2022 Innovation Initiative Grant Awards: Removal of radioactive elements, reuse of sewage sludge among 9 new water research projects funded by MEDRC

For the fifth year in a row, researchers in Palestine and Jordan have been awarded with a MEDRC Innovation Initiative Grant. This year, 9 researchers will receive funds for research projects that help solve problems related to water scarcity and the overuse of natural water resources. Among the award-winning projects are the development of a smart dashboard for irrigation water management, the preparation and testing of a ceramic filter, enhanced with nanotechnology, for the removal of radioactive elements from polluted water; an investigation into the potential reuse of sewage sludge for agricultural purposes; and studies into new adsorption methods for the removal of antibiotics and lead from (waste)water.

MEDRC initiated the Innovation Initiative grant awards in 2018 to boost innovation in the water sectors of Palestine and Jordan by supporting impactful projects, with the specific aim of moving research work from a laboratory setting to the field. With the Innovation Initiative program, MEDRC wants to spur the development of practical tools for water professionals, as well as instruments or methods that provide an impetus for start-ups in the water, environment and agricultural sectors, or that are otherwise commercially viable.

Innovation Initiative research from previous years resulted in data generation and recommendations for the benefit of national water authorities, municipalities and water utilities in Palestine and Jordan. Examples of successful projects that were supported through the program are a GIS based analysis of stormwater-generated sediments to mitigate their impact on, and enhance the efficiency of groundwater recharge; and a paper on the occurrence of estrogenic hormones in wastewater, and their removal using Peracetic Acid. Such research contributes to increasing the resilience of the water supply in both countries and to easing the pressure on vulnerable groundwater resources.

Since 2011, MEDRC has supported almost 360 water research projects in Palestine and Jordan. More information about MEDRC’s Water Research program and its capacity building activities in both countries can be found on:  www.medrc.org/developmentcooperation