DW&PS says that the agreement combines its R&D and manufacturing expertise with Ahlstrom’s nonwoven fibre technology to address an unmet need in drinking water applications. According to the United Nations, nearly one billion of the Earth’s seven billion-plus people do not have access to clean water and our world’s population is expected to grow by another 3 billion people within the next 40 years. In order to keep up with rising populations, affluence and demand, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) estimates that our world will need 30 percent more water, 40 percent more energy and 50 percent more food by 2030.For these reasons, and more, the United Nations has designated 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, and has embarked on a campaign to encourage and nurture water cooperation.“Global trends such as population growth and urbanisation put pressure on already strained water sources,” said Snehal Desai, global business director for DW&PS. “We see a real need for new innovations to expand access to clean safe drinking water in an easy, effective and sustainable way.”“One of the key goals in our product development is to create products that purify air and liquids in a sustainable way. We see a wealth of opportunities in our collaboration with Dow for providing pure water solutions through combining our expertise with Dow’s industry-leading product portfolio”, says Fulvio Capussotti, executive vice-president, Advanced Filtration, Ahlstrom.DW&PS will incorporate Ahlstrom’s high-performance, filter medium into a new set of drinking water purification products that offer excellent pathogen rejection while operating at high flow and low pressure. The main benefits are:• Health and safety: Virtual removes microorganisms that can cause sickness by removing 99.9999% of all bacteria, 99.99% of all viruses and 99.9% of all cysts in a water stream.• High performance: Operation at a high flow rate even at low pressure for drinking water applications. • Sustainable: Suitable for use in areas with no electricity, requires zero chemicals, and does not generate waste water.“This technology can be applied to a number of drinking water applications including under-the-sink purification, post filtration for reverse osmosis, a counter top or pitcher unit or a unit internal to a refrigerator,” said Desai. “The combination of DW&PS capabilities, scale and expertise with Ahlstrom’s Disruptor® technology is the right one to expand our product portfolio, which includes reverse osmosis, ion exchange, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and fine particle filtration.