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Pioneering collaboration between American top university and Danish companies on groundwater

By State of Green, May 17, 2018

Researchers from Stanford University in California and Danish groundwater companies have signed a collaboration agreement to develop Danish water technology solutions further and apply these in California’s new groundwater programme.

In recent years, California has faced problems with pollution of the groundwater and decreasing groundwater levels due to long-lasting draught and a booming agricultural industry. A new project, which will run over the next twenty years, aims at targeting these challenges by adapting and developing Danish water technology solutions to address the Californian demand. Additionally, the project aims at collecting and bringing new knowledge to Denmark to help support the development of Danish water technology solutions.

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The project is a collaboration between Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) and Aarhus University alongside the American company Aqua Geo Frameworks, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the Danish companies Ramboll, I-GIS and SkyTEM Surveys. These companies are represented by the Trade Council’s Water Technology Alliance at the Danish Consulate General in Silicon Valley.

Mapping of groundwater
The collaboration agreement is a big breakthrough and a commercial opportunity for the Danish companies. One of the project’s focus areas is to map the Californian groundwater. Through a combination of systematic helicopter overflights and detailed mapping of the underground, Danish solutions will help develop a specific mapping model for California’s groundwater program. A model that includes great opportunities for the Danish companies:

– For Ramboll and other Danish companies, it is time to benefit from the experience derived from the Danish Groundwater Mapping programme. The authorities in California are initiating a similar programme. Of course, there are differences, but there are definitely also similarities where Danish knowledge and know-how will prove valuable, said Max Halkjær, Water Resource Specialist in Ramboll.

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To ensure the most efficient conditions for the establishment of the project, it has secured financial support from The Environmental Technological Development and Demonstration Program (MUDP). MUDP has allocated DDK 4 mill to support the part of the project that can give Danish companies a technological lead on the global market.

Great Business Potential for Denmark
According to the Trade Council, the project will develop Danish methods and technological solutions through the collaboration between researchers from Stanford Earth and Aarhus University. The hope is that these experiences will evolve into new opportunities for Danish companies:

– The Trade Council is proud to contribute to this project through our Water Technology Alliance. The project aims at adapting and applying Danish water technologies to the benefit of sustainable handling of groundwater in California. At the same time, the collaboration with Stanford Earth will result in new and innovative ways of managing groundwater – not only in California but also globally, said Jacob Vind, Head of the Water Technology Alliance.

Source: The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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