Water Symposium 2013
Water Symposium Attracts 400
A sustainable water future was the theme set by keynote speaker Peter H. Gleick, Ph.D., co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute, at Kent State’s first water symposium Nov. 14-15, 2013.
Gleick said that up to 800 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water and 40 percent of the world’s population lack sanitary services, leading to rampant dysentery and cholera.
These problems are “incredibly solvable,” he said, and would cost about $50 billion a year worldwide, twice an estimated cost of the recent U.S. government shutdown.
Gleick called for innovative changes, such as spreading surface water to recharge ground water systems, harvesting rainwater, treating waste water for use in landscaping and power plant cooling and finding new desalination methods.
His talk set the stage for a symposium attended by approximately 400 researchers, students, environmentalists and people working in water-related fields. Talks were delivered by researchers from Kent State and from Duke University, Michigan State University, the University of Maryland and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
The symposium, “Human Impacts on Water: Ohio’s Most Important Natural Resource,” was chaired by Laura G. Leff, Ph.D., professor and acting chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.
A poster session presented research by Kent State faculty and students on environmental
science and policy, urban hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology and microbiology related to
water. (Photo by Sunny Huang)
Keynote speaker Peter Gleick heralded a new, sustainable water future, and said, “We’re
moving in the right direction” by using less water in the U.S. today than was used 30 years
ago. (KSU photo)
Frances DiDonato, interim executive director of The Cleveland Water Alliance, co-sponsor
of the symposium. (KSU photo)
Grant McGimpsey, KSU vice president for research, opened the symposium. (KSU photo)
Panelist Margaret A. Palmer, Ph.D., professor and director of the National Socio-Environmental
Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland, participates in a panel discussion. (KSU photo)