The Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, there will be events throughout the week of March 20th to 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 Civil and Environmental Engineering 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.”
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.
World Water Day Display In Memorial Union
Today, (March 22) is World Water Day, with this year’s theme being “Wastewater.” Since Monday, visitors to Michigan Tech’s Memorial Union Building, have gotten an up close and personal look at their daily usage of water, illustrated by a display featuring 90 one-gallon water jugs.
The display is the work of Caryn Murray, an environmental engineering major from Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Murray’s display has dozens of gallon jugs with colored caps corresponding with everyday water-related activities such as flushing a toilet, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc.
In the News
Latika Gupta (SBE), Joan Chadde (CEE/GLRC) and Daisuke Minakata (CEE) appeared on Copper Country Today to discuss the celebration of World Water Day at Michigan Tech this week. The interview aired on Sunday, March 19 on WOLV FM, WHKB FM and WCCY AM/FM.The entire interview can be found on the Copper Country Today website.
Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced
The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition are no surprise! They are three members of the Society of Environmental Engineering student chapter at Michigan Tech–seniors no less– Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler, and Jeremy Luebke.
They had stiff competition from the runner up team “The Insolubles–three students from a high school chemistry class at Hancock High School (Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow, Shannon Nulf) taught by a Michigan Tech grad.
Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from MTU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids–a group of three 8th graders from Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School, and three members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force.
The competition was held in recognition of World Water Day, March 22, 2017. This year’s theme is wastewater, hence the competition!
Event coordinator, Joan Chadde, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes, as they listed all of the household items that go down the drain. Each team was given a cup of wastewater and directed to clean it as best they could using only the materials provided– screen, sand, gravel, activated charcoal and alum. After 20 minutes, the results were in!
Chadde is the director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee.
Dr. Marty Auer, a local wastewater treatment expert from Michigan Tech, served as judge.
All members of the winning team received $25 MTU gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the 2nd place Hancock High School students, explaining ‘they didn’t have time to spend it, since they’d be leaving Houghton soon with graduation just a few weeks away!’
Globally, 2 billion people are without clean drinking water and 3 billion are without wastewater treatment.
After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water!
Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and research 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.
University celebrates World Water Day
Michigan Tech has been taking part in the global observance of World Water Day for about 10 years. Spanning several days on campus, the celebration includes art displays, competitions and a panel discussion to name just a few.
Celebrating World Water Day with scientific research
Michelle Kelly, a fourth-year environmental engineering student, said research like hers can help efforts to improve water quality in the future.
“A lot of times people take one measurement at one point in the stream and kind of assume that this is the same throughout the stream,” she said. “My research has kind of shown that rates can be pretty variable within the stream itself, so a lot of people have been pretty surprised.”
World Water Day at Michigan Tech
On Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a student poster session in the lobby of the Dow Building. Students will be available for discussions and interviews between 3-5 p.m. each day.
In addition, the art exhibition “Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast,” is on display on the first and second floors of the Great Lakes Research Center through June 15.
Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture. George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis will present “Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in Dow 641.