The sustainable treatment and supply of potable water and the disposal of wastewater are among the major challenges of the 21st century, and of rapidly growing national and international significance. Membrane technology in water treatment is establishing itself as one of the most promising future solutions for the high quality, sustainable treatment of both potable and wastewater at reasonable price. A consortium of leading UK and Israeli scientists convened at the University of Oxford from June 15th to 20th, June 2008 to participate in a Joint UK–Israeli Workshop and Research Conference on the Application of Membrane Technology in Water Treatment and Desalination. The event was the first of its kind, and fell within the remit of the Israeli Science Networking Development Scheme (SNDS) in the area of Natural and Engineering Sciences. It concerned a topic to which both the UK and Israeli governments have attached a present and future priority. Funds were provided by the SNDS to allow six delegates from each country to participate in the event, which consisted of a 2-day intensive workshop followed by a 2.5-day conference open to a wider audience of around 40 delegates. The event was a huge success, resulting in a basis for both future collaborations between Israeli and British scientists, and for future student and faculty exchanges. With the kind support of Miriam Balaban, selected papers from the event are now being published in the Desalination and Water Treatment Journal. As with the previous Water and Membranes Research Event at Oxford, it turned out to be a most stimulating and unique experience, in a special intellectual, architectural and social environment. Once again, the participants learned much from their colleagues, engaging actively in the research discussions, as well as finding new friends and fresh inspiration. In the spirit of the event, plenty of time was also built in for informal discussions and social interaction. We hope you find the papers of interest, and look forward very much to seeing some of you at the next Oxford event.

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