Newsletter: August 25, 2014, Issue #46



Global WaSH News

Asian Development Bank Assesses Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation

A recent Asian Development Bank report examines the impacts of climate change, predicting that by 2050 the collective economy of six countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka—will lose an average 1.8% of its annual gross domestic product, rising to 8.8% by 2100. The report also predicts a one-meter rise in sea levels, which would affect 95 million people and another 100 million when there are storm surges. Additionally, changes in precipitation will make it harder to meet energy and water needs, and may bring increased cases of dengue and diarrhea. To address these challenges, the report suggests that measures to deal with climate change need to become a core element of national development plans that are well-coordinated across government departments and with the private sector, civil society and others.

Conference News

2014 Water and Health Conference Scholarship Winners

We are pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for the 2014 Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy. The top prize winner is Md. Mahbubur Rahman of icddr,b. He will give a verbal presentation of his work entitled Measuring Intervention Fidelity to Assess Implementation Gaps in a Sanitation Intervention Component of a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Additional scholarship recipients from low- and middle-income countries:

  • Carlos Pascual, Future University, Abstract: Impacts of WaSH Programme in Darfur: Assessment of Water Pumping Systems for IDPs
  • Mahesh Neupane, Government of Nepal, Abstract: Mainstreaming Water Safety Plans in Water Supply Systems in Developing Countries; Experiences of Amarapuri as Best Practice from Nepal
  • Krushna Sahoo, Asian Institute of Public Health, Abstract: The Landscape of Sanitation-related Psychosocial Stress: A Grounded Theory Study of Women in Urban, Rural, and Indigenous Communities in Odisha, India
  • Ai Huynh, WaterSHED, Abstract: HappyTap: Aspirational Handwashing Device Commercialization in Vietnam
  • Bayan Athamneh, Royal Scientific Society, Abstract: A Social Marketing Program to Enhance Water Conservation in Jordan
US student author scholarship recipients:
  • Anna Murray, Tufts University, Abstract: Fouling in Hollow Fiber Membrane Microfilters Used for Household Water Treatment in Honduras
  • Jennifer Orgill, Duke University, Abstract: Poor Neighborhood Hygiene and Low Water Quality Investment

Water And Health Conference Side Event Schedule and Early Bird Registration

The full side event schedule for the 2014 Water and Health Conference is now available. This year’s Conference will have a wide range of learning and networking opportunities including side events, verbal and poster presentations, as well as the chance to interact with a diverse group of international leaders in WaSH, health and development.

The early bird registration deadline for the conference is August 29. The Conference takes place October 13-17 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Call for Abstracts: 2015 Nexus Conference

We are now accepting abstracts for verbal and poster presentations for the Nexus 2015: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference until October 31, 2014. The themes for abstract submissions are:

  • Sustainable and Resilient Development at a Local Level
  • Transboundary, National and Local Nexus Governance
  • Corporate Stewardship of the Nexus
  • Financing in a Nexus World
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Water Stress, Vulnerability, and Health
  • Managing Resources: Optimizing Co-Demands

2015 Water Microbiology Conference

The 2015 Water Microbiology Conference will take place May 18-22 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA. The call for abstracts for the conference will open in November 2014.

Water Institute News

Online Monitoring and Evaluation Course

The third module for The Water Institute’s online Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) course will open on August 29. The topic of this module will be Evaluation Design. This self-paced online program consists of 10 core modules, including basic design issues, approaches to sampling, conducting surveys and continuous quality improvement. For more information, contact

Registration Open for Water Safety Plans Distance Learning Course

Registration is now open for the next session of our Water Safety Plans distance learning course, which will begin in September. The course is aimed at those in the water industry with management, engineering or operational responsibilities. The 10-week course covers five main content areas: preparation, system assessment, operational monitoring, management and communication, and feedback and improvement.

Future Technologies for Water Semi-finalists

The 15 semi-finalists for the FTW (Future Technologies for Water) Competition have been announced. The top three candidates will present their innovations at the 2014 Water and Health Conference, where a winner will be chosen. The first-place winner will receive $15,000 and the second-place winner will receive $5,000.

Hosting Side Event at Stockholm Water Week

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Water Institute are co-hosting a private side event for Hilton partners and invited guests at this year’s Stockholm Water Week on September 3rd from 9—11 am. The event will include the presentation of a new WaSH index for development and a panel discussion on the index with WaSH experts and thought leaders.

Recent Publications on WaSH from UNC Researchers

Water Quality Laboratories in Colombia: A GIS-based Study of Urban and Rural Accessibility. (2014). Wright J, Liu J, Bain R, Perez A, Crocker J, Bartram J and Gundry S. Science of the Total Environment 485-486: 643-652.

This study quantified sample transportation times associated with mandated microbiological monitoring of drinking water in Colombia; finding that 9.1 percent of the required surveillance samples were more than six hours from the nearest accredited laboratory. One percent of the samples were more than 24 hours from the nearest accredited laboratory, the maximum sample holding time recommended by the World Health Organization. An estimated 30 percent of required rural samples would have to be stored for more than 6 hours before reaching a laboratory. This analysis demonstrates the difficulty of undertaking microbiological monitoring in rural areas and small towns from a fixed laboratory network.

Comparison and Cost Analysis of Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Requirements versus Practice in Seven Developing Countries. (2014). Crocker J and Bartram J. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11(7): 7333-7346.

This study characterized drinking water quality monitoring activities in Cambodia, Colombia, India, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Uganda according to water sector responsibilities, monitoring approaches, and marginal cost. Few distinct approaches to monitoring were observed, and in all but one country all monitoring relied on fixed laboratories for sample analysis. Compliance with monitoring requirements was highest for operational monitoring of large water supplies in urban areas. Sample transport and labor for sample collection and analysis together constitute approximately 75 percent of marginal costs, which exclude capital costs. The authors suggest there is potential for substantive optimization of monitoring programs by considering field-based testing and by fundamentally reconsidering monitoring approaches for non-piped supplies.


Campus WaSH News: Water in Our World

Water in Our World is UNC’s first ever campus-wide theme, running from 2012 to 2015

UNC-led Team Given NSF Grant to Develop Water Strategy for Southeast
A team led by UNC professor Gregory Characklis received a National Science Foundation and US Department of Agriculture grant to develop innovative strategies for meeting future water demands in the Southeastern United States. The team will develop models to analyze how climate change and land-use trends impact regional hydrology and how infrastructure and regulatory systems will need to adapt. Much of the work will be conducted in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area, with input from regional utilities and local governments.

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