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Low cost water test for developing countries - a preparatory study


This project is a preparatory study for the development of a low-cost water quality test and associated management systems for use in developing countries and in disasters/emergencies. Contaminated drinking water remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries, with 1.8 million deaths per year being attributed to water-borne disease. In addition, following major disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, many deaths result not from the disaster itself but from subsequent outbreaks of disease caused by contaminated drinking water. Existing water tests are largely designed for use in developed countries and not in situations where laboratory infra-structure, resources and trained personnel are lacking.
There is thus a need for more appropriate water testing technology for use in resource-poor and disaster settings. This support action will lay the foundations for a subsequent grant application to develop a water test, with associated management systems, for use in developing countries and in emergency situations. The project will demonstrate to policymakers, donors and research funding organisations that there is an urgent and clear need to provide a low cost water test. Following an assessment of developing country and disaster relief agency needs, a network of experts will be formed to address these needs. This network will meet with stakeholders at the World Water Congress in Beijing.
The project will establish how an appropriate water test can be developed from existing technologies within the near term. A follow-on funding application to develop this water test will then be submitted based on these activities. The principal delivery of this preparatory activity is therefore a carefully specified bid for further research funding based on a needs assessment and review of existing water test technology, supported by a high quality international consortium.

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Participants (5)