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Ulster leads £6m drinking water research

Research project will pioneer safe water solutions for the developing world

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | August 11, 2017 | Research

Ulster University has announced it will be leading on a £6 million global research project into low cost technologies for safe drinking water in developing regions. 

The SAFEWATER research programme seeks to tackle a global challenge by looking at clean water solutions and the development of smart devices to quickly tell if water is safe to drink. 

£4.7 million of the funding will be provided by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund, and the project will see Ulster University join forces with other partners across the globe to conduct the research. This includes academics in South America and NGOs already working in Colombia and Mexico. 

“In the developed world, we take it for granted that our drinking water is safe yet nearly 25% of the global population drink water that is not safe because of contamination that can cause deadly disease,” said Professor Tony Byrne, lead researcher, Ulster University. 

“Clean water saves lives and while we know how to make water safe to drink the cost of doing so may be too high as nearly half the world’s population live on less than £2 per day.”

In the developed world, we take it for granted that our drinking water is safe yet nearly 25% of the global population drink water that is not safe because of contamination that can cause deadly disease

The SAFEWATER project will involve academics from the University of Sao Paulo Brazil and the University of Medellin Colombia, along with the NGOs Fundacion Cantaro Azul Mexico and CTA Colombia who are already working with, and trusted by, the local people. 

Through the NGOs, local people will be involved in the development of clean water solutions from the beginning of the project so the technologies will meet their needs. The project will make a real impact on the ground by bringing direct benefits to the lives of people living in developing countries.”

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