Sustainable Water Systems

Vital importance

Sufficient and clean freshwater is of vital importance. Yet it is not evident. Intensification of agriculture, the growing population and increasing  prosperity, increases the use of clean freshwater. At the same time ground and surface water are put under more pressure by pollution, such as nutrients, pesticides, medicines and other micro-pollutants. Moreover climate change leads to a new dynamic in evaporation and precipitation. This tension field is the work field of the professorship Sustainable Water Systems.

By means of applied research we want to contribute to the security of sufficient clean freshwater  for consumption, nature, agriculture, recreation and industry. Together with VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) Studies, Centres of expertise (water technology and delta technology) and end users (water boards, municipalities, water companies, agriculture and industry) we develop new and applicable knowledge, concepts and tools for sustainable and future proof water management.

The professorship mainly focuses on new concepts that contribute to diminishing the dirt load and increasing the purifying and retaining capacity of water systems. Important research topics: wetlands and innovative monitoring.

About the professor

Professor Peter van der Maas is trained as environmental  technologist at the Van Hall Instituut and Wageningen University. In Wageningen he received his PhD degree on innovative technology for nitrogen removal. During his career as technologist, researcher and advisor Peter worked on many substantive aspects regarding water treatment and water quality.

Since September 2017 Peter is working for VHL as professor Sustainable Water Systems. Besides he works at WLN as strategic advisor water technology. By means of applied research Peter wants to contribute to the social task to keep clean drinking water available for people, agriculture, industry and nature, also in the long term.


  • Wetlands – purifying- and water-retaining capacity 
    We make use of scientific knowledge by further developing wetland configurations and by demonstrating them in practice. In order to optimally combine natural purification processes with nature and agriculture. The research focuses on design and landscaping of wetland systems, matching the landscape and the environment, while searching for synergy with agriculture and the re-use of raw materials. 
  • Innovative monitoring – good insight into water quality 
    By means of applied science we contribute to the development of reliable and affordable concepts for water quality monitoring, and demonstrate these in practice. The research is focused on new methods for  measuring, presenting and predicting the water quality and pollution load of water systems, to better anticipate on possible risks for man and nature.

Knowledge centre

Apart from the professor the professorship consists of a stable core of employees who give shape to the education- and research programme. The knowledge centre consists of the following lecturers, researchers and professors: 

  • Marije Strikwold, Toxicology, Life Science & Technology 
  • Leo Bentvelzen, Environmental Science 
  • Jeroen Huisman, Environmental Science 
  • Peter Groenhuijzen, Land- and Water Management 
  • Adrian Noortman, Landschape Architecture 
  • Jan Fliervoet, Delta Areas and Resources 
  • Jasper van Belle, Aquatic Ecology 
  • Luewton Agostinho, Water Technology 
  • Inge de Vries, project management


Professor Peter van der Maas 
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel.: +31 (0)6 20 61 46 37