May 11, 2021 at 15:00

Panel Discussion on Safe and Responsible Reuse of Waste Water Resources

Co-organized by ECo-Series and ECORISK2050


Natural resources are under increasing pressure globally due to climate change and growing demand by the agricultural and industrial sectors. In order to achieve a sustainable, circular economy, innovative approaches for waste reduction and resource reclamation are needed. Wastewater treatment plant sludge and liquid effluent have been identified as promising waste resources which can be reused to ease pressures on a range of other resources, such as irrigation water and nutrient fertilizer. However, centralized municipal wastewater treatment facilities mix wastewater from many sources (such as household wastewater, urban stormwater, commercial/industrial wastewater, etc.). This can lead to the occurrence of a wide range of substances in sludge and liquid effluent, including heavy metals, organic contaminants, and microplastics. The environmental and human risks posed by these substances complicates the question of when and how wastewater resources can be reused safely and responsibly.

In this webinar, world-renowned experts from Sweden, Israel, and The Netherlands will present and discuss the most important issues pertaining to the reuse of wastewater resources. The event will begin with short presentations by each panellist, followed by a facilitated discussion on the challenges and opportunities surrounding wastewater reclamation, and will end with a question and answer session with the audience.

Key references

Finnson, A. The Swedish strategy for recycling of wastewater resources and EU’s waste and recycling hierarchy.

Fate of pharmaceutical residues – in sewage treatment and on farmland fertilized with sludge

Österås et al. 2015. Screening of Organic Pollutants in Sewage Sludge Amended Arable Soils.

Dingemans, M.M.L.; Smeets, P.W.M.H.; Medema, G.; Frijns, J.; Raat, K.J.; van Wezel, A.P.; Bartholomeus, R.P. Responsible Water Reuse Needs an Interdisciplinary Approach to Balance Risks and Benefits. Water 2020, 12, 1264.

Fu, Q.; Malchi, T.; Carter, L.J.; Li, H.; Gan, J.; Chefetz, B. Pharmaceutical and personal care products: From wastewater treatment into agro-food systems. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 14083–14090.


15:00-15:05 Introductions

15:05-15:35 Panelist presentations

15:35-16:00 Panel discussion

16:00-16:15 Audience Q&A

About the Participants

Prof. Dr Annemarie van Wezel

Prof. Dr Annemarie van Wezel (1968, MSc Biology UU, PhD environmental chemistry and toxicology UU) has long experience as a scientist in water quality, risk assessment and risk mitigation, environmental toxicology and chemistry, and environmental policy evaluation. She was granted many projects in the field of chemicals of emerging concern and water quality, examples are the European projects FP7 Solutions, ITN ECORISK2050, ITN PERFORCE3, and Dutch NWO funded projects such as Shale gas & water, TRAMP (Technologies for risk assessment for microplastics), EMERCHE (Effect-directed Monitoring tools to assess Ecological and human health Risks of CHemicals of Emerging concern in the water cycle), RUST (Re-USe of Treated effluent for agriculture), and PsychoPharmac’eau (Psychopharmaceutical Prevention & Pilots to Reduce Effects in the water cycle). She is interested in the science-to-policy interface, in scientific outreach, and has ample experience in media appearances. She is a member of the Dutch Health Council and the Dutch Board on authorization of plant protection products and biocides CTGB. She holds the chair Environmental Ecology and is Scientific Director of IBED (Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics) at the University of Amsterdam.

Twitter: @wezelannemarie

Prof Benny Chefetz

Benny Chefetz is professor of Environmental Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The overarching goal of his research is to elucidate physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence the fate of organic molecules in the environment, with special emphasis on the agricultural environment. In particular, his special interests are agricultural irrigation with reclaimed wastewater and the effects on human health, the fate of pharmaceutical compounds in soil and water, the sorption-desorption behaviour of xenobiotics in soils and sediments, the fate and processes of nanoparticles in the environment, and the nature and reactivity of dissolved organic matter. Professor Chefetz is part of the ECORISK2050 ITN.

Twitter: @BennyChefetz

Anders Finnson

Anders Finnson works as a Senior Environment Advisor in the field of wastewater and environment at Svenskt Vatten (the Swedish Water & Wastewater Association). His expert fields are control at source strategies for hazardous chemicals, circular economy, wastewater treatment processes and energy&biogas production. Anders is also coordinator for European affairs at Svenskt Vatten. Anders has had several different positions at EurEau, the voice of Europe’s drinking water and wastewater service operators . He is now chairing the EurEau Joint Working Group on Water Framework Directive.

Anders is a member of the Swedish Ecolabeling Committee (The Nordic Swan/Svanen), the advisory council of the Swedish Chemicals Agency , and the board of NGO Toilets Without Borders. Mr. Finnson was awarded the Föreningen Vatten Award for water in 2021.

Twitter: @andersfinnson


Assistant Prof. Marlene Ågerstrand

Dr. Marlene Ågerstrand’s research focuses on understanding the science-policy interactions in risk assessment and management of chemicals. Aspects of interest include evaluation of data for use in decision-making, the efficiency of management options, and the role of experts in decision-making. Together with colleagues at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, she developed the webtool SciRAP ( which provides methods for the evaluation of toxicity and ecotoxicity studies for use in hazard and risk assessment of chemicals.

Twitter: @m_agerstrand