Now is an opportune time to foster collaborations across sectors and geographical boundaries to enable development of best practices for drinking water (DW) microbiome research, focusing on accuracy and reproducibility of meta-omic techniques (while learning from past microbiome projects). A large-scale coordinated effort that builds on this foundation will enable the urgently needed comprehensive spatiotemporal understanding and control of DW microbiomes by engineering interventions to protect public health. This opinion paper highlights the need to initiate and conduct a large-scale coordinated DW microbiome project by addressing key knowledge gaps and recommends a roadmap for this effort.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: N.H., F.L., A.P., and W.L. conceived and outlined the opinion. N.H. drafted the manuscript with contributions from F.L., A.P., P.H., and W.L. G.J., A.P., P.H., K.K., M.A., R.R.C., and M.L. provided critical review and comments on the manuscript. Authors acknowledge support from NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) under award number 1701641. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NSF. Because many discussions at an NSF Workshop held March 12–13, 2018 in Denver, CO (Advancing understanding of Microbiomes in Drinking Water Distribution Systems and Premise Plumbing Using Meta-omics Techniques) informed this opinion, authors would like to acknowledge input of all workshop participants.