Wetenschap - 19 februari 1998

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • The influence of the department of Rural Planning in Wageningen on the development of the Dutch landscape has decreased in the past decades, but several WAU graduates, now working in commercial offices, are still coming up with prominent and talked-about designs. Wageningen was the cradle of landscape architecture earlier this century, when professors designed the new Dutch polders and graduates integrated agricultural engineering and nature conservation at the Dutch Forestry Commission. The designs became more and more official, and used as instruments for negotiation between farmers and ecological organisations. In response to this process, commercial bureaus developed new visions and creative designs and are now the leading rural architects
  • Joke Snel, who works in the registrar's office of the University, is about to sail from Timor to Australia on an ancient bamboo raft. An experimental archaeological journey of 460 nautical miles, she hopes to complete it in ten days, together with a group of Englishmen. She was invited to join the expedition by her English friends, because she has made a journey on a catamaran with them before. The aim of the expedition is to try and discover how the Australian continent first became inhabited by humans tens of thousands of years ago. The crew members will be taking a harpoon with them, but no modern fishing equipment. They will also do without pots and pans, and tea and coffee. I was attracted by the adventure, states Snel, who wasn't really inspired by her study at the WAU and was unsure whether her contract at the university would be extended
  • Wageningen will be the first municipality in the Netherlands with a double water supply system: clean groundwater for drinking and cooking, and nearly clean surface water for taking a shower, washing clothes and flushing the toilet. As a result, the households will save fifty percent of the drinking water supply. At the moment the Dutch households waste twenty percent of the drinking water supply by flushing it through the toilet. The Nuon water company will use seepage water from the neighbourhood, which will first be filtered. The removal of surface water will also improve. Rainwater will no longer be mixed with the waste water, which means that heavy rainfall won't overload the sewer system and dirty the surface water. Municipalities haven't invested in this sewer system before because it's hard to calculate whether the savings in the water use will match the extra investment
  • The quality of the surface water in the Netherlands has improved in the past years, because the biggest polluters clean their wastewater with end-of-pipe technology. However, the environment is also threatened by diffuse pollution, the growth of cities and interventions in the landscape. As a consequence, the basin of the Regge river in the Netherlands is now facing the twin problems of drought and floods. The course of the river was narrowed in the past. Giving back the river its natural course will improve the water quality and its buffer capacity. An integrated design for the water basin area will also improve the water infrastructure, says country planner Maarten van der Vlist of the WAU

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