Sustainability impacts related to global health can be difficult to measure. This project introduces a methodology and scientific tool that will measure sustainability and community health indicators in near real-time using urban wastewater as a diagnostic matrix.
Using Urban Metabolism Metrology (UMM), global teams will obtain this near real-time data on the following sustainability metrics: 1) occurrence of toxic agents within urban environments, 2) related human exposures and toxic body burdens, and 3) the consumption of limited natural resources (e.g. phosphorus, rare earth materials) that pose threats to ecosystems and urban sustainability. Using UMM, the identification of these metrics will be used to inform programs and policies to reduce the threat of endocrine disrupters and drug-resistant bacteria globally, reduce the production and consumption of non-green chemicals that persist after wastewater treatment, and help manage the ongoing substance abuse crises around the globe.
The project will grow and scale the impact of UMM and improve global health outcomes by creating analytical Centers of Excellence and establishing new municipal partnerships in the United States, led by Arizona State University (ASU); Ireland, led by Dublin City University (DCU); United Kingdom, led by King’s College London (KCL); and Mexico, led by Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec).
With one year of GCSO funding, this project will:
Scale the number of UMM labs around the globe
Scale the number of sustainability indicators tracked routinely
Improve the data quality attained by participating labs
Scale the number of institutions and municipalities utilizing UMM methodology
Contribute to the size of the Human Health Observatory, the largest repository of UMM samples in the world
Increase the percentage of the human population monitored by UMM
Increase the number of fee-for-service UMM subscribers
Rolf Halden, Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, ASU
Fiona Regan, Chemical Sciences, DCU
Leon Barron, Analytical and Environmental Sciences, KCL
Roberto Parra, Engineering Science, TEC
City of Louiseville