Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water

Mark R. Riley, Charles P Gerba, Menachem Elimelech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting Grand Challenges for Engineering. This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalJournal of Biological Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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