Published: 25. Jan 2024

Aarhus Vand joins innovative collaboration with Californian utility


The signing of a new collaboration agreement solidifies a shared commitment to addressing the world's most pressing water challenges.

Since 2016, Moulton Niguel Water District, a Californian utility, and Aarhus Vand have looked at each other with a mutual interest for sharing knowledge. Ideas have crossed the Atlantic through workshops, Fact Finding tours, and conferences organized by the Danish Water Technology Alliance in the US (WTA).

On January 17th 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Aarhus Vand and Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) with support from the Water Technology Alliance. The agreement marks the beginning of a strategic collaboration on innovative solutions for global water challenges. The signing took place at the headquarters of Moulton Niguel Water District in Orange County, California.

I am thrilled to have signed this agreement as a cornerstone within our globalization strategy is to venture out into the world to gain new knowledge. Moulton Niguel is a perfect partner in this respect as we have a common ambition to innovate the water sector.
- Karina Topp, CEO, Aarhus Vand.

And Moulton Niguel sees great potential in this approach to partnerships and innovation. “The mindset of the Danish utilities, their business and partnership strategy, and the adept use of technology and data to find and develop optimal solutions will significantly benefit our district,” says Joone Kim-Lopez, CEO and General Manager, MNWD. She continues: 

Our enduring history of sharing expertise is reinforced by this signing, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to tackling the world's most critical water challenges.
- Joone Kim-Lopez, CEO and General Manager, MNWD.

Collaboration on everything from water reuse to data sharing

Under the new agreement, the utilities will collaborate on innovations in wastewater treatment, energy optimization and production, smart metering on water usage information, opportunities for potable reuse, alternative water supplies, and reduction of water loss.

“Innovative technologies that harness energy from wastewater and cutting-edge environmental practices in Denmark offer invaluable lessons as we envision the future of rebuilding our wastewater treatment plants," says Drew Atwater, Deputy General Manager, MNWD.

He further explains how the utility already has benefitted from Danish technology and practices as they have reduced their water loss significantly using Danish approaches.

Moumnwd WWTP
CEO, Karina Topp, and representatives from Aarhus Vand and the WTA took part in insightful site visits and many fruitful discussions when visiting MNWD in Orange County, California.

Real time data for customers

On the other hand, Aarhus Vand is especially interested in how Moulton Niguel Water District is using smart metering as a means to present real time data on water usage to their customers. They have been recognized for this work as this has enhanced their customer relations.

It has been a great inspiration to see how Moulton Niguel has implemented water meters and how real time data is presented to their customers. We hope to learn from their insights as we embark on our own Imeter innovation project. 
- Christian Schou, Department Head Strategy and Innovation, Aarhus Vand.

Building partnerships from a strong foundation

The partnership builds on a 2017 agreement between the country of Denmark and the state of California to collaborate on the latest water technology, research, and management techniques. Since then, the Danish Water Technology Alliance (WTA) has facilitated international delegations as well as numerous networking and collaborative events for Danish and Californian water professionals. Both MNWD and Aarhus Vand have long-lasting partnerships with the WTA making the new collaboration possible. 

“Aarhus Vand and MNWD share a desire to create a more climate-resilient and efficient water sector. Both utilities demonstrate that strengthening global collaborations and knowledge-sharing is the best way to achieve this. The WTA is very excited to support and contribute to the continued strong relationship between MNWD and Aarhus Vand.”
- Jesper Køks Andersen, Consul General & Head of Water, The Trade Council of Denmark in North America
The Water Technology Alliance
The Water Technology Alliance is an outreach program from The Trade Council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The WTA build bridges between the American and Danish water sectors to exchange valuable know-how on sustainable water management, seek inspiration from the latest innovation, and foster partnerships.
Moulton Niguel Water District
Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) is a water utility that serves over 170,000 customers in South Orange County, California. Moulton Niguel is a leader in conservation and environmental protection and utilizes data to make management decisions. MNWD is committed to innovation and collaboration and has been recycling water since 1968, currently using recycled water for 25 percent of its water demand.