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2017 Conference

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The 2017 University of Oklahoma International WaTER Conference

A Decade of Progress - A Vision for the Future

The Water Technologies for Emerging Regions (WaTER) Center at the University of Oklahoma celebrated the 10th anniversary of the OU International WaTER Conference and the University of Oklahoma International Water Prize.  The conference and award ceremony was held Sept. 18-20, 2017 in Norman, OK, USA.

WaTER Conference Banquet and Water Prize Award Ceremony

2015 WaTER Conference Banquet

The 10th Anniversary OU International WaTER Conference Banquet and University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Award Ceremony took place Tuesday evening, September 19 from 6:30-9 pm at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman, OK 73072.

During this event, Eric Stowe was awarded the 2017 OU International Water Prize and then joined with the four past prize winners to celebrate the anniversary of the WaTER Conference and Water Prize cycle.

Eric gave the plenary address, followed by a panel discussion of current water, sanitation and hygiene issues with Stephen Luby (2009), Ben Fawcett (2011), Ada Oko-Williams (2013) and Peter Lochery (2015).

Nearly 200 people joined this informative and grand gathering of stellar international WaSH professionals and caring individuals who celebrated clean water and our healthy world.

2017 University of Oklahoma International Water Prize Winner

Eric Stowe

Eric Stowe is Founder & Executive Director of Splash. He has worked in the international NGO sector for the last 15 years and is much-watched for his leadership in international development, transparency practices, and business-approaches to solving conditions of poverty.

Eric was 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 2017 OU International WaTER Conference, with the theme A Decade of Progress - A Vision for the Future, gatherered around 150 participants from multiple disciplines with a common goal of bringing water and sanitation to developing countries.  Attendees included water and sanitation experts, students, and interested attendees from academia, industry, NGOs, government and foundations.

Making the 2017 conference all the more exciting was the fact that, in honor of our first decade of conferences / Water Prize recipients, our first four prize winners were brought back as well to celebrate our fifth prize winner, all presenting during the conference and participating in a panel discussion.

The two-day conference included 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 new Student Poster Competition.)

General Conference Schedule

The 2017 OU International WaTER Conference General Schedule is available for viewing (PDF).

Sunday evening (9/17) - Registration and Opening Welcome Reception

Monday (9/18) - Registration, Welcome and Opening Session, keynote addresses, concurrent sessions, Poster Session and Social/Poster Contest, K-12 Clean Water Contest ceremony, Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Tuesday (9/19) - Registration, keynote addresses, concurrent sessions, Closing Ceremony, Plenary speech/Prize Award Banquet.

Wednesday (9/20) - Post-conference workshops and tours

Thursday (9/21) - Select Post-Conference workshops final day

Presentation Guidelines

New Student Poster Competition

Poster session at the 2015 conference

As a way of celebrating the special nature of the upcoming Conference - our Ten-Year Anniversary Conference - the OU WaTER Center was proud to host its first Student Poster Competition, open to all undergraduate and graduate students working in the field of water, sanitation and health (WaSH) for developing regions.

A panel of judges, composed of past International Water Prize winners, judged the posters on i) clarity of presentation, ii) creativity, and iii) relevance of research. The poster contest winners received cash prizes and were recognized at the final Awards ceremony.