ES-2: Detection, Assessment & Modelling of Emerging Contaminants in the Urban Environment
This project focuses on understanding the risks and impacts of two global issues related to emerging contaminants (ECs) in urban cities: Algal Blooms and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). These problems are increasingly and severely affecting the urban environment and public health. The overall outcomes of this project are detection methods, occurrence data, control methods, modeling and management tools which can provide an evaluation of environmental impact and health risks under different scenarios. Ultimately, these tools can assist policy makers and regulators to manage and reduce the emerging contaminants associated with algal blooms and antimicrobial resistance.Outcomes from Phase 1 studies have shown our capabilities to predict the occurrence and fate of many ECs in the environment, in addition to technologies developed in the programme to monitor their presence. In Phase 2, we focus on two major environmental challenges arising from emerging contaminants, namely algal blooms and antimicrobial resistance. These contaminants include algal toxins and off-flavours, antibiotic resistant genes, antimicrobials and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Specifically, we will address the sources, occurrence and solutions to manage these growing threats to our environment and public health.
To address these research questions, the project ES-2 will build on the research methodology developed in Phase 1 comprising (1) developing sensitive and accurate detection methods, (2) understanding the occurrence, fate, ecotoxicity and impacts of ECs and (3) developing an integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Management system, with the ultimate goal of using these results to assist policy makers and regulators in setting guidelines or standards for the protection of human and ecosystem health, and to manage and mitigate ECs in the environment. These will be examined in the context of the two specific urban challenges: (1) Algal blooms, and (2) Antimicrobial resistance. In particular, the emphasis will be on developing real-time sensing technologies integrated with modeling, prediction and risk assessment capabilities for these two issues cities around the world are facing.
The four sub-projects are given below: