Decisions makers, international experts and a few heads of state gather at the World Water Week in Stockholm each year to mull the planet's most urgent water-related issues. The theme for 2009 is Responding to Global Changes: Accessing Water for the Common Good. On Aug 19, Canadian manufacturer Trojan Technologies will be awarded the 2009 Stockholm Industry Water Award for what is described as an environmentally sound alternative to traditional chlorine-based water treatment.
Trojan produces large-scale ultraviolet (UV) water disinfection systems that are used in more than 80 countries worldwide. Inexpensive disinfection of water is seen as an answer to the global problem of waterborne disease and erratic and scarce availability. Water supplies are at risk from overuse and contamination in both the developing and industrial regions of the planet, according to the organizers of the conference. Ultraviolet light purifies water by destroying the ability of microorganisms to function and reproduce, and effectively neutralizes the organic contaminants it contains. UV plants destroy bacteria such as E. coli, viruses such as those causing hepatitis and polio, and virtually all water-borne pathogens, including chlorine-resistant types such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. They also eliminate many micro-pollutants from herbicides and pesticides, a significant issue in agricultural regions. UV technology also works more than 20 times faster than traditional chlorine based systems, with no environmental impacts from chemical leaks or any known disinfection byproducts that could be harmful to health. The event will also focus on issues where water crosses boundaries both within and between nations, "where coordinated policies and co-management are of utmost importance," according to the organizers. "Recent thinking has led to considering transboundary waters as regional or global public goods. This approach leads away from narrow property rights issues in the riparian countries and helps focus in a much more positive way on sharing the economic and social benefits of the use of this public good." Jun/09
Date written/update: 2009-08-16