Ten UK companies have each received a share of £1m worth of funding from the Technology Strategy Board in an attempt to safeguard future water supply around the globe.
The ten firms will get a grant worth £70,000-£146,000 to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the predicted water challenges. It’s hoped that backing these technologies at an early stage will help them develop better in future markets.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said, “In the UK we are surrounded by water so it’s easy to take the security of our supply for granted.
“It seems hard to envisage that we could, in the short space of 40 years, start running out of fresh water. It is also estimated that by 2050, the UK will have a shortage in water supply of up to 10,000m litres a day.
“Innovative new technologies and services are needed if we are going to find a solution to this key issue.”
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are also part of the funding scheme, which will look to change the fortunes of the 1.6 billion people worldwide that are currently in areas of ‘water stress’.
In March, as part of World Water Day, Peter Boonman, director of water and sanitation charity Pump Aid, told Blue & Green Tomorrow how investment in water was a “first necessity”.
He added, “Access to clean water and sanitation underpins community development. It’s estimated that for every pound spent on improving water and sanitation, at least nine pounds is made or saved on costs related to health, education and social and economic development.”
The Technology Strategy Board’s funding programme is therefore essential in ramping up the development of future essential water technologies, and is urgently required to meet the growing demand for arguably the Earth’s most precious resource.