The Aqua Research Collaboration (ARC) was established in January 2010. The founding members of ARC are all European applied research institutes with a critical mass and proven intellectual and professional leadership in the watercycle research in Europe. These institutes dedicate themselves, within the Aqua Research Collaboration, to the development of European research into the water-use cycle. Their aim is to collectively strengthen the knowledge basis for all water cycle stakeholders by facilitating research, supporting the implementation of knowledge, and supporting capacity building, in particular of the water-related knowledge infrastructure in other member states. The mission of ARC is to catalyse the transition towards enhanced and more sustainable watercycle system services in Europe by:

  • Increasing the stock of knowledge through research in a European Collaborative Framework;
  • Supporting, demonstrating and implementing new applications through action research with end users;
  • Strengthening the European watercycle research system by utilizing synergies between Europe’s leading watercycle research institutes and by capacity building in regions of Europe not yet connected to the European science system.

ARC has successfully initiated a number of applied European water research projects under FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020, e.g. TECHNEAU, PREPARED, TRUST, DEMEAU, DESSIN and BINGO.
The ARC secretariat is currently hosted by IWW Water Centre, one of the leading water research institutes in Germany and a prominent member of the international research community. In its research branch, IWW is a private, non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Duisburg-Essen. Founded in 1986, IWW currently employs about 120 employees at the location Mülheim an der Ruhr/Germany. The 20 shareholders of IWW are mainly from the water-supply and wastewater sector.
The consulting and services branch provides expertise to water suppliers, industry, and public authorities in technical and analytical issues. IWW offers a broad range of service water analyses and is accredited for inorganic, organic, and microbiological parameters. A special focus is on quality control for service laboratories. IWW organises inter-laboratory trials in Germany and is involved in EU-wide quality assessment projects. Water economy and management consulting includes performance measurement, benchmarking, socio-economic assessments and technical risk assessment for public and industrial water supply.
The main fields of activity are water resources management, water technology, water networks, water quality analysis, applied microbiology, water economy and management. Our research focuses on water quality modelling, membrane applications (UF/MF, NF, RO) for treatment of different water qualities, asset management, biofilm monitoring and prevention in water networks, household installations, and industrial cooling systems.
IWW is engaged in international water-related research projects, e.g. in China, Ireland, Bulgaria, Greece, and Croatia and in a number of EU-funded research projects and has successfully led a number of projects as project coordinator. We organize national and international conferences, such as on water contamination emergency issues (WCEC), asset management (IWA Leading Edge Strategic Asset Management Conference LESAM), or “Cities of the Future” (TRUST 2015). Besides being a founding member of the Aqua Research Collaboration (ARC), IWW is member of leading national and international water associations, e.g. DVGW, DWA, BDEW, WssTP, IWA.
More info:


Wolf Merkel
Function Managing Director (Chief Technical Officer)
Phone +49 (0)208 40303-100

 Born in 1966 in Wiesbaden, Germany, graduated in process engineering in 1985 at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany with a focus on water treatment technology. After a year as visiting scholar at Carnegie-Mellon-University working on contaminated site remediation, he worked on anaerobic wastewater treatment at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, finishing his PhD in 1997. Since 1998 he has been with IWW Rhenish-Westfalian Institute for Water Research (Muelheim, Germany) as a consultant and researcher in drinking water technology and water supply systems, since 2002 as managing director of IWW, the organisation which is currently hosting the ARC secretariat.

Current fields of work: performance indicators, benchmarking, climate change adaptation, water and energy management, water safety plans, microbial risk assessment, asset management.


David Schwesig
David SCHWESIG, delegate
Function ReResearch Coordinator

Phone +49 (0)208 40303-215

Born in 1972 in Herne, Germany, graduated in Environmental Sciences in 1997 at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, with a focus on soil science and environmental analytical chemistry. He worked at the Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITÖK), finishing his PhD in the field of biogeochemistry in 2001. Since 202 he has been with IWW Rhenish-Westfalian Institute for Water Research (Muelheim, Germany) as a researcher and deputy head of the inorganic analysis laboratory. Since 2009 as research coordinator of IWW, the organisation which is currently hosting the ARC secretariat.
Currently responsible for shaping the research agenda of IWW and ARC, initiating and coordinating large scale integrated research projects at EU level, e.g. TRUST ( and DESSIN (, - both projects driven by a core team of ARC members.

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published on 2017/10/26 06:00:00 GMT+0 last modified 2018-07-16T12:40:35+00:00