The Daily Illini

Third annual Water Day to focus on intersection of water and jobs

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Water fountain displayed at the Illini Union on March 30, 2015.

Water fountain displayed at the Illini Union on March 30, 2015.

Water fountain displayed at the Illini Union on March 30, 2015.

By Michael Semaca

A student group will be hosting its third annual Illinois Water Day at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications building April 8. MG

The event put on by the University of Illinois’s International Water Resources Association student chapter is dedicated to bringing attention to the availability of safe, clean water across the world as well as the local community, with the goal of fostering discussion and collaborations around water concepts. It was founded in 2014 and modeled after the United Nations’ World Water Day.

This year, the event will be focusing on the relationship between water and jobs from multiple societal perspectives, like agriculture and industry.

Three speakers will be talking about various related themes, including water infrastructure and the drinkable water shortage. The list of speakers includes: Colleen Callahan, State Director of United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development in IllinoisMG; Richard Lanyon, former Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater ChicagoMG; and Lance Schideman, Research Scientist at Illinois Sustainable Technology Center MG.

Ashlynn Stillwell, professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering MG,will moderate an interactive discussion panel. The panel will be followed by a poster session where community and campus members can network and present their project and research on water-related issues.

“Spreading knowledge about clean water and sanitation is an important thing both locally and globally,” Stillwell said. “Water is an essential part of life, directly for drinking and sanitation, and also indirectly for energy and food production. Understanding water helps us better manage water in improving quality of life, at home and abroad.”

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