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2019 Conference

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Image of Water Prize glass globe

The opening reception will be held the evening of Sunday, Sept. 15.

Conference presentations and keynote speakers will occur Monday, Sept. 16 through Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The International WaTER Conference Banquet and University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Award Ceremony will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Registration is now open.


The Conference sessions will take place in the NCED Hotel and Conference Center | 2801 OK-9, Norman, OK | (405) 447-9000

Presentation Guidelines

2019 Conference Focus

  • Water Quality
  • Water Quantity and Security 
  • Water Equity 
  • Water Systems Sustainability

Online Deadline: Sept. 11


Keynote speakers and
general presentation topics:

John Butterworth, IRC-Ethiopia
Water systems and sustainability

John Cherry, Professor Emeritus
The global challenges in groundwater

Jenna Davis, Stanford University
Sanitation and wash systems

Kyle Harper, University of Oklahoma
The deep history of water and waste

Leila Harris, University of British Columbia
Water governance and social equity

Soroosh Sorooshian, UC-Irvine
Hydrology and water security

We are excited to welcome these speakers and the experience and enthusiasm they bring to these topics of great relevance.

WaTER Conference Banquet and Water Prize Award Ceremony

2015 WaTER Conference Banquet

The 6th OU International WaTER Conference Banquet and University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Award Ceremony will take place Tuesday evening, September 17 from 6:30-9 pm at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman, OK 73072.

During this event, Martha Gebeyehu will be awarded the 2019 OU International Water Prize and give the plenary address.

Nearly 180 people are expected to join this informative and grand gathering of stellar international WaSH professionals and caring individuals who celebrate clean water and our healthy world.

2019 University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Winner

Martha Gebeyehu the 2019 OU International Water Prize Winner

Martha Gebeyehu of Ethiopia is the winner of the 2019 OU International Water Prize. She is currently the coordinator for Ethiopia’s Water Expertise and Training Center. Martha is receiving this year’s Water Prize for her commitment and success in training people to manage their own water and sanitation. She began her career as the first water quality analyst for the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission. It was here that she developed a laboratory, began implementing safe testing practices, and started the first water quality workshops. Martha is on the front lines of bringing clean water and sanitation to all, and the WaTER Center is proud to award her with this prestigious prize.   

Martha will be awarded the prestigious University of Oklahoma International Water Prize at the OU International WaTER Conference banquet.

The WaTER Conference

conference hallway shot from 2015

The 2019 OU International WaTER Conference will gather around 180 participants from multiple disciplines with a common goal of bringing water and sanitation to developing countries.  Attendees will include water and sanitation experts, students, and interested attendees from academia, industry, NGOs, government and foundations.

The two-day conference will include a poster and concurrent oral presentation sessions devoted to all technical and non-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. (Read below for the Student Poster Competition.)

Student Poster Competition

Poster session at the 2015 conference

The Student Poster Competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students working in the field of water, sanitation and health (WaSH) for developing regions.

A panel of judges will evaluate the posters on i) clarity of presentation, ii) creativity, and iii) relevance of research. The poster contest winners receive cash prizes for their contribution.



Sun, Sep 15
Opening Reception

Mon, Sep 16
Presentations and networking all day

Tue, Sep 17
Presentations, networking and Prize Winner banquet

Wed, Sep 18
Short courses (2)

  • Sustainable well construction
  • Hydrology and remote sensing