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New website marks launch of REACH: improving water security for the poor

A new website has just been launched to mark a seven-year, global programme of research (2015-2022) titled: REACH. REACH, led by Oxford University and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), aims to improve water security for over 2.5 million poor people by 2022.

REACH: improving water security for the poor

The Department of Engineering Science, including the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME), component of REACH will be looking at:

  • Advances in water quality science and engineering to improve the detection and elimination of harmful water sources
  • Novel approaches from Engineering Science will review and explore new techniques to determine the efficacy and acceptability of pollutant identification and remediation technologies
  • Big data machine learning methods for estimating risk of water insecurity
  • Health monitoring of water supply - including low-cost sensing devices on hand-pumps

Professor Ian Thompson said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to work across disciplines and advance novel technologies we are developing in water engineering including biosensor detection and nanotechnology-based remediation.

Professor David Clifton from the IBME added: “This programme is an excellent opportunity to bring the capabilities of information engineering to bear on the problems of water security, through intelligent algorithms for tracking the "health" of water systems in the developing world. REACH falls within the Oxford Water Network, where we have a number of initiatives linking our work in "big data" machine learning to the expertise of our colleagues in the School of Geography and the Environment. This fruitful collaboration has great potential to improve quality-of-life for those living in rural poor communities.

Other departments involved in this interdisciplinary research programme at Oxford University are:

  • School of Geography and the Environment, including the Environmental Change Institute and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment
  • Oxford Department of International Development, including Refugee Studies Centre
  • School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (Institute for Science, Innovation and Society)
  • Department of Zoology
  • Department of Politics and International Relations, including African Studies Centre.

The link to the new REACH website is:  www.reachwater.org.uk