Health Related Water Microbiology


The HRWM Subgroup is composed of members who are concerned with all aspects of health related water microbiology and carry out applied and fundamental research on water and microorganisms as it impacts public health.

Core issues in the group are research on pathogenic bacteria, parasites, viruses, selection of suitable microbial indicators for defining safety plans, modeling associated risk and defining microbial source tracking tools, as well as disinfection and ecology. Main topics of the SG also include the impact of natural disasters on the microbial quality of drinking and recreational water. The key issues for the future are working with the above themes on safety issues in relation to water scarcity, reuse and development of sustainable water treatments. Classical and emerging pathogens must be identified and controlled in integrated water management and safety plans.

Hot topics which will be transformational in this field include new technologies for the cost-effective detection of pathogens and characterization of microbial populations using among others, metagenomics and NGS techniques. These will be integrated to new and sustainable water treatment engineering developments and are the focus and priorities of HRWM SG for 2016.

Research is presented at biannual meetings where basic and applied researchers interact; students are an intrinsic part in this endeavor and participate actively in all activities of the SG. The biannual conference is held in different countries, organized by a group of the members of the SG. Some of the activities during these conferences apart from the presentations include a workshop focusing on a topic of world-wide importance. One workshop is usually organized with the World Health Organization and world-renowned speakers participate. This workshop is held on the last day of the symposium.