Deployment of Water Technologies in Disparate Landscapes: Germany and Bangladesh

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Columbus CD (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Konrad Siegfried , Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
In Germany, diverse high-tech methods and tools for the detection and treatment of contaminants affecting drinking water quality are developed and commercialized. Products made in Germany have a high international reputation. They are thus not only utilized in the Western world but also exported to many less developed countries such as Bangladesh. The deployment of these, sometimes delicate, technologies in countries where infrastructural and financial means are lacking is challenging since they are often perceived as too expensive or too complicated to use. The genetically modified ARSOlux biosensor for arsenic in drinking water is an exception as it was specifically developed for implementation in large-scale field screenings in Bangladesh and other countries affected by arsenic contamination, having local challenges in mind. Regularly repeated arsenic ‘blanket screenings’ with biosensors would enable governments and NGOs to monitor the drinking water quality of millions of people without large investments in infrastructure and material. Additionally no toxic wastes are created by using biosensor technology. A strategy and preparing steps for a sustainable market transfer in Bangladesh including an independent certification, testing and risk assessment of the biosensor in Germany are presented. The described certificates and reports should convince local stakeholders and the government to use the biosensor technology in Bangladesh.