Chris Holtslag ii
My interest in developing countries and thinking about elemental problems, has led me to seek agraduation topic that could take me abroad and let me put Industrial Ecology to practice. I found thisin Delft where UNESCO-IHE deals with all the sustainability aspects regarding water. One the projectsof UNESCO-IHE is called SWITCH
‘Managing Water for the City of the Future’, an action research
program with partners in more than 15 countries. One of the cities involved is Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. I was able to take part in the research team based at the National University of Colombia(UNAL), in the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA) making this water project the subject of mymaster thesis.The master program Industrial Ecology looks at the current problems the world is facing and tries to
tackle unsustainability with a system’s perspective and a multi
-disciplinary approach. Many of theworlds current problems be it energy, poverty, development or climate change, are related to water.During my study I became more and more convinced that sustainable water management is a basiccondition for sustainable development.The UNESCO-IHE is an institute that attracts people from all countries that want to learn more aboutsolving water-related problems. I wanted to do my Msc thesis on the subject but first wanted a morehands-on experience in an institute with this special focus. I was able to do an internship at UNESCO-IHE with professor Maarten Siebel, and learned about a project in Colombia. This SWITCH projectfocused on the Bogotá River and looked at ways to reduce its pollution from effluents of tanneriesthat were dumped in the river upstream. A second project was initiated focusing on a regionupstream of Bogotá, the Tominé catchment. The idea was to make an analysis of the problems in thecurrent water management system which could be used to further develop an integrated watermanagement plan. In Colombia I was part of the research team that made this analysis, and at thesame time could use this experience as the subject of this MSc thesis.I want to thank: Maarten Siebel, Gijsbert Korevaar, Mónica Sanz, Tania Santos, Claudia Casallas,Leonardo Guayara, Hernán Yanguatín, Ricardo Castro, Carolina Tobón, Eduardo Molina, ClaudiaRomero, Edwin Moreno, Laura Osorio and Luis Carlos Bohorquez for making my trip to Colombiapossible and unforgettable.My parents Henk and Gerda and my sister Sita for their unconditional support and last but not leastmy loving girlfriend Astrid for letting me go to Colombia for 4 months and being so patient.