New hope for global water and food systems

Five new technologies – including a low-cost water filter using wood, and a handheld device to test milk quality – are among those under development by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) Solutions Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

J-WAFS Solutions – tests of the Intelligent Selective Electrodialysis (ISED) system being conducted in the Lienhard lab.

Since its inception in 2014, J-WAFS has worked to develop and deploy technologies, policies, and programs that tackle challenges in the world’s water and food systems. This year, its projects include:

  • Developing a low-cost water filter using wood, to provide low-income households with safe and affordable access to clean water (main image)
  • Using electrically-charged polymers to reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on crops – potentially by more than 50%.
  • Using smartphone technology to detect harmful bacteria in food, so food testing can be faster, cheaper and conducted on-site – preventing widespread foodborne illnesses.
  • Developing a handheld device to test milk quality, ensuring the safety of milk production in increasingly complex dairy supply chains.
  • Increasing the efficiency of irrigation waters to meet crop nutrient requirements by selectively removing ions that are harmful to crops while retaining those that are beneficial.

J-WAFS Solutions – a dairy farmer and collection operator at a milk collection center at Village Navli, Maharashtra, India.

Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “The research we are supporting at MIT has the potential to make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”

The United Nations estimates almost 10% of the world’s population falls ill each year from eating contaminated food, resulting in 420,000 deaths annually.

John Lienhard, the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food at MIT, said: “With the effects of climate change, urbanization, and rising population, water and food security is of even greater global importance.  This program serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial faculty and students to develop and commercialize technologies that can have a positive impact on the world.”

Related Articles

© 2016-2018 Abdul Latif Jameel IPR Company Limited. Permission to use this site is granted strictly subject to the Terms of Use. The Abdul Latif Jameel name, and the Abdul Latif Jameel logotype and pentagon-shaped graphic are trademarks, or registered trademarks of Abdul Latif Jameel IPR Company Limited.