to the Central Statistical Office, there is only about 1,600cubic meters of water per inhabitant, which ranks us 24th in the European Union. Therefore, it is important to manage it rationally. We wrote about how to do it and what funding you can use in an earlier article “My Water 2023 Program. Funding for retention“.

“With such low resources, during a drought, this indicator decreases to a value of less than 1,000cubic meters, which is already a dramatic situation, especially for the food production sector,” points out the rector of the University of Agriculture, Dr. hab. Eng. Sylvester Tabor. – “Very low retention is also a serious problem. In our country, the total volume of water stored in reservoirs accounts for only 6% of the volume of average annual river runoff. Under these conditions, we must expect the threat of water shortages in our homes. We are establishing the Inter-University Water Research Center to address research challenges on key aspects of water scarcity that are not the domain of one scientific discipline, but many – they are interdisciplinary.”

“Water is now a fundamental challenge for civilization, both in terms of conservation and supply. It is becoming an increasingly visible strategic resource,” says Prof. Jerzy Lis, rector of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow. – “Especially for agriculture. Crop problems are the result of water scarcity, and the agri-food industry is one of its biggest users.”

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