The professorship for Circular Economy and Water Resources Management engages in topics concerning sustainable exploitation of the deltas and related ecosystem services. Deltas are some of the most fertile and most productive landscape types on our earth. One in 15 people lives and works in a flat country interspersed with rivers. Therefore, it is not surprising that it is in these very deltas that tensions arise with regard to making money, the quality of the environment and ecological resilience.
The Netherlands has enough experience to arrive at creative solutions together with public and private parties in so-called Living Labs or Experimental Gardens, while maintaining a balance between the various interests. Water-related knowledge has become one of our most important export products. Not only does this concern protection against floods, but also shipping, water purification and water management in agriculture.
We are on the threshold of a great global change when it comes to the arrangement, exploitation and management of our deltas. The effects of climate change and the ever-growing population call for a fundamentally different approach to the way we use ecosystem services. We need to step away from the linear economy that is based on producing and consuming as much and as cheaply as possible, and take steps toward a circular economy where waste hardly exists anymore and more attention is paid to our well-being. Technological innovations (CleanTech & Smart Engineering), new forms of cooperation and business models show us that the circular economy is no longer fiction.
Toine Smits studied biology at Radboud University in Nijmegen and started his career in water management and sustainable river management as head of the division for Strategy, Environment and Urban Planning (1994 - 2000) and head of the department of Integral Water Policy (2000 - 2004) at the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (RWS Oost-Nederland). He was also professor of Nature Conservation in Stream Corridors and Sustainable Water Resource Management at Radboud University Nijmegen and Erasmus University Rotterdam respectively.
Toine currently works as a professor of Sustainable Water Management at Radboud University; a post he combines with his positions as professor of Circular Economy and Water Resources Management and leading professor of Delta Areas and Resources at VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL).
If you would like to know more about (the projects of) the professorship, then you can contact Toine Smits via firstname.lastname@example.org
PO box 9001
6880 GB Velp