Suva, Fiji – December 5, 2023 – The University of the South Pacific (USP) marked a historic moment with the launch of the AQUA Cube, a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed for human consumption, research and development.
The launch, officiated by USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Guilio Paunga and German Ambassador Dr Andreas Prothmann, marks the collaboration between stakeholders for the successful implementation of the project. The primary objective of the AQUA Cube is to address the critical need for clean drinking water.
This cost-effective, compact, and mobile water treatment plant, developed in collaboration with Technische Universität Berlin, offers a sustainable solution to water-related challenges.
“We are delighted to witness the collaboration between USP and Technische Universität Berlin in our joint commitment to providing clean drinking water to communities,” said Dr Guilio Paunga.
“Water is a basic necessity crucial to human survival, and through the AQUA Cube, we aim to ensure access to safe water for everyone.”
The AQUA Cube features a multi-step filtration process, including pre-filtration, ultrafiltration, sludge sedimentation, and UV disinfection, with an impressive success rate of 98%.
German Ambassador Dr Andreas Prothmann expressed his gratitude and highlighted the project’s significance in bringing German environmental technology to Fiji and Pacific Island Communities.
The VINETA project, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection, aims to provide clean filtered water not only within the university but also to local communities. Naimasimasi Village in Tailevu has been selected as the first community to benefit from this initiative.
Coordinated by Professor Bibhya Sharma of the USP School of Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics (STEMP), the VINETA project unveiled the AQUA Cube at two launch events held on November 29 at USP Laucala Upper Campus and on December 1 at Naimasimasi Village.
Prof. Sharma emphasised the importance of collaboration with the Chemistry and Biology departments of USP and the Institute of Applied Sciences, stating, “The AQUA Cube is not just a technological innovation; it is a solution that integrates science, engineering, and community engagement.”
STEMP, under Prof. Sharma’s leadership, has conducted workshops for USP and Naimasimasi trainees, ensuring the effective implementation and maintenance of the AQUA Cube.
Looking ahead, STEMP envisions integrating the AQUA Cube into selected university courses, fostering a new generation of experts in water treatment and environmental sustainability.
The successful launch of the AQUA Cube strengthens the partnership between USP and Technische Universität Berlin and marks a significant step toward a future where clean and safe water is accessible to all.
About Technische Universität Berlin
Technische Universität Berlin is one of the leading technical universities in Europe, known for its research-driven approach and commitment to innovation. The collaboration with USP reflects TU Berlin’s dedication to global partnerships for sustainable development.
About the AQUA Cube
The AQUA Cube is a compact and mobile water treatment system developed through collaboration between USP and Technische Universität Berlin. It aims to provide clean drinking water and support research and development in water treatment technologies. The initiative is part of the larger VINETA project, focusing on community-centric solutions for water challenges.