The University of Iceland is taking part in a EU-funded research project aimed at helping to improve the safety of European drinking water.
The Institute of Environmental Engineering will lead one part of the project and will be responsible for assessing the value of the technical solutions developed. The institute will also investigate how the solutions can be integrated into existing practices in order to enhance drinking water safety.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 330,000 cases of water-related disease such as E.coli and Norovirus are reported yearly in Europe alone. Millions of Europeans drink water from very small supplies that are currently difficult to monitor and have been shown to pose a risk, as stated on hi.is.
The EUR 9 million (USD 11.8 million, ISK 1.4 billion) five-year project Aquavalens, is led by Professor Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, U.K. Links with national and international government agencies such as the European Commission and WHO are aimed at ensuring that the project’s findings will influence European policy.
The Icelandic participants are Dr María J. Gunnarsdóttir, Post Doc and work packages leader, and Sigurður M. Garðarsson, Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
According to María and Sigurður, the project will develop and apply more efficient methods of detecting viruses, bacteria and parasites in water before they can make people sick and as such improve public health.