UMBC Partners With Newcastle University in Urban Water Quality Study

Upal Ghosh, professor in chemical and biochemical engineering, has partnered with Newcastle University in the project:

Development of Sustainable Technologies to Investigate, Restore and Protect the Urban Water Environment. Newcastle University, University of Maryland Baltimore County (US), Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India) and CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Nagpur (India)

The grant instituted through Newcastle University will support student and faculty research exchanges among the partnering institutions.

The project will examine urban water quality and was summarized by the researchers:

Urban water quality is under enormous pressure around the world because of increasing population density and economic activity in cities. Pollution disturbs the ecosystem functioning of urban streams, rivers, ponds and lakes; poses a risk to public health; decreases the value of surface waters for public recreation; and makes water more costly to treat for use. While faecal and industrial chemical pollution remain substantial challenges, new threats to urban water quality are emerging in highly populated areas from chemicals in widely used consumer and household products such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and biocides. At the same time, existing water pollution control infrastructure is costly and very energy-intensive (i.e. consumes 1.4% of national electricity in the UK) and should be replaced with more energy-efficient or net energy producing alternatives. In their infrastructure expansion, emerging economies like India and Brazil are presented with golden opportunities to leapfrog beyond the traditional wastewater treatment models and install more sustainable technologies that also address emerging challenges. The proposed global partnership between environmental engineers from Newcastle University (NCL), UK, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), USA, the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) in Nagpur, India, and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), India, will pool knowledge, skills, technology testing and analytical facilities, and access to field sites and the facilities of industrial partners for the development of innovative methods to detect and monitor existing and emerging threats to the urban water environment, and sustainable technologies to reduce identified pollution releases and to remediate existing pollution deposits. This initiative will seek to recover urban water resources and their recreational and health values for the people living in cities, thus creating more desirable urban neighborhoods and providing new business opportunities.