Navigation Links
Life-saving clean water project secures $13M from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Date:11/13/2007

The fight against water-borne disease one of the most serious threats to child health in developing countries will receive a major boost thanks to groundbreaking work by an international consortium led by the University of Bristol and supported by a $13 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The consortium is developing Aquatest, the worlds first low-cost, easy-to-use diagnostic tool giving a clear, reliable indication of water quality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that water-borne disease causes 1.8 million deaths annually, of which 1.5 million are of children under five. Over one billion people lack access to safe water. Most do not even know their water is unsafe and are at risk of potentially fatal diarrhoeal diseases.

The Aquatest project aims to give individuals and communities the information they need to identify unsafe water and to empower them to work towards improvements in water supply.

Aquatest involves a small, hand-held device, similar in concept to the home pregnancy-testing kit. The test results will be displayed as coloured bands and may show, for example, that water is safe for adults to drink but not for children, the elderly or the sick.

Knowing that water is unsafe will encourage treatment before use and motivate changes in water management and sanitation. Accompanying information will include advice on taking action such as chlorinating water, checking for contamination or improving water safety at the communal supply point.

This will be the first off-the-shelf, low-cost and easy-to-use test that will detect the presence of E. coli, the internationally recognised indicator of faecal contamination of water. The sensitivity of the test will enable detection of ten E. coli colonies in 100ml of water equivalent to finding a single coffee bean in 4,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Demand for an inexpensive but reliable water-testing device that ordinary people can use is high in developing countries, not only from governments but also from NGOs and aid agencies. Emergency-relief operations dealing with the aftermath of disasters such as the recent floods in Mexico, the Asian tsunami and the Pakistani earthquake would also benefit from low-skill, dependable water testing carried out on the spot.

The Aquatest project will be led by Dr Stephen Gundry, Director of the University of Bristol's Water and Health Research Centre (WHRC). The University will be leading a large, interdisciplinary team with expertise ranging from engineering, product development and microbiology to consumer preferences and behaviours and water policy and regulation. The research consortium includes WHO and other experts worldwide.

Dr Gundry said: It is early days, but following a preliminary grant from the European Commission we have now secured support from the Gates Foundation. This will enable the Aquatest consortium to take this project forward and to make a real difference to the lives of a great many people in the developing world.

It is anticipated that within ten years, low-cost water-testing devices will be in widespread use in 80 per cent of developing countries for water testing by industry professionals, communities and individuals, leading to improved water management and a potential decline in water-borne diseases.

Charles Lyons, Director of Special Initiatives, Global Development Program at the Gates Foundation, said: We are pleased to fund this pioneering project led by the University of Bristol. There is a clear and compelling need to strengthen demand for safe water in developing countries, and we believe that the Aquatest will provide people with critical information on the safety of their water. In turn, this work will inform and support efforts to ensure that the poor have access to safe drinking water.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dara O'Hare
dara.ohare@bristol.ac.uk
44-011-733-17033
University of Bristol  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UF scientists reveal how dietary restriction cleans cells
2. Innovative civil engineering application promises cleaner waters
3. Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers
4. Argonne helps China create cleaner Beijing for 2008 Olympics
5. UT researcher earns $1.3M grant to study toxic cleanup at DOD sites
6. Paying peanuts for clean water
7. Freshwater supplies threatened in central Pacific
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. Safe water: simpler method for analyzing radium in water samples cuts testing time
10. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
11. Low oxygen in coastal waters impairs fish reproduction
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Life-saving clean water project secures $13M from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- KEY FINDINGS The global market for ... of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The ... the growth of the stem cell market. ... INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented on ... stem cell market of the product is segmented into ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in ... STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, ... , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made ... in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the ... in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical ... Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: