The 2015 University of Oklahoma International WaTER Conference
The Water Technologies for Emerging Regions (WaTER) Center at the University of Oklahoma hosted the Fourth OU International WaTER Conference and International Water Prize Award Ceremony on Sept. 21-23, 2015 in Norman, Okla., USA.
Off the Grid: Sustainable Water and Sanitation in a Non-Networked World
"Off the Grid: Sustainable Water and Sanitation in a Non-Networked World" was the conference theme of the 2015 OU International WaTER Coknference. The gathering attracted nearly 200 participants from academia, industry, NGOs, governments and foundations representing countries from around the world, all with the coommon goal of bringing water and sanitation to developing regions.
The two-day conference included poster and concurrent paper sessions devoted to all technical and not-technical topics and sectors (e.g., science, engineering, health, anthropology, sociology, business, meteorology, geography, education and cultural issues) relevant to water and sanitation in remote regions of developing countries.
General Conference Schedule
Sunday (9/20) – Registration and Opening General Reception (6:30-9 pm)
Monday (9/21) – Registration, Topical and Keynote Presentations, Poster Session and Banquet (7 am-9:15 pm)
Tuesday (9/22) – Registration, Topical and Keynote Presentations and Conference Closing Ceremony (7 am-5:40 pm)
Wednesday (9/23) – Workshops: Field Methods (9 am - Noon); Social Entrepreneurship (8 am - Noon)
The conference program will be posted soon.
Plenary and Keynote Speakers
The highlight of the conference was a plenary lecture by and presentation of the fourth OU International Water Prize to Peter Lochery, CARE Director of Water.
In addition to the plenary lecture by Peter Lochery, keynote speakers from the following fields gave timely addresses, all with an emphasis on applications in the developing world:
- Kerstin Danert, RWSN; Switzerland (Sustainable ground water in Africa)
- Pawan Labhasetwar, NEERI; India (Water and sanitation in rural India)
- Christine Moe, USA; (WASH in healthcare facilities in low-income countries)
- Afreen Siddiqi, MIT/Harvard; USA (Water-Energy-Climate Nexus in Pakistan)
- Ani Vallabhaneni, Sanergy; Kenya (Sanitation and social entrepreneurship in Kenya)
Two post-conference workshops were held on Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, 2015.
- Workshop #1 is entitled “Construction Field Methods in WASH”. This workshop focused on hands-on instruction of two types of water well drilling – manual and hydraulic; eco-latrine design and construction; biosand filter design and construction; and household-level water treatment. (9 am-Noon; Fears Structural Engineering Lab)
- Workshop #2 is the Social Entrepreneurship Workshop, and was conducted by OU's Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, Oklahoma's leading social innovation economic development organization. It was a hands-on workshop where participants work in teams to develop a model and business plan for a social innovation and entrepreneurship venture, and will be based on CCEW's 5 years of experience launching and consulting on SocEnt ventures. (8 am-Noon; 4 Partners Place)