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On 15 December 2015 a large joint project of the ESS group of IBED and the Department of Geoscience and Engineering of TU Delft was funded in the WATER 2014 call of STW – NWO. Within the project lead researchers Timo Heimovaara (TU-Delft) and Boris Jansen (IBED, UvA) will lead a research team consisting of several partners from science and industry to develop and implement new technology to strategically reduce the permeability of the ‘leaking’ water bodies.

Kootwijkerveen, an area with stagnating water (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Leaking layers 

Water management in low lying Delta Areas like The Netherlands in many cases requires control of infiltration or seepage of water. The aim of the project is to develop a bio-based geo-engineering technology for in-situ permeability reduction. The technology will subsequently be applied to reduce the infiltration loss or the seepage burden due the unwanted flow of water through highly permeable layers in the sub-surface. Key to the new procedure are naturally occurring processes involving the precipitation of organic matter and aluminum in soils. The project team aims to utilize the great potential of these natural processes for engineering purposes. Total budget of the project is 1.5 M€, ca. half of which is brought in by the external partners of the project. From this funding two PhD students and a postdoc will be appointed.


Technology Foundation STW realises the transfer of knowledge between the technical sciences and users. It does this by funding excellent technical scientific research and by bringing researchers and users together in each project.

Visit the profile page of Dr Boris Jansen

Visit the personal website of Dr Timo Heimovaara

STW Water programme at NWO (in Dutch)