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Ulster University has announced it will be leading on a £6 million 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.

Lead researcher, Professor Tony Byrne from Ulster University, said:

“This is a very significant project which will play a critical role in helping to address one of the greatest global issues the developing world is facing today.”
“In the developed world, we take it for granted that our drinking water is safe yet nearly 25 per cent of the global population drink water that is not safe because of contamination that can cause deadly disease. 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.”
“Ulster University will lead on this cutting-edge research which will form part of the SAFEWATER project. It 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.”
“Ulster University is a world leader in research which delivers across a number of priority disciplines. This work will further develop our links with international partners and reinforce our ability to deliver research that makes a tangible impact to society, both locally and internationally.”