Monday, March 20, 2017

Michigan Tech to commemorate World Water Day with week of activities March 20-23

Boat docking facility next to Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center boathouse and view across the Keweenaw Waterway. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day 2017. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, events throughout this week on campus focus on the issue of clean water.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is "Wastewater." Globally, 80 percent of all wastewater flows back to nature without being treated or reused. Not only does this pollute the environment, but valuable nutrients and potentially recoverable materials are lost.

Daisuke Minakata from Michigan Tech's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department says, "Wastewater is no longer a collection of liquid and solid wastes but our valuable resource so that we can create potable water from wastewater with advanced treatment technologies and recover valuable materials and even energy from waste. In this sense we no longer call it a wastewater treatment plant but water resource recovery facility."

Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture by George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Tchobanoglous will present "Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in Dow 641. In his talk Tchobanoglous will address wastewater reuse by discussing water quality, technological developments, cost, and public perception. His areas of interest include wastewater treatment and solid waste management, and he has been the author or co-author of 23 textbooks and eight engineering reference books. A reception will follow the lecture.

Tchobanoglous says, "One way to meet the increasing demand of fresh water is to augment public water supplies by means of planned potable reuse of a community’s treated wastewater."

Tchobanoglous will be a member of a panel discussion at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, in the Great Lakes Research Center, room 202. The panel, moderated by Latika Gupta from the School of Business and Economics, will discuss "Water: Health, Energy, Ecosystems and Sustainable Communities." Joining Tchobanoglous will be Evelyn Ravindran and Stephanie Kuznick of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Neil Hutzler of the Portage Lake Sewage Authority, and Ratish Namboothiry and Joe Azzarello of Kohler Co.

Making water cleaner will be the aim of the Dirty Water Competition from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the MUB commons on the Tech Campus. Teams of three or four members will attempt to clean up dirty water using only the materials provided -- sand, gravel, alum and activated charcoal. Registration is free, but limited to the first 30 teams. Members of the winning team will each receive a $25 Michigan Tech gift certificate.

The exhibit "Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast" continues at the GLRC (first and second floors) through April 30.

A Wastewater Footprint Display is in the MUB (Memorial Union Building) Commons Area, March 20-23.

The Student Poster Competition is displayed in Dow Lobby-Campus side, March 21-22.

Michigan Tech's Green Film Series will present Last Call at the Oasis at 7 p. m. Thursday, March 23, in Forestry G002.

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts, and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

No comments: