Bucks working to provide healthy drinking water in India

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Date: 25th Feb 2019

Buckinghamshire New University is part of a four-year £4.3 million (five million Euro) project funded by the European Union and the Indian Government aiming to reduce the amount of people in India’s rural communities relying on unsafe drinking water.

Prototype solar water disinfection (SoDis) jerry cans designed by the University will be trialled in rural regions of one of the world’s most populous countries to benefit the local rural population and combat the threat of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).

PANIWATER kick-off meeting
PANIWATER (Photo-irradiation and Adsorption Novel Innovations for Water-treatment) is a joint EU-Indian-funded project through the Horizon 2020 programme and the Indian Department of Science & Technology (DST), consisting of 18 partners in six countries, Ireland, UK, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and India. It has held a kick-off meeting in New Delhi.

SoDis jerry cans kill harmful microbes in water and have been designed by Lyndon Buck, Principal Lecturer in Product Design, to benefit India’s rural communities, which comprise more than 60 million of its 1.3 billion population.

The jerrycans and SoDis buckets are already being used by more than 500 families in the Chikwawa region of Malawi, in south east Africa, made with the Polytechnic University of Malawi, as part of an earlier EU Horizon 2020-funded WATERSPOUTT Project.

Dr Buck said: “I’m involved from Bucks New University as Principal Investigator and I am the product design lead, designing and procuring one of the key technologies in the project, the transparent SoDis solar disinfection jerry can in polypropylene plastic.

WATERSPOUTT“I’m very excited about the project as this is a follow on from our work on the EU Horizon 2020 WATERSPOUTT Project in Africa and it is great to see our work expanding in to India.”

PANIWATER is aiming to develop a range of prototypes and technologies for the treatment of wastewater and drinking water to remove CECs, which are any chemical discovered in water or in the environment that had not previously been detected, or were present at insignificant levels, and other pollutants.

Drinking water treatment technologies will include combined filtration, adsorption, UV-C LED treatment, a Solar Water Disinfection Transparent Jerrrycan, and electrocoagulation, oxidation, and disinfection (EOD).

These prototypes will be deployed in peri-urban and rural areas in India.

WATERSPOUTT is coordinated by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and aims to reduce the number of people worldwide relying on unsafe drinking water.

Its work with Bucks New University has also included being part of a trial of transparent plastic jerry cans for solar water disinfection in rural communities in Ethiopia.

Dr Buck and PhD student Richard Harlow, and Dr George Clerk, Lecturer/Researcher, have, additionally, advised on water disinfection buckets used in primary schools in rural Masaka, Uganda.

Picture captions:

(Top) The PANIWATER kick-off meeting in New Delhi.

(Bottom) people in Africa learn about SoDis buckets.

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