Energy and Resource-Efficient Water Treatment: What Future for Nanotechnology
The UNESCO International Hydrological Programme is convening a Side-event on ‘Energy and Resource-Efficient Water Treatment: What Future for Nanotechnology’ during World Water Week 2014, which is taking place from 31 August to 5 September in Stockholm, Sweden. The event presents the ongoing work of a new UNESCO activity on innovative scientific and technological solutions to access to clean water, water quality and wastewater management.
Traditional water treatment technologies rely heavily on chemical-intensive processes requiring large infrastructures. This requirement limits applicability of these technologies in developing nations and creates a barrier to technological solutions for clean water. Nanotechnology-based systems are highly efficient, smaller and energy- and resource-efficient. Therefore, solutions based on novel nanotechnologies may provide opportunities for developing nations to leapfrog in addressing water quality challenges. Nanotechnology also offer opportunities to improve and optimize conventional water treatment technologies through the use of advanced filtration materials, while reducing resource requirements by decreasing or eliminating chemical needs and potentially lowering infrastructure and energy demands of water treatment technologies. Furthermore nanotechnology provides promising perspectives for greater water reuse, recycling and desalination, as well as opportunities to develop less-water intensive agriculture.
The event aims to provide a forum for scientific exchange and discussion on the potential of emerging and novel nanotechnologies in water applications such as drinking water purification, wastewater treatment, desalination, water quality monitoring and sensing, and agricultural applications. It will discuss the role nanotechnology can play in improving access to clean water and wastewater treatment and reuse in developing countries, as well as in meeting growing water demands in water scarce areas.