The WaTER Center
The University of Oklahoma WaTER Center aims to promote peace by advancing health, education and economic development through sustainable water and sanitation solutions for impoverished regions.
The 2016 University of Oklahoma WaTER Symposium
and the 2017 University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Announcement
The WaTER Symposium and dinner registration is now open! Register early to save your spot!
The WaTER Center will host the biennial OU WaTER Symposium on Thursday, September 22 from 6:45-9 pm at the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom in the Oklahoma Memorial Union on the Norman campus. The symposium, which this year includes a dinner, will feature discussions concerning global water issues with a distinguished panel of jurors who have gathered to select the 2017 University of Oklahoma International Water Prize selectee. The name of this recipient will be announced at the Symposium. The winner will receive the prize next fall at the OU International WaTER Conference, Sept. 18-20, 2017.
An interactive question-and-answer session with the panelists will occur at the event. Comprising the 2016 WaTER Symposium panel are Mr. Ned Breslin (former CEO of Water For People), Ms. Sarina Prabasi (CEO of WaterAid), Dr. Afreen Siddiqi (MIT/Harvard), Dr. James Smith (University of Virginia) and Dr. Eric Wood (Princeton). You won't want to miss this most enjoyable and informative evening!
Registration is required for the WaTER Symposium, which is free and open to the public. A separate registration is required for each person who will attend. Please register by Sept. 15.
Free parking will be available after 5 pm in the lots around Brooks/Jenkins (C8 & C4), the Duck Pond (MP4), the Field House (A10) and Sarkeys (A6, A4/AC14 and A3). See the OU Parking map for locations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Nudge Handwashing Project Wins First Place
First place in the Civil Society Innovation Award at the WASH Futures Conference in Brisbane, Australia was awarded to a handwashing project designed and implemented by Save the Children, WaTER Center Assistant Director Dr. Robert Dreibelbis at the the University of Oklahoma, and the University at Buffalo, This project makes use of nudges - environmental cues that spark quick, unconscious decision-making, by connecting latrines to handwashing stations via paved pathways painted with bright colors, footprints and handprints, subtly guiding students to a handwashing station. The feasibility for nudge-based interventions was assessed in a pilot in 2014 of nudges in two schools in rural Bangladesh, showing an overall increase of 64% in handwashing among primary school students after a toileting event. The nudge path concept is currently under further study in a cluster-randomized trial to assess the longer term sustainability of the intervention as well as the behavioral impact of nudges compared to a traditional education-focused handwashing and hygiene promotion program, the results of which will be available in the fall of 2016.
Water Security - Quantity, Quality, Equity
The WaTER Center directors joined their thoughts and expertise on water security to produce a feature article for the January 2016 addition of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) journal Water Resources IMPACT. Click here to read their contribution to the journal. (pdf)
Professor's clean water vision offering hope at Tar Creek Superfund Site
Researchers making progress in filtering contaminated groundwater
The water cleanup work of Dr. Robert Nairn, Associate Director of the WaTER Center, is being highlighted by the news media. Engineers with the University of Oklahoma's School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science have found a solution to clean the contaminated water flowing right into Tar Creek. To learn more, read on...
Public Forums on Water Reuse to be held in Norman
Water reuse in Oklahoma is the topic for three upcoming educational outreach forums open to the public at no cost. The meetings are designed to inform the public and to allow people to provide input for Oklahoma’s future water resource planning.
The no cost public forums are scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m. on April 23, May 14 and June 18 at the National Weather Center, 100 David L. Boren Blvd., in Norman, OK.
Please register at www.oklahomawatersurvey.org for planning purposes.
For more information and to view the entire agenda (pdf), click here.
Conference registration now available - 2015 OU WaTER Conference and International Water Prize Award Ceremony Sept. 21-23
"off the grid: sustainable water and sanitation in a non-networked world"
Registration for the 2015 OU International WaTER Conference to be held in Norman, Oklahoma Sept. 21-23 is now open.
The International Water Prize Award Ceremony will be held Monday, Sept. 21 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The Water Prize Banquet is included in Regular, Emerging Region and Student registrations.
Banquet tickets can also be purchased at the door the night of the event (cash and check only) or by contacting Cindy Murphy.
Professor Nairn Receives $1.6 Million Water Cleanup Grant
Design and construction begins in 2015
With a grant from the State of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, WaTER Center Associate Director Robert Nairn is able to pursue his water cleanup goals in northeast Oklahoma. Click here to learn more.
Sooners Without Borders Travel to El Salvador
Thanksgiving break for most students means spending time with family and food. But a group of OU students used their holiday break for service. They headed more than 2,100 miles away to Central America. Read on...
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe - Her Humanitarian Quest
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, friend of the WaTER Center and one of Time Magazines most influential people of 2014, is travelling the globe speaking for those who cannot. Please read on to learn more about this amazing woman.
2015 OU Water Prize winner chosen at WaTER Symposium
Peter Lochery was announced as the University of Oklahoma's 2015 WaTER Prize recipient at the WaTER Center Symposium Friday, Sept. 26, 2014.
This prize recognizes and honors an individual who has made significant international contributions, either through research, teaching or service activities in the field of water supply and sanitation, with a focus on the world's poorest living in developing countries. Read more...
Did you know
- Approximately one SIXTH of the world's population lacks access to safe water
- 2.6 billion people lack access to improved sanitation
- On average a child dies every 15 seconds because of lack of safe water and adequate sanitation
- 88 percent of all diseases are caused by unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene
- The average American individual uses 100 to 176 gallons of water at home each day while the average African family uses about 5 gallons per day