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Friday, 31 May 2013

Joining forces with UNESCO to use nanotechnology to address water challenges

BRATISLAVA, 31 May 2013 - Nanotechnology may offer promising solutions to water problems in developing countries, but the challenges should not be underestimated. This was the conclusion of a joint session of representatives of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that took place today.

Providing access to clean water is one of the most pressing challenges in the developing world. Not only does the lack of access to safe drinking water impair the lives and well-being of millions of people, but the inadequate (or non-existent) treatment of waste water is threatening the water resources and ecosystems that they depend on as well.

Conventional water purification and waste water treatment technologies often require large infrastructure with a high capital investment and have considerable operating costs.

During the joint session, experts from UNIDO and UNESCO discussed what nanotechnology can do to address these problems and which areas of water use are currently in the greatest need of technological upgrade and innovation. Participants acknowledged the challenges in implementing these technologies that remain and that should not be underestimated.   

The event marked the beginning of the cooperation between UNIDO and UNESCO in the fields of nanotechnology and water management.

The two organizations agreed to work together on a number of joint activities to explore the potential of nanotechnology in water purification and wastewater treatment. The joint activities will complement existing ongoing projects and programmes.

The joint session was part of the Conference on Emerging Ethical Issues in Science and Technology held in Bratislava from 30 to 31 May. It was co-organized by UNIDO and UNESCO.    

For further information, contact:

UNESCO:  
Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa
Programme Specialist
Division of Water Sciences – International Hydrological Programme
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UNIDO:
Anders Isaksson
Industrial Development Officer
Investment and Technology Unit

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