Studies show that 900 million people in the world lack access to drinking water and skills in water management are becoming increasingly important globally.
The Demonstration Skills Competition “Specialist in Water Technology” falls under the support of the DWA (German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste.) This new discipline will contribute to promoting vocational training and education in a field that presents major challenges around the world: the provision of a stable and sustainable water supply.
Studies show that 900 million people in the world lack access to drinking water and skills in water management are becoming increasingly important globally. Furthermore, wastewater plants are responsible for up to 30% of municipal power consumption. These are only a few facts which concern specialists from all over the world. Therefore, solutions have to be developed for the future of our global water supply.
In this new demonstration skill, “Specialist in Water Technology,” 16 teams from Germany competed to solve problems using the new EDS Water Management modular learning system. The system was developed in conjunction with Festo Didactic South Africa as part of the GIZ.Festo water training project, which is being piloted in South Africa.
Horst Weinert, Festo Didactic Manager (South Africa), explains, “It represents the core processes of a water and wastewater treatment plant in the form of a water cycle from source to wastewater treatment plant and back. It is a modular learning system developed to teach students about water supply and wastewater treatment,”
The EDS® Water Management system is equipped with industrial components and simulates the core processes of water and waste water plants, for example, iron flocculation, chlorine dosage and measurement, sedimentation, drain control, aeration and a lot more. The EDS Water Management system makes it possible to explore the principles behind the collection, extraction, transport and treatment of water and wastewater. It also offers measurement, open-loop control and closed-loop control technology.
Most of the EDS® components are the same as their real-life equivalents. Competitors, therefore, needed to understand the system as a whole. EDS is designed so that a certain amount of dirt is automatically added, which must behave in the same way as sludge particles and be fed back into the process after appropriate drying.
The system is sub-divided into four stations, each of which can be operated independently, and individual stations are designed as portable tabletop models. Associations, local municipalities and schools around the world can use the EDS to train people in planning both simple and complex projects in the field of water management, as well as maintain and optimise the operation of water provision and treatment plants.
The EDS allows students from Universities, vocational schools and employees of water and waste water companies to learn about water purification, water supply, waste water transport, waste water treatment and energy optimisation.
“We are working towards making this “Specialist in Water Technology” a new skill at the next Worldskills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015. As the EDS was developed in South Africa, we hope to send a winning team to compete in Brazil,” says Weinert.
“South Africa is a unique contrast of first- and third-world, so we have access to first-world knowledge and third-world applicability, which makes it a great place to test a prototype, and to test whether German technology can work in a developing country,” he concludes.