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UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The development and implementation of sensors and treatment technologies for freshwater systems in India

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--Newton-NE_R003106_1


The Rationale: We need freshwater for agriculture, industry and human existence. Access to good quality water is essential for sustainable socio-economic growth. Freshwater ecosystems are finite and globally threatened by increasing environmental degradation caused by destructive land-use and water-management practices and increasing industrialization. The scale of socio-economic activities, urbanisation, industrial operations and agricultural practices in India has reached the point where watersheds across India are being severely impacted. For example, gross organic pollution in India's freshwater resources are common place, resulting in severe toxic burdens, depletion of dissolved oxygen levels and severe pathogenic contamination. Eutrophication, arising from enrichment with nutrients caused by sewage and agro-industrial effluents and agricultural run-off, greatly impact on lakes and impounded rivers. Groundwater bodies are susceptible to leaching from waste dumps, mining and industrial discharges. Finally, despite their potential threat, the distribution, scale and levels of newly emerging water contaminants, e.g. endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), are largely unknown. We must address the consequences of both present and future contaminant threats to water catchments if we are to provide action that provide solutions at all levels. The implementation of sensors for monitoring important biological and chemical parameters, through time and space, is the indispensable basis for accurate assessments whilst the deployment of state-of-the-art water treatment technologies for the removal of pollutants will enhance water protection and security. The Proposition: Firstly; improve our ability to determine the presence of pollution in water courses and the development of novel sensing approaches to help reduce or prevent pollution at source. We will do this via; The deployment and implementation of new in situ fluorescence sensors that have been developed by UWE, Bristol and Chelsea Technology Group (CTG) as part of a current NERC Grant (NE/K007572/1) The development of a novel bacterial bio-sensor using bio-reporter strains that was first conceived in India (Bose Institute), for the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals in water bodies and effluents. Secondly; develop novel approaches to reduce or prevent pollution detected above at the source via; The development of novel off-grid treatment technologies, for rural and urban areas, to remove pollutants (sensed above) based on ultrafiltration membrane technology and bacterial remediation using bio-reactors. Longer-term Impact: To understand the impact of sewage contamination and the bacterial quality of freshwater catchments in India. To quantify changes in sewage contamination levels through time and space and to understand how these changes are affected by land use and effluent discharges. Our fluorescence sensor will be used to identify, monitor and detect bacterial contamination from sewage discharges entering waters at a catchment scale, including urbanised areas. To develop a bacterial sensor, using bio-reporter strains, for the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals in discharges and freshwaters. We will also assess the feasibility of the catabolic potential of these biosensor strains for bioreactor-based remediation of EDCs and implement an off-grid UF membrane technology platform for the treatment of bacterial contamination. This UK/India partnership will involve the deployment of UK developed technologies in India and the subsequent development of Indian inspired sensors and treatment approaches in the UK.


We have 4 main project aims; 1) To implement and test the deployment of already developed sensors (UWE and Chelsea TG) for the monitoring of microbial quality of freshwater supplies. (led by UWE) 2) To implement and test the deployment of an already developed water treatment system for the rapid production of drinking water (led by UWE) 3) The development of a biosensor for the detection of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in freshwaters (led by BI) 4) The development of a bioreactor for the remediation of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in freshwaters (Led by BI) Urban agglomerates and rural areas can achieve higher levels of sustainability if there is a harmonic integration of the community with robust, well engineered technologies that have been rigorously tested prior to implementation. An important consideration is the design and development of any technological solution and, importantly, its co-implementation with local communities and stakeholders. Integrating well engineered sensing and treatment technologies the WWEF nexus with the community will bring socio-economic benefits to the community environment e.g. clean-safe water production; energy, and nutrient recovery; pollution reduction; and food security. Specifically, we will; i. Deploy and evaluate the long-term in field-performance of a developed sensor which measures key fluorescence properties for in-situ high temporal monitoring of bacterial processes in freshwater aquatic systems ii. Deploy and evaluate the in-field performance of an off-grid water treatment platform iii. Design and develop a working biosensor prototype for the detection of EDCs in freshwater systems iv. Design and develop a laboratory scale pilot bioreactor for the remediation of EDCs in freshwater systems

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Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.


A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.

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