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Plenary Lecture 8: Towards a predictive framework for microbial community dynamics in drinking water systems

Thursday 27th November 2014 - 11:25 to 11:55
INI Seminar Room 1
The abundant and diverse drinking water microbiome migrates daily from the drinking water treatment plant through the distribution systems into our homes, offices, schools, etc. Every litre of water emerging from our taps has tens of millions of microbes – bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses – all of which constitute a complex microbial community. Effectively managing this diverse microbial community is not only critical from a public health perspective, but also has implications for our water infrastructure (e.g. microbially mediated corrosion). Efforts to manage the drinking water microbiome would be well served by a framework that can predict its dynamics as a function of process operations, environmental conditions, and water supply infrastructure over relevant spatial and temporal scales. A predictive framework would pave the way for a nuanced control of the drinking water microbiome, which will save labour, energy and may also ultimately promote heal th. This presentation will outline efforts to develop a such predictive framework for water systems in the US and Europe.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons