The challenge for me is to make connections, from a distance, between the existing expertise and the new knowledge on hydraulic modelling.
The story of Evelien Martens
Vitens Evides International, a partnership between seven Dutch drinking water companies, approached us in 2019 to ask whether a hydraulic modelling specialist was available for a knowledge transfer project on water systems in the Philippines. Many people on these islands have no access to drinking water facilities, or they only have it for a few hours a day. What’s more, the need for water is increasing due to population growth. A couple of weeks later, I was on my way to the Philippines to be part of the PEWUP programme.
The aim of this programme is to give more people access to safe water and sanitary facilities. Our contribution consists of transferring knowledge on drinking water systems to employees at three water companies. At the end of 2019, I spent three weeks there getting the training in hydraulic modelling started at the first company. In drinking water management, hydraulic models are used to develop and optimise networks. These models are quite new in the Philippines and we possess the knowledge and experience to help.
The plan was to go back in 2020 – for three weeks at a time on four separate occasions – to continue the training at the first company and get it up and running at the others. But then corona came along and it was no longer possible to exchange knowledge on location. We’ve since switched to online training courses. Rather than daily sessions over three weeks, we conduct two- to three-hour sessions a couple of times a week, over the course of a few months per company. That requires a different set-up and approach. The employees of the companies have a lot of knowledge about their own system; the challenge for me is to make connections, from a distance, between the existing expertise and the new knowledge on hydraulic modelling.