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Press Release: Danish Groundwater Companies in Groundbreaking Collaboration with American Top University

5.17.2018  16:09

In collaboration with researchers from the recognized Stanford University in California, Danish groundwater companies have just signed a collaboration agreement to develop Danish water technology solutions further and apply these in California’s new groundwater program.

The project is a collaboration between Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) and Aarhus University alongside the American company Aqua Geo Frameworks, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the Danish companies Ramboll, I-GIS and SkyTEM Surveys. These companies are represented by the Trade Council’s Water Technology Alliance at the Danish Consulate General in Silicon Valley.

More specifically, the project is set out to adapt and develop Danish methods and experiences to address the Californian demand. The past few years, California has faced problems with pollution of the groundwater and decreasing groundwater levels. The purpose of the Stanford Project is therefore not only to ensure clean groundwater in California but also to collect and bring new knowledge to Denmark to help support the development of Danish technology. These are areas where Danish knowledge and experiences can prove itself particularly advantageous:

"For Ramboll and other Danish companies, it is time to benefit from the experience derived from the Danish Groundwater Mapping program. The authorities in California are initiating a similar program. Of course, there are differences, but there are definitely also similarities where Danish knowledge and know-how will prove valuable," says Max Halkjær, Water Resource Specialist in Ramboll.

For the Danish companies, the collaboration agreement with Stanford Earth is a big breakthrough, and the companies eye great commercial opportunities on the American west coast. One of the project’s focus areas is to map the Californian groundwater. Through a combination of systematic helicopter overflights and detailed mapping of the underground, Danish solutions will help develop a specific mapping model for California’s groundwater program. A model that includes great opportunities for the Danish companies:

"In California, the groundwater has decreased to 30 meters some places, which is crazy. Our model documents the reasons behind this and helps increase the knowledge on the state’s water resources so you know where to drill and where not to", says Bill Brown, Regional Sales Manager at SkyTEM Surveys.

Also at I-GIS, the collaboration agreement with Stanford Earth and the opportunity to display their solutions on the big stage excites:

"All handling within this area requires detailed knowledge, and here our tools come into play and compliment SkyTEM Surveys really well. By collaborating with Stanford, we hope that if our pilot projects are successful, it will become a seal of approval of our product so we can enter into a long-term collaboration with California", says Niels-Peter Jensen, CEO at I-GIS.

To ensure the most efficient conditions for the establishment of the project, the project has obtained financial support from The Environmental Technological Development and Demonstration Program (MUDP). MUDP has allocated DDK 4 mill to support the part of the project that can give Danish companies a technological lead on the global market.

Great Business Potential for Denmark

According to the Trade Council, the project will develop Danish methods and technological solutions through the collaboration between researchers from Stanford Earth and Aarhus University. The hope is that these experiences will evolve into new opportunities for Danish companies:

"The Trade Council is proud to contribute to this project through our Water Technology Alliance. The project aims at adapting and applying Danish water technologies to the benefit of sustainable handling of groundwater in California. At the same time, the collaboration with Stanford Earth will result in new and innovative ways of managing groundwater – not only in California but also globally", says Jacob Vind, Head of the Water Technology Alliance.

Also at Innovation Center Denmark in Silicon Valley, the project’s potential for innovation brings out excitement:

"The Innovation Center is founded to build bridges between Danish and American knowledge environments and this project is the perfect example of how we bring companies and universities in play at the same time", says Science & Technology Attaché at ICDK in Silicon Valley, Jeppe Olesen.

In addition to Danish companies playing a key role in the Californian groundwater program, which will run over the next twenty years, the project also awakens enthusiasm among a collective Danish Industry:

"This project is a great example of how hands-on collaboration between Danish companies and leading innovation hubs such as Stanford University, can lead to increased exports and development of new technologies at the same time", says Mads Lebech, CEO of the Danish Industry Foundation.


Contakt information:

Jacob Vind, Head of the Trade Councils Water Technology Alliance, e-mail:



- As a part of the "Stanford Groundwater Architecture Project", Stanford Earth, Aarhus University, Ramboll, I-GIS and SkyTEM Surveys will develop a special Californian model to map the groundwater. The model will be based on Danish experience.

- The project has received DDK 4.1 mill from MUDP, which over the next two years supports the project with a total budget of DDK 9 mill.

- The project’s total budget is at USD 2.1 mill.

- The Water Technology Alliance (WTA) works to connect Danish companies to North American water professionals, with the aim of sharing Danish knowledge and encourage collaboration in the water sector. WTA works closely with Innovation Center Denmark (ICDK) at the Consulate General in Silicon Valley. ICDK works to build bridges between companies, research institutions and capital in Denmark.

- The project is created via the Trade Council of Denmark’s Water Technology Alliance (WTA) in California, which in addition to Ramboll, I-GIS and SkyTEM Surveys, also includes the Danish utility companies within the "3Vand" partnership (Aarhus Vand, BIOFOS, HOFOR & VCS), as well as the companies: Applied Biomimetic, AVK, Danfoss, DHI, Grundfos, Kamstrup, Landia, Leif Koch A/S, LINAK, NISSEN Energiteknik, Smith Innovation, and Stjernholm A/S. WTA is supported by the Confederation of Danish Industry.

 Read the Press Release in Danish here.



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