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UNC faculty and students to develop plan to get clean water in poorer homes
Date:10/5/2007

CHAPEL HILL Faculty and students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are setting out to discover whether applying business principles to public health problems can result in solutions that will save lives in developing countries with limited access to safe drinking water.

The Carolina Global Water Partnership has been established to bring together experts from UNCs School of Public Health, Kenan-Flagler Business School and Kenan Institute-Asia. They will focus on increasing the availability and usage of water treatment technologies that can be used in homes in the developing world that do not have clean running water. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 2 million children die each year from diarrhea and related illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water and inadequate hygiene and sanitation.

The partnership is the second Gillings Innovation Laboratory interdisciplinary research groups funded initially through a gift to the School of Public Health from Dennis and Joan Gillings. The idea for this innovation lab was proposed by students. Leading faculty researchers and postdoctoral fellows, along with select outside experts, will work with students on the project.

Were really excited about the opportunity to work with faculty and students at Kenan- Flagler to find business models that will increase coverage and sustained use of water filters and other household water treatment technologies, said Mark Sobsey, Kenan Professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the School of Public Health.

We know that biosand and ceramic filters and other household water treatment technologies make an enormous difference in the health of people who dont have access to clean drinking water, Sobsey said. We have the technologies, but now its a matter of finding ways to get these technologies into communities and households, and have people adopt and use them effectively and sustainably. This project has
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Contact: Clinton Colmenares
clinton_colmenares@unc.edu
919-843-1991
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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