Board for Detection and Assessment of Pharmaceutical Drug Residues in Drinking Water - Capacity Building for Water Management in CE

Detecting and assessing pharmaceutical drug residues and personal care products in different hydrological systems using a combined monitoring and modeling approach

Water is one of the most valuable raw materials for today's civilization and one of the most important factors that determine the quality of our lives. On the one hand, technological development plays a significant role in various forms of environmental pollution; thus, also for water. On the other hand, scientific development can detect and combat these risks. This includes monitoring of the occurrence of recently unknown forms of contamination caused by micropollutants. Recent research shows that the aquatic environment, from which we produce potable water in Europe, contains anthropogenic substances - until a few years ago, their presence was unknown and there are still considerable knowledge gaps. This is where boDEREC-CE sets an innovative approach by implementing pilot sites in CE countries to monitor emerging contaminants (EC), above all pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP). PPCP includes any products used in personal healthcare, cosmetics, and medicated products, many compounds of which are broken down and degraded, many are not, and could persist in soil and reclaimed water, creating potential hazards to environmental and human life. This lack of knowledge needs to be tackled by developing one common course of action and policy on EU level.

The main activities of the project are:

  • design an integrated management model applicable for waterworks that improves the quality of drinking water
  • review national and transnational legislations and implementations related to the treatment of PPCP’s
  • monitoring different pilot sites in order to find sources of pollution and then to derive tailored monitoring strategies
  • assessing the effectiveness of attenuation in different natural systems
  • developing a model-based decision making framework, that supports decision makers to find adequate models that help to assess the behavior of different PPCP’s in different pilots

As WP3 leader, the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management is in charge of developing the model-based decision making framework, which should help water resources managers to find appropriate models to assess the behavior of PPCP’s in different hydrological systems. Given future legal thresholds, the tool can be used as an early warning tool. This tool will be tested under different conditions at waterworks. Furthermore, activities will be started to inform the general public about measures to reduce the usage and waste of PPCP’s. By the formation of a transnational board, research institutions and waterworks will continue networking for defining standards and guideline values.

Funding Programme: INTERREG Central Europe
Project start: 01.04.2019
Project end: 31.03.2022
Funded by: European Union
Supervised by: Croatian Geological Survey
Project management: M.Sc. Francesca Perosa
Project member: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Chiogna