Sustainable Use and Management of Soil, Sediment and Water Resources

15th International Conference | 20–24 May 2019 | Antwerp, Belgium


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(Aqua)ConSoil conferences

2. Advances in assessment of risk and monitoring of soil, sediment and water quality

The investigation and assessment of soil, sediment and water quality, including risk assessment remains an important and always progressing theme.

This theme focuses on contributions on the recent advances we have in sampling, monitoring techniques, risk assessment and methods to do this smarter,

faster and cheaper. Topics under this theme are:

2a) Advances in sampling, monitoring techniques and methods (e.g. molecular bio indicators, online monitoring tools, etc…)

2b) Analysis techniques (e.g. screening, non-target analysis, etc….)

2c) soil-sediment-water interaction and system dynamics

2d) Human and environmental health risk assessment

3. Diffuse and emerging contaminants in the soil-sediment-water system

Diffuse pollution and emerging contaminants such as PFOS, PFOA, pyrazole, GenX and antibiotics, endocrine disrupters, pathogens, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides are causing a lot of societal concern and could pose risks to human health and the environment. Also contaminants of emerging concern such as asbestos and lead are of interest in this theme. What are their effects on ecosystems and human health? How can we deal with them in a sensible way, knowing that data are still missing? What are differences in approaches in different countries? Topics under this theme are:

3a) Sampling and analysis of diffuse and emerging contaminants

3b) Risk assessment and strategies for prioritization and monitoring of diffuse and emerging contaminants

3c) Reactive interfaces: unsaturated zone, sediments and groundwater

3d) Policy strategies and governance of diffuse and contaminants of emerging concern

4. Advances in remediation technologies

The advances in remediation technologies remain of high interest for AquaConSoil. This theme aims to exchange the progress in remediation technologies. New technologies, smart combinations to reach multiple (environmental and societal) goals, cheaper and more environmentally safe and friendly solutions and inspiring examples are welcome. Topics under this theme are:

4a) Bio-, nano-, and chemical remediation

4b) Physical, thermal and stabilization techniques

4c) Combined treatment technologies and technology trains

4d) Phytoremediation and ecological engineering and nature based solutions

4e) Post-treatment monitoring in relation to long term site management

5. Strategies and management of contaminated land including legal, social and economic aspects

This theme has the objective to discuss strategies and management of contaminated land and brownfields. There are many barriers to start remediation or redevelopment and to bring these sites back into beneficial use. In many occasions the barriers are not just technical, but from legal and economic origin. How can these barriers be overcome and what are the drivers of change?

Topics under this theme are:

5a) Legal & economic aspects of management of contaminated land | ....please click to learn moreDuring AquaConSoil 2019, a full day will be dedicated to topic 5a) Legal and economic aspects of management of contaminated land. During this day, special sessions will be organised, in which economic and legal experts will be involved. Several subtopics with related questions are given underneath to inspire you to submit your abstract for this special day. Economic aspects • Environmental Due Diligence:o What are the challenges in transactions of land and companies?o How are environmental liabilities quantified?o How are the liabilities managed and risks mitigated? • Accounting and financial statements:o How is the environmental liability incorporated in the balance sheet?o How is the environmental liability financially managed?o How are the provisions defined? • Financing of soil remediation:o How is the total remediation cost defined?o Can soil pollution be insured?o What about VAT, taxes and registration in remediation and transactiono What are the different financing options? • Remediation contracting:o What type of contracts exist to tackle a soil remediation through service providers (investigations, design and execution)?o How to manage the remediation program from identification to delivery of the remediation works?o How to secure against cost-overrun? Legal aspects • Comparison of soil legislation in different countries:o Evaluations, WIKI on soil policy instruments.o What is the link of national soil legislation with the European Environmental Liability Directive and the European Industrial Emissions Directive?o Soil law in various legal systems: Comparative law (Common Law versus Continental law) • Application of legislation:o Cases jurisprudence: previous court decisions in applying environmental legal principles • Environmental liability:o What are possible liabilities related to contaminants (of emerging concern)?o What is their impact?o Is the juridical framework appropriate to deal with old and new emerging contaminants? • Development of policy and legislation:o What are the different options for developing a policy for excavated soil, contaminated or not?o In the development of legislation for contaminated soils, how do we find a balance between 'the polluter pays' principle and the responsibilities of the current manager or owner of the contaminated land?o What is the boundary between contaminated soil and waste. Are there new developments? • Instruments:o What legal instruments are available to promote the development of brownfields?o We remediate "fit for use". How can we incorporate legal instruments that offer guarantees for investigation and remediation of the residual contamination at the moment that the land use changes? 

5b) Remediation goals and strategies

5c) Sustainability and socio-economic evaluation and public perception related to remediation, including societal participatory approaches

5d) Managing large scale industrial and agricultural pollution (water soil energy food nexus)


SPECIAL DAY: During AquaConSoil 2019, a full day will be dedicated to topic 5a) Legal and economic aspects of management of contaminated land.

During this day, a set of special sessions will be organised, in which economic and legal experts will be involved. To inspire you on the topic, please download this file.

6. Land stewardship

Resource demand is increasing as a result of the growing human population. In addition, the availability of resources is diminished due to unsustainable use in the past. As an economic system that focuses on maximizing the reuse of resources and products and minimizing their depreciation, the circular economy greatly influences and depends on the management of soil, sediment, water and land. Inspiring examples on how to reduce, reuse and recycle can help to make people aware of that role. Topics under this theme are:

6a) Valuations of soil-sediment-water systems: natural capital accounting, ecosystem service assessment and socio-economic cost benefit analysis

6b) The role of soil, water and sediment in relation to societal challenges and UN Sustainable Development Goals

6c) Sustainable spatial planning of land and the subsurface, balancing rural-urban systems

6d) Public perception and behaviour in relation to soil and water

7. Land, soil, water and sediment in the circular economy

Many land owners and users change their management perspective from problem solving to long term and sustainable management. The paradigm shift to sustainable land management needs specific emphasis on sustainable resource use of soil, sediment and water and halting land and soil degradation. The soil-sediment-water system delivers many services (food supply, soil energy, water regulation, space for human activity, etc.) that are of high value in a world where pressures increase due to global change (population dynamics, climate change, …).

Topics under this theme are:

7a) Circular land use and brownfield regeneration

7b) Reuse and upgrading of soil, sediment and water and their products; recovery of valuable resources; improving ecological functioning

7c) Nature based solutions: effectiveness for long term ecosystem services for soil and water

Topics         PDF Download detailed topic version

1. Soil and water in the digital world

The world is changing. Innovations emerge fast and change our possibilities. The use of drones, big data, the internet of things, block chain technology:

how can these new technologies be usefully applied for soil, sediment, water and land management? This theme focuses on these new developments, their opportunities and what their value can be in our field of work. Sub-topics are:

1a) Big data, smart data combinations

1b) Artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning, data treatment, forecasting/trends, etc….), internet of things and block chain

1c) New technological developments (use of drones, smart sensors, participatory monitoring by smartphones / twitter, etc….)


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