Newsletter: June 19, 2014, Issue #44



Global WaSH News

Sustainable Development Goals Zero Draft

The zero draft of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals is now available. Proposed Goal 6 focuses on water and sanitation, with the target to provide universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030.


Conference News

Registration Open for 2014 Water and Health Conference

Registration is open for this year’s Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy. Take advantage of the early bird registration rate by registering before the deadline of August 29. The Conference takes place October 13-17 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Nexus Conference Follow-up Video

As an output from the Nexus 2014 Conference, a group of UNC School of Journalism students produced a video, Water. Food. Climate. Energy. What’s the Solution? It explains the benefits of the nexus approach and calls for collaboration between the water, food, climate and energy sectors. The video was inspired by Paula Caballero Gomez’s speech during the Conference, available here.

2014 Water Microbiology Conference Presentations Available Online

Conference presentations and videos of keynote speeches from the 2014 Water Microbiology Conference are available online. The 2015 Water Microbiology Conference is scheduled for May 18-22 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


Water Institute News

Future Technologies for Water Competition Call for Entries

We are now accepting entries for the FTW (Future Technologies for Water) Competition, which aims to identify breakthrough technologies for safe water with a sustainable business plan with wide-scale applicability. The first-place winner will receive $15,000 and the second-place winner will receive $5,000. The deadline to submit an application is July 31.

Water Safety Plans Distance Learning Course

Registration is open for our Water Safety Plans distance learning course, which will begin in July. 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.

Recruiting Director of Research

The Water Institute is recruiting a Director of Research who, in cooperation with the Director, will oversee implementation of the overall research effort of the Institute and work alongside our faculty, researchers, students and staff. Requirements include a doctoral degree in public or environmental health or a related field, a minimum of five years of experience and expertise that aligns with one or more of our WaSH focus areas.

New Water Institute Website

We recently launched the new Water Institute website, which we will be continuously updating through the summer. Please check the website for the latest news about our work.


Latest Issue of Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Available Online

The Water Institute partners with the International Water Association on the publication of the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. Some of the articles that appear in the current issue include:


Recent Publications on WaSH from UNC Researchers

Fecal Contamination of Drinking Water in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. (2014). Bain R, Cronk R, Wright J, Yang H, Slaymaker T and Bartram J.  PLoS Med 11(5): e1001644.

Global access to safe drinking water is monitored by WHO and UNICEF using the indicator “use of an improved source,” however this does not account for water quality measurements. This study determined whether water from “improved” sources is less likely to contain fecal contamination than “unimproved” sources. The authors reviewed studies that investigated instances of fecal contamination of all types of drinking water in low- and middle-income countries, finding that more than a quarter of samples from “improved” sources (38 percent of 191 studies) contained fecal contamination. The research has significant implications for public health policy, and the authors propose additional indicators of safe water, such as sanitary measures and water quality.

Burden of Disease from Inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Low- and Middle-Income Settings: A Retrospective Analysis of Data from 145 Countries. (2014). Prüss-Ustün A, Bartram J, Clasen T, Colford JM, Cumming O, Curtis V, Bonjour S, Dangour AD, De France J, Fewtrell L, Freeman MC, Gordon B, Hunter PR, Johnston RB, Mathers C, Mäusezahl D, Medlicott K, Neira M, Stocks M, Wolf J and Cairncross S. Tropical Medicine & International Health. doi: 10.1111/tmi.1232

This study analyzed the burden of diarrheal diseases from exposure to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, estimating that 842,000 deaths in 2012 from diarrheal diseases in low- and middle- income countries could be attributed to insufficient WaSH. The authors also found that 361,000 deaths in children under five years of age could be prevented. These estimates underscore the need for better data on exposure and risk reductions that can be achieved with provision of reliable piped water, community sewage with treatment and hand hygiene.


Campus WaSH News: Water in Our World

Water in Our World is UNC’s first ever campus-wide theme, running from 2012 to 2015. To visit the Water in Our World website, please click here.

UNC Researchers Develop Rapid Water Contamination Test

This UNC-TV story showcases a rapid water contamination test developed by a team of UNC researchers led by Dr. Rachel Noble, of the Institute of Marine Sciences, Institute for the Environment and Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. The test, which is currently used to detect Enterococcus, E. coli, and fecal coliform contamination in coastal NC waters, produces results in three to four hours rather than the 24 hour wait-time for results in similar tests. These rapid test results allow for more timely communication with beachgoers on water conditions.