The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is now accepting proposals for two RFPs on trace organics in wastewater and receiving waters. WERF anticipates funding of about $2.4 million will be needed for this global challenge over a six-year period (2006 to 2011). WERF has already allocated almost $2 million to address ongoing and completed research related to hormonally active and pharmaceutically active compounds.
For several years, WERF has been working in collaboration with other water research organizations both in the U.S. and abroad on this issue. In 2005, WERF and its subscribers again identified and prioritized the management of human and environmental health risks due to trace organic chemicals in wastewater as one of the highest priority research needs for the wastewater treatment industry.
Trace organics include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, surfactants, flame retardants and other compounds that are known or suspected to affect normal reproductive endocrine functions in animals or humans. Proposals for the first RFP, Workshop on Trace Organics: Mapping a Collaborative Research Roadmap, are due Nov. 6. Through this RFP, WERF will take initial steps to establish a coordinated research program in the area of trace organics in water among all organizations that fund research in this area and to focus its own research efforts within this broader program. WERF and its subscribers are hoping that such a collaborative approach will lead to better, more strategic use of resources and strengths.
Proposals for the second RFP, Communicating Risks Associated with Exposure to Trace Organic Chemicals in Wastewater Effluent and Reclaimed Water, are due Nov. 20. This research will address communication-related issues associated with ecological and human health risks from trace organic chemicals. Researchers will identify current knowledge and perceptions by the public, regulators and the media of risks associated with trace organics and ultimately identify strategies to effectively communicate risks.
Researchers interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to visit the WERF website.