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

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • Verein zur Förderung des Technologietransfers an der Hochschule Bremerhaven e.V.
  • Bioazul S.L.
  • Centre de Biotechnologie de Sfax
  • Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • International Water Management Insitute
  • Aix-Marseille University
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
  • Centre Régional pour l'Eau Potable et l'Assainissement à faible coût
  • Universität Bremen
  • National Research Centre
  • Université Cheikh Anta Diop
  • Université Cadi Ayyad
  • Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables
  • King Saud University
  • Centre International des Technologies de L'Environnement de Tunis


  • European Commission

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.