Reduction of pollution and river water quality improvement has become a major focus in the management of water resources internationally.
Improved analytical capabilities and eco toxicological understanding have highlighted new threats to water quality, including micropollutants in the form of pharmaceutical residues and industrial chemicals.
GCU will work with the Universidade Federal do ABC in São Paulo and Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná in Curitiba to collaborate on a cross-disciplinary project which draws together environmental science, (waste) water engineering, eco-toxicological analysis, and stakeholder engagement expertise. The GCU team will be led by Professor Ole Pahl and Dr Paul Teedon.
With funding from the British Council’s official development assistance programme, the researchers aim to develop effective scientific methods and direct engagement with key Brazilian stakeholders to inform debates for the improvement of river-basin management and of water quality.
The project will contribute to Brazilian economic and social development and population welfare in terms of solutions to problems of aquatic micropollutants.
The ‘Water Environment Micropollutant Science Initiative’ study, lasting for two years, will contribute to advances in the identification, quantification and removal of potentially toxic substances in water. The investment comes as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The British Council’s Newton Institutional Links grants are to establish links between higher education, research institutions and businesses with the aim of translating research to drive economic development and social welfare in partner countries.
Dr Paul Teedon said: “Brazil has a complex epidemiological profile where (infectious and parasitic) diseases originating in poverty and those associated with processes of modernisation appear simultaneously.
“This project follows on from our European work here at GCU on the NoPILLS research project.”
‘NoPILLS’ was a two-year £7 million study to raise awareness of the presence of pharmaceutical residues in waste water and explore new methods of reducing them. It used mobile applications, among other methods, to communicate the impact of pharmaceutical consumption and disposal habits. The findings of the NoPILLS project will be presented later this year.
Glasgow Caledonian University: ‘Researchers tackle water pollution in Brazil‘