The primary goals of the IC Sewage initiative are to:
- Develop a diagnostic for sewage pollution to address public health riskEvaluate and compare existing MST methods; develop, test, review and standardize a toolbox of effective methods; evaluate watershed pollution levels using conventional E. coli and the alternative novel methods in pilot areas.
- Implement a technology transfer programThis program is open to any individual/group who is interested in learning about or contributing to new monitoring technologies including users of the technologies, laboratories and users of the information. This includes, but is not limited to, universities, water utilities and health departments all over the world, to help to provide improved and appropriate microbiological resources that will benefit all. IC Sewage will be organizing a series of workshops designed to cover how various groups might implement new technology and use the information gained from the development of the “Toolbox” approach. Most importantly, a standard guide and protocol will be a key product from this group. The workshops will be webcast and archived so that they can be accessed online at any time. An online video and podcasts discussing various methods and results from the project will be designed. The results will be disseminated through the more traditional scientific outlets, conferences and publications. All products will be available on the IC Sewage website.
- Create a global map of pollutionGlobal monitoring projects have been implemented before (i.e., Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, Global Environmental Monitoring System) and they historically have provided important knowledge to better understand the marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, there is lack of information on the contribution that sewage makes to many watersheds throughout the world. The ultimate goal of IC Sewage is to map the sewage and water quality in these watersheds. Currently pilot programs on select watersheds will be targeted and added to, as the efforts grow. The combination of GIS and mapping of sewage pollution in time and space will be a key tool for diagnosing water pollution problems and will help to better understand local and transboundary water contamination issues. The global map is envisioned to have databases that include geological, physicochemical, and general field data, in addition to the quantitative information regarding the level of sewage that is found in the various samples tested from diverse watersheds.. The map will cover pollution from a global view with the ability to “zoom in” to the regions and watersheds that are being studied. Watersheds will be sampled across seasons (e.g., rainy seasons versus dry seasons) and will be evaluated according to local conditions, with the help of our collaborative laboratories that have experience and knowledge in their respective regions. The connectedness between land use, climate and water quality will ultimately be able to be highlighted and then linked to health.
- Serve as a network connecting studies all over the worldThe IC Sewage website is aimed to be a resource that will serve as a network connecting studies all over the world with password protected pages to exchange protocols and data for members.
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