Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


OU WATER Center Researchers Providing Solutions in Developing Countries

Lessons Learned in Oklahoma Apply Around the World

At the University of Oklahoma WATER Center, researchers are working to provide solutions in developing countries where clean, safe water is nonexistent. According to Center Director David Sabatini, 1 billion people in the world do not have a safe water supply, which leads to 2 million deaths a year.

Located within OU’s School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, the OU WATER Center relies on Sabatini’s expertise in physiochemical processes for water treatment and that of the Center’s three associate directors: Robert Nairn, treatment wetlands; Randall Kolar, surface and groundwater supply; and Robert Knox, ground water hydrology.

While Sabatini and his colleagues differ in their approach to solving global water challenges, the overarching goal of the Center is to address water dilemmas in countries where the need is the greatest. The Center is becoming recognized as the U.S. leader for work on this global concern.

OU is one of the few universities in the country with a water initiative devoted to developing countries. Since 2005, Center researchers have been making an impact in four distinct areas: teaching, research, service and international leadership.

For example, Sabatini taught an Honors Perspectives/Presidential Dream Course on water in developing countries during the fall 2009 semester. And the OU WATER Center hosted the first international water conference in Norman. At this conference, the first OU Water Prize ($25,000) was awarded to Dr. Stephen Luby, M.D., in celebration of his work in Pakistan and Bangladesh—both countries with severe water resource challenges.

The Center’s research focuses on climate change, water treatment and water contamination and cleanup. Although Center researchers are motivated by matters in developing countries, solutions often come from research on local basis. Developing countries have some of the very same challenges as those found in the City of Norman or at the Tar Creek cleanup site.

“The solutions developed here can be applied in these countries,” remarks Sabatini. OU researchers are studying the redistribution of water resources as a result of climate change; the removal of arsenic and fluoride from ground water; and water contamination and cleanup methods.

Population growth is the leading contributing factor where current or potential water shortages are concerned. Norman and other cities in the state are tackling these same types of concerns. The difference is technology to treat water so that it is clean and safe. “We are finding solutions that will work in countries that need them,” says Sabatini.

“In the United States, we take water for granted,” laments Sabatini. “We turn on a faucet, and water comes out. But in developing countries where people walk for miles each day to bring water to their families, water is precious. They won’t even use it to wash their hands.”

Water and sanitation are key components for good health and a better quality of life. Unlike other scarce resources—energy, for instance, there are no alternatives for clean water. Ultimately, the OU WATER Center is working to bring clean, safe water supplies to the poorest countries in the world.

Learn more about the OU WATER Center at or contact David Sabatini by e-mail at

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>