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Klaas Schwartz has been named professor by special appointment of Water Services Governance at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The chair is endowed by IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. ‘My chair focuses on the governance and management of the water supply.’

In recent years, problems have arisen within the drinking water industry that require appropriate solutions. These problems include the pollution of water sources, the decreasing amount of available water and competition from other sectors. These challenges call for not only technical solutions, but also transitions in the way drinking water companies operate. Klaas Schwartz: ‘The Water Services Governance chair deals with questions surrounding the governance and management of drinking water and sanitary facilities. In my role, I will work with other sectors to integrate the supply of water into wider urban development plans.’

Resilient to climate change

Rising demand has pushed existing water systems to their limits. This is a problem not only in the Netherlands, but even more so in other parts of the world. Of the sub-Saharan African population, only 31% can be supplied with clean water. ‘Due to drought, pollution of water sources and saltwater intrusion, water quality is under threat across the globe. Water suppliers must become climate proof if they want to get a grip on this issue. This transformation comes with many governance and policy challenges, which my chair will explore.’

About Klaas Schwartz

Klaas Schwartz studied Public Administration at the University of Twente and obtained a PhD in this field at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Working for IHE Delft since 1998, Schwartz has been involved in water supply management research, education and training in several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

About IHE Delft

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world. It supervises Master’s students and PhD candidates in cooperation with Dutch universities. IHE Delft supports research to address the world’s water challenges.