The Project

In this project we will undertake a scoping study in Stellenbosch to understand the requirements for the development and implementation of a multi-hazard early-warning system in South Africa.  We will achieve this via the following objectives:


Objective 1: Biomarkers - Development of novel bioanalytical approaches towards public health diagnostics at the community-level via urban water profiling – focus on infectious disease.


Objective 2: Sensors - Development of novel low cost biosensors for real-time monitoring of public health indicators in urban water.


Objective 3: Monitoring - Spatial and temporal monitoring study of water-derived multiple hazard indicators in Stellenbosch.


Objective 4: Modelling multiple hazard indicators and predicting changes within the urban system.


Objective 5: Engagement with key stakeholder groups including policy makers, practitioners, non-profit organisations, the public and other stakeholders in the field of water management.

WP1 - Biomarkers

Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Dr Tom Watkinson, Miss Beth Holton (Faculty of Science, University of Bath)

Prof Ed Feil, Dr Mageiros Leonardos (Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath)

Professor Gideon Wolfaardt, Dr Marelize Botes, Dr Edward Archer (Stellenbosch University Water Institute)

Development of novel approaches towards community level verification of public health status utilising UWP


We will focus on a wide-ranging group of biomarkers representing public exposure to various xenobiotic micro-pollutants,  as well as disease/health status, e.g. characteristic proteins, and microbial biomarkers. We will develop new multi-residue analytical tools to establish both exposure and effects directed real time surveillance system that can identify changes in the surrounding environment and their impact on community-wide health.


Focusing on infectious disease outbreaks we will:

(1) Develop diagnostic indicators of infectious disease hotspots and acquisition of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) via UWP with state-of-the-art hyphenated chromatography, mass spectrometry techniques and digital PCR technology.

(2) Screen for pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria and develop community-oriented bioinformatics pipelines.

WP2 - Sensors

Dr Pedro Estrela, Dr Shu Jiang (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath)

Professor Christ Frost (Department of Chemistry, University of Bath)

Professor Willem Perold (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Stellenbosch University)

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WP3 - Monitoring

Professor Gideon Wolfaardt, Dr Marelize Botes, Dr Edward Archer (Stellenbosch University)

Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Miss Beth Holton (Department of Chemistry, University of Bath)


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WP4 - Modelling

Dr Thomas Kjeldsen (Department of Architechture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath)

Dr Tobie Louw, Dr Marelize Botes, Mr Edward Archer (Stellenbosch University)

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WP5 - Engagement

Professor Julie Barnett, Miss Emma Burroughs, Prof Danae Stanton Fraser (Department of Psychology, University of Bath)


Dr Edward Archer (Stellenbosch University Water Institute)

 The aim of this work package is to engage with key user groups, including policy makers, practitioners, citizens and other interested parties to inform the design and development of early warning systems. This work takes place within the tradition of ‘participatory design’, in which researchers and users work together. User engagement will be systematically embedded across the lifetime of the project through the activities of a practitioner panel, drawn from a range of public and stakeholders.


Working with our partners we will:

(1) Identify the decision making models and toolkits/aids for policy options appraisal and risk communication that will be most useful in the context of developing an EWS

(2) Identify the most important data to collect and display; the contextual factors important in understanding the data

(3) Prototype how this data should be displayed for optimal use and the ethical issues that need to be considered.

Bath BA2 7AY, UK

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