Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

National Academy Of Engineering Announces Million-Dollar Challenge To Provide Safe Drinking Water

Date:
February 6, 2005
Source:
National Academies
Summary:
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the establishment of the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability. This prize will award $1 million for a practical technology that can prevent the slow poisoning of people throughout the world as a result of arsenic contamination of drinking water.

WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the establishment of the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability. This prize will award $1 million for a practical technology that can prevent the slow poisoning of people throughout the world as a result of arsenic contamination of drinking water.

Arsenic-contaminated drinking water affects tens of millions of people, especially in developing countries where existing treatment technologies are too expensive for widespread use. The prize will be awarded for the development of a small-scale, inexpensive technique for reducing arsenic levels in drinking water.

Treating drinking water with high levels of arsenic is not a major problem in the United States because many communities have the resources for expensive, centralized, and well-maintained water treatment facilities. "Different solutions are required in the developing world, and the solution has to work in the field," explained Alden Henderson of the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta. "The idea of sustainability is to offer communities choices and an opportunity to have a hand in finding a solution."

A quarter of the population of Bangladesh drinks water from tube wells -- a cheap, low-tech way of accessing groundwater. Many of the country's estimated 10 million tube wells were built with international aid to provide an alternative to bacteria-tainted surface water. Unfortunately, these wells frequently tap into aquifers contaminated by arsenic from natural sources.

Arsenic poisoning is a slow, painful process that can ultimately result in death. Debilitating sores often appear first, followed by nerve damage, commonly in the hands and legs, which are especially sensitive to arsenic. Affected people can have difficulty working or even walking, and continued exposure can lead to liver failure, kidney failure, cancer, or the loss of arms or legs.

The goal of the Grainger Challenge Prize is to encourage the development of a household- or community-scale water treatment system to remove arsenic from the contaminated groundwater. The system must have a low life-cycle cost and must be robust, reliable, easily maintainable, socially acceptable, and affordable. As a sustainable technology, the system must also be within the manufacturing capabilities of a developing country and must not degrade other water quality characteristics or introduce pathogens.

"Sustainable development is not just about conservation and the wise use of the Earth's resources, but also about improving the quality of life for all people," said NAE President Wm. A. Wulf.

Historically, prizes have stimulated interest in creative approaches to engineering challenges. Examples include aviation prizes such as the Orteig Prize won by Charles Lindbergh and the recent Ansari X-Prize for building a private spaceship. "A challenge prize does more than just reward an individual for achieving a technical goal," Wulf explained. "It also focuses the talents of a particular community on solving a problem."

The Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability is made possible through the generous support of The Grainger Foundation. The prize is administered and managed by the National Academy of Engineering, a private, nonprofit institution that provides technology advice under a congressional charter.

More information about the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability is available at http://www.graingerchallenge.org .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academies. "National Academy Of Engineering Announces Million-Dollar Challenge To Provide Safe Drinking Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050204213317.htm>.
National Academies. (2005, February 6). National Academy Of Engineering Announces Million-Dollar Challenge To Provide Safe Drinking Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050204213317.htm
National Academies. "National Academy Of Engineering Announces Million-Dollar Challenge To Provide Safe Drinking Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050204213317.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins