The Nation



UN launches campaign on water conservation

Nearly a billion of the Earth's seven billion-plus people do not have access to clean water, according to the United Nations.

The world's population is expected to grow by 3 billion people in 40 years. To keep up with rising populations, affluence and demand, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development estimates that our world will need 30 per cent more water, 40 per cent more energy and 50 per cent more food by 2030.

The UN has designated 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation and has embarked on a campaign to encourage and nurture water cooperation.

Joining this effort is US-based Dow Chemical. Dow Water and Process Solutions (DW&PS), its business unit, is collaborating with Ahlstrom, a global, high-performance fibre-based materials company, to use Ahlstrom Disruptor technology for drinking water applications.

The agreement combines DW&PS' industry-leading market, R&D and manufacturing expertise with Ahlstrom's innovative nonwoven fibre technology to address an unmet need in drinking water applications.

"Global trends such as population growth and urbanisation put pressure on already strained water sources," Snehal Desai, global business director for DW&PS, said last week.

"We see a real need for new innovations to expand access to clean, safe drinking water in an easy, effective and sustainable way."

Fulvio Capussotti, executive vice president for advanced filtration at Ahlstrom, said one of the key goals in the company's product development is to create products that purify air and liquids in a sustainable way.

"We see a wealth of opportunities in our collaboration with Dow for providing pure water solutions through combining our expertise with Dow's industry-leading product portfolio," he said.

DW&PS will incorporate Ahlstrom's high-performance, break-through filter medium into a new set of drinking water purification products that offer excellent pathogen rejection while operating at high flow and low pressure.

The products are considered sustainable in the way that they are suitable for use in areas with no electricity, require zero chemicals and do not generate wastewater.

"This technology can be applied to a number of drinking water applications including under-the-sink purification, post filtration for reverse osmosis, a counter top or pitcher unit or a unit internal to a refrigerator," Desai said.

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