Anders Juhl Kallesøe biked 750 kilometres through Jutland and Funen on a journey he has dubbed “Tour de Groundwater”. He hopes to give the Danish people a look into the country’s water supply.
Anders Juhl Kallesøe is a big cycling enthusiast and will embark on his biggest challenge thus far in May: Tour de Groundwater. The combination of biking and groundwater makes perfect sense for someone like Anders, who can be rightfully categorised as a true “groundwater nerd”. He works as a geologist specialising in groundwater at NIRAS and engages in the managing board at the local waterworks in Malling.
When Anders proposed the idea of Tour de Groundwater to his head of department, Morten Westergaard, he was immediately met with enthusiasm and positivity. The two-week absence would be unpaid, but NIRAS would support Anders’ exciting proposal by sponsoring his gear, cyclewear and provision on the trip.
Danske Vandværker (Danish Waterworks) also backed the project with a sponsorship and communication about the trip and the great cause.
“It means a lot to me that my workplace supports initiatives that, for example, prioritise communication over profit. Openness in the company makes employees more comfortable with testing odd ideas,” says Anders about the project that started out as a good idea and resulted in at least 750 km covered through cycling.
Waterbreaks at 12 waterworks
The Tour de Groundwater route began in Broager, snaked its way through Funen and ended in Hjørring. The entire trip was planned to take two weeks and was the perfect way of combining his interest in biking in the nature with geology and groundwater.
“For a long time, I have entertained the idea of a longer bike trip around Denmark, so why not combine it with my field of work and utilise the trip to get an insight into the groundwater, whose origin greatly varies depending in which part of Denmark you are,” says Anders.
Along the way Anders visited a series of waterworks and met local employees and experts whose job it is to ensure customers receive clean drinking water.
“Our waterworks are critical infrastructure, and our groundwater resource is under continuously increasing pressure from multiple angles. Tour de Groundwater is a great occasion to listen to and share experiences. No doubt, there’ll be a lot of exciting conversations with people passionate about groundwater. I look forward to that very much,” says Anders.
He believes waterbreaks are a great way to contribute to increased awareness and interest for the water supply.
“I am under the impression that a lot of people have opened their eyes to the challenges our supply of groundwater faces. Unfortunately, it is based on a rather grim background as more and more non-native chemicals invade local groundwater. I hope the trip can provide input, no matter how small, to the understanding of why protecting groundwater is important now and for future generations,” says Anders.
“It might even inspire others to get involved and engage themselves with the water supply.”