When Anders Juhl Kallesøe gets on his bike and rolls out onto the Danish roads on 26 May, it marks the start of a 750-kilometer bike tour through large parts of Denmark. He has named the tour "Tour de Groundwater", and the purpose of the trip is to provide Danes with a different insight into our water supply.
Anders Juhl Kallesøe is a cycling enthusiast and this year he is taking on his biggest challenge yet: Tour de Groundwater. The combination of a bike tour and groundwater doesn't come out of nowhere. For Anders, he could be called a genuine groundwater nerd. During the day, he works as a groundwater geologist at NIRAS, and in his free time, he is involved in the board of the local water utility where he lives.
When Anders presented the idea of Tour de Groundwater to his department manager, Morten Westergaard, he was met with enthusiasm and positive energy right from the start. Anders is taking two weeks of unpaid leave for the tour, but NIRAS supports his great idea by sponsoring equipment, cycling gear, and provisions along the way. Also on board with the project is Danske Vandværker (Danish Utilities), which supports the cause through sponsorship and communication about the tour and its good purpose.
"For me, it means something that my workplace also supports initiatives where, for example, communication weighs more than profit. Internal openness gives you the courage to test slightly different ideas as well. I'm happy about the understanding and support I've received. It provides motivation for the planning," Anders says about the realisation of what started as a good idea and will now result in at least 750 km in his cycling legs.
Water breaks at 12 water utilities
The bike tour, expected to take two weeks, is the perfect way to combine the interest in cycling in nature with geology and groundwater. "I've been toying with the idea of a longer bike tour around Denmark for a while, so why not combine it with my professional expertise and use the trip to gain insight into the drinking water, whose origin also varies greatly depending on which parts of Denmark you pass through," Anders explains.
Along the way, Anders will visit a number of water utilities and meet local personnel or professionals working to ensure clean drinking water for consumers. "Our water utilities are critical infrastructure, and our groundwater resource is under increasing pressure from various sides. Tour de Groundwater is therefore also an occasion to listen and share experiences. There will certainly be some exciting conversations with people who have a lot to say and who are passionate about the drinking water sector. I'm looking forward to it," Anders says.
For Anders, it's about using the water breaks to contribute to increased awareness and interest in water supply. "It is clear to me that many people have become aware of the challenges our drinking water faces. Unfortunately, it is on a bleak background because more and more foreign substances are being found in groundwater. I hope that the tour can be another small contribution to understanding why groundwater protection is important now and for future generations," Anders says, continuing, "Perhaps it can even inspire others to get involved in water supply."
The route of tour de Groundwater