L. Wöhler MSc (Lara)

PhD Candidate in Water Management


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Water Footprint
Water Pollution
Engineering & Materials Science
Drug Products
Veterinary Drugs
Water Pollution
Water Pollution


Current Research and Project

Pharmaceutical residues from human as well as from veterinarian use are polluting the aquatic environment. Some substances have already been traced in drinking water. During my PhD I address the topic by modelling the Grey Water Footprint (GWF) for different pharmaceutical substances in the Vecht river catchment, which is shared by Germany and the Netherlands. The GWF is an indicator of the volume of water pollution and will be estimated for a selected number of pharmaceuticals and spatially mapped, distinguishing between GWFs related to wastewater from households and hospitals and to various types of livestock farming. GWFs will thereby also be expressed as polluted water volumes per unit of household, per patient, and per unit of animal product, like meat, milk or eggs.

The second part of my PhD work deals with studying alternative pathways for a societal transition towards a more sustainable handling of pharmaceuticals. Here I will follow a bottom up approach with high stakeholder involvement. After interviewing the stakeholders to get insight on their opinion, I will develop strategies together with them that show pathways how the pharmaceutical emissions into the environment can be reduced. The strategies will be evaluated by using the GWF model.

The PhD is conducted within the INTERREG project “medicines unwanted in water” (MEDUWA). The project consortium consists of 27 partners who are working on the topic along the entire medicine chain.  For more information about the MEDUWA project see: www.meduwa.eu


Joy, M. K., Rankin, D. A. , Wöhler, L., Boyce, P., Canning, A., Foote, K. J., & Mcnie, P. M. (2022). The grey water footprint of milk due to nitrate leaching from dairy farms in Canterbury, New Zealand. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2022.2068685
Wöhler, L., Niebaum, G. , Krol, M. S. , & Hoekstra, A. Y. (2019). The grey water footprint of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals. Poster session presented at 2nd International conference on risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment, ICRAPHE 2019, Barcelona, Spain.
Wöhler, L. (2018). The Water Footprint Concept: State of the art, ongoing research and educational opportunities. Abstract from 4th International conference of the Water Agency Association 2018, Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia.

UT Research Information System

Current Projects

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20)
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands