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Urban food security and resilience through wastewater



The Aqua-Soil Approach stems from a holistic, integrated approach of cooperating parties. The idea of a holistic approach for the development of sustainable horticulture by using ecosystems in South Africa was the result of a joint project (river restoration project , Participation for restoration, with support from the Partners for Water program) that was conducted by Aqua-Terra Nova BV., For Elements BV. and Living Lands (NGO in South Africa). The initial phase has a strong focus on the challenges that South Africa is facing.

This approach has been able to evolve due to the input from Soil & More International and their knowledge on upgrading organic streams to fertile soils. Soil & More International also has a significant amount of project experience in South Africa. The four Dutch partners conducted a preliminary feasibility study that showed that the approach was applicable in different contexts and not merely in South Africa.

An interest has also emerged from other African countries. Also China, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central America have gained interest in the integrated approach that the Aqua-Soil Group obtains. The Dutch government and Dutch water sector also wanted to develop this initiative further in a broader context.

The Aqua-Soil Group has been set up as a social enterprise by Aqua-Terra Nova, For Elements and Verbos Business Development:

Aqua-Terra Nova (ATN) provides advice and conducts research in the area of water, urban planning, environment and ecology for the sustainable development of the green and built environment. Aad Wubben is the founder of ATN.

In recent years, ATN has also implemented projects in South Africa with Living Lands (South African NGO) and within the framework of the Aqua Soil Approach (ASA). Part of the ASA methodology has been implemented in the Netherlands (Bleiswijk), which links 100 hectares greenhouses to the wastewater treatment facilities. This project has been nominated for the Dutch Water Innovation Award in 2014 . Please check this link for further information.

For Elements is a proprietorship of Bart van Eck. Since 2010, Bart has had regular involvement in South Africa on the participatory river restoration (of the Baviaanskloof and Kromme rivier) and the Aqua-Soil Approach. Bart conducted a survey for the Dutch water sector in the Berg river basin in South Africa, which had been commissioned by the Dutch Embassy. For Elements also provides training in area of sanitation in Ghana, guidance in the set-up and management of water related missions and other related water-activities for the Dutch water management boards. He is also a teacher at the Hogeschool in Rotterdam. For more information please click here.

Verbos Business Development was founded by Aart van den Bos. By being a social entrepreneur, Aart is actively involved in international development. He has been part of several missions of the Dutch government as an expert on the interfaces between the Agro / Water sector. He founded Soil & More International (sustainable high quality composting using green waste) in 2007 with the establishment of a joint venture in South Africa. Aart van den Bos is an associated expert at Common Land with an office in Cape Town. For further information please click here.