WaterBiotech: Biotechnology for Africa's Sustainable Water Supply

Project: EU Commission

Project Details


More than water scarcity, diseases and civil wars, Africa is also the least wealthy continent, in terms of economic and financial resources. These combined and tightly linked problems have led to a restricted range of choices, affordable for African countries, to deal particularly with the water issue, as a major topic. Polluted water treatment before use has been their almost unique solution to deal with a growing water scarcity. The treatment of water and elimination of pollutants, mainly pathogenic organisms, xenobiotics and heavy metals, although itself presents significant challenges, is crucial for human health and environmental considerations. However, most regions in developing countries cannot afford the costs of advanced and specialized systems.
Numerous water cleaning methods are based in natural, plants or micro-organisms, biochemical processes. Biotechnology is a useful tool that is delivering improved products and process for environmental sustainability, and promises a range of benefits to manage the industrial WW economically and effectively around the world. Some biotechnological techniques are quite sophisticated but others are simple, cost effective and adapted to local conditions and resources of developing countries.
These natural biological treatment systems include lagooning, land treatment, phytodepuration, or constructed wetlands systems. They can be applied as secondary or tertiary purification treatment, allowing the removal of pathogenic microorganisms and the degradation of the organic pollutants, so that waste water can be recycled for irrigation and domestic use and hence reduce the pressure on the hydric resources. Other biotechnological techniques to be taken into account within this proposal are biofiltration, membrane bioreactors and algae and other aquatic crops’ application for wastewater purification.
Effective start/end date1/08/1131/01/14


  • European Commission

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  • Research Output

    Recovery of water for ground crop irrigation from municipal waste water in North Africa using MBRs: Process performance, modelling & water quality

    Arnot, T., Skouteris, G., Jraou, M., Feki, F. & Sayadi, S., 6 Sep 2016.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Modelling energy consumption in membrane bioreactors for waste water treatment in North Africa

    Skouteris, G., Arnot, T., Jraou, M., Feki, F. & Sayadi, S., 1 Mar 2014, In : Water Environment Research. 86, 3, p. 232-244 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Citations (Scopus)
    106 Downloads (Pure)

    Application of membrane bioreactor technology for urban wastewater treatment in Tunisia: Focus on treated water quality

    Jraou, M., Feki, F., Arnot, T., Skouteris, G. & Sayadi, S., 2013, In : Sustainable Sanitation Practice. 2013, 14, p. 49-54 6 p., 7.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access