Diffuse pollution of water is a major impediment to meet objectives for water quality, aquatic ecosystems and related biodiversity. Managing diffuse pollution sources in a sustainable way is a key success factor in maintaining high water quality and to prevent eutrophication. Climate change, increasing food production and new emerging pollutants are increasing pressure on surface water quality. By organizing DIPCON as our international conference and regional conferences from different continents in alternate years, the diffuse pollution specialist group exchanges new knowledge between researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss and address the latest research, management approaches, innovative solutions and policy development. At the conferences (DIPCON), key-note speakers make connections between science and policy as regards diffuse pollution.
We also broaden our experience from familiarizing our members with diverse pollution issues and cultures of different regions of the world and their consequences for integrated water management, and organize specific activities to engage young water professionals.
The main topics of the group are: Quantification of pollution sources by monitoring and modelling, Development of new approaches for pollution control and best management practices (BMPs), Technical solutions, Sustainable urban drainage systems, Reuse and resource efficiency, Climate-smart agriculture practices, Green technology, and Natural retention measures. An important basis of our studies is hydrology comprising with water balances, interactions between groundwater and surface water and storm runoff characteristics. Since diffuse pollution fluxes tend to be greatest in high flows, a major interest of the group is to adapt to climate change by exploring measures for slowing runoff to minimize entrainment of pollutants or to entrap them downslope before they reach natural waters.
New hot topics for diffuse pollution are the accelerating innovations on resource efficiency and related reuse of water and waste (for instance beneficial reused of manure and sludge from wastewater treatment plants), growing initiatives of food industry to stimulate sustainable food production and new techniques to monitor new substances like pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds.