Water Matters

Water conservation is a pressing, global challenge for the future. This series addressed these critical issues.

IMG3030croppedAs a spin-off of the successful Energy Matters, held in Fall 2009, Saint Louis University was proud to host Water Matters, a five week, Wednesday morning seminar series, which took place March 17 - April 14, 2010 at historic DuBourg Hall. Attendees included business leaders, students, researchers, government officials, community organizers and conservationists from the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area.

“Water, Water Everywhere and Nor a Drop to Drink” (-the Ancient Mariner)

During the first session the presenters looked at water related issues from a global perspective. The program started with a high-level analysis of water resource use and abuse and continued on to address the impact of climate change on weather patterns.

“Rolling on the River”

In the second week the speakers identified the major issues that are specific to our region, providing an historical view of waterway intervention and management as well as the impact of trying to tame the rivers. This session also looked at grass-roots efforts to improve waterways and the far reaching impacts that such projects can have.

“The Challenges We Face, What We Can Do and Why We Should Do It”

The third session concentrated on metropolitan topics. Local utilities and water providers discussed some of the obstacles that must be overcome to continue providing high-quality water at an affordable rate. Local non-profits explained how they are working with these providers to form a partnership focused on affecting change and improving public education.

“A City Meets the Rivers: Water and the Built Environment”

The fourth session focused on local issues. Engineering and construction firms explained the the interaction between water and the built environment, providing an overview of conservation strategies which can be incorporated into building sites. Then a hydrology expert detailed the process through which pollutants dumped on land, not just those dumped in the water, find their way into our water supply.

“Be the Ripple in the Pond: Activism”

The final session provided suggestions on how you can be an agent for change in your own backyard. Area non-profits talked about how they are incorporating green practices into community improvement initiatives and told the audience how they can get involved. Then a local nursery manager explained how you can make small changes in your landscaping which can have a big impact. Finally, a group of students and their professor discussed their experiences traveling internationally to work in areas with water challenges.

More Information

For more information and a full list of speakers please visit our dedicated Water Matters conference website.