On a recent trip to Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria UniWater’s Executive Director and Dr Mandana Meriano from the University of Toronto Scarborough were greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm by universities wishing to establish new MSc programs in Hydrogeology and Water Resources Management. Four universities have embraced the prospect of starting these programs in September 2014. Each university will customize the program to make it their own program based on the local needs and specialties of faculty on staff. The four universities include the University of Nairobi (Kenya), South Eastern Kenya University, Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania) and the University of Calabar (Nigeria). These programs will constitute the pilot phase of a Grand Challenges Canada – Stars in Global Health funded initiative. For further information please contact Laurra Olmsted at email@example.com.
At the closing of the 4th Delft Symposium in 2007, there was an international call for 1,000 water leaders, which is what was seen as an incremental solution to alleviating the water crisis in developing countries. The outcome of the 5th Symposium was to identify the people in the room (225 water professionals from 60 countries) as the people who need to stand up and fill the role of water leaders.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end in 2015. Even if all the goals were satisfied, there would still be plenty of work left to do as the MDGs were only aimed at reducing by half the number of people suffering from the effects of poverty, maternal health, education, etc. These goals were originally designed by a handful of professionals, and each of the eight goals are underscored by the need to address access to water (ie if you improve access to water, you affect each of the MDGs individually).
The successor to the MDGs are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is a committee of 20 to 30 water professionals who are developing the goals, so they have started the process well in advance of 2015. A decision was made at the Delft Symposium to request that water be a stand alone goal due to its inherent importance to many facets of life. This request was presented by the three leaders of Liberia, the UK and Indonesia at a High Level meeting of the UN during the course of the symposium.
In addition to the policy aspects of water development, there were many interesting interactive sessions on how to improve the outcomes of education systems. What has become apparent to me is that the teaching methods used in Canadian Universities are very advanced in comparison to other tertiary institutions worldwide. The incorporation of the practical application of skills learned for use after graduation if critical to the outcome of having graduates employed after finishing their studies. Also, it has been identified that information, communication and technology skills need to be integrated into any university program.
In association with the University of Toronto Scarborough, UniWater has received support from Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada. This funding will enable UniWater to develop the lectures for the MSc programs in Water Resources for Sub-Saharan Africa. The amount of the funding is $100,000 over 18 months. “Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact in global health.” For more information on these programs, please see GrandChallenges.ca
UniWater has gratiously accepted the contribution from Dr John Molson, Canada Research Chair: Quantitative Hydrogeology of Fractured Porous Media in the Département de géologie et de génie géologique at Université Laval in Québec, Canada. Dr Molson has donated the flonet software, lecture notes, and a practical exercise for students for use in the groundwater modelling course.
Steve Schneider of Schneider Water Services (www.seidc.com) has generously donated copies of the book he wrote entitled Water Supply Well Guidelines for use in Developing Countries for use in the MSc programs. Steve and his family have been involved in all aspects of water well drilling domestically and internationally for decades. This book has been peer reviewed and can be used for establishing contract specifics for drilling in developing countries where drilling and well construction regulations or guidelines are absent.
Golder Associates Ltd has become UniWater’s first funding partner! The engineers and scientists of this global consulting firm have donated funds to help establish a departmental library at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Thank you Golder!
Dr Bridget Scanlon was welcomed to UniWater Education’s Board of Directors. Bridget is a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and brings with her experience in groundwater resources, recharge and irrigation in semi-arid regions.
Since opening our mailbox up for donations of curricula in October 2012, we have experienced a great response from fellow professionals who wish to contribute to the profession in supporting this program. We are very excited to see this response, and we humbly thank each and every one of you!
At this time, the disciplines which we need further input include the following: the fundamentals of hydrogeology, borehole geophysics, and the interpretation of pumping test data. If you have contributions to add to our collection, please do so using the link at the right, or we can provide access to a dropbox folder.
UniWater is now in the postition to accept donations of curricula for use in the MSc Hydrogeology programs for sub-Sahara Africa. These programs are aimed at increasing the number of technical specialists in these countries who are capable of contibuting to finding solutions to the water crisis. By training more hydrogeologists the water sector will be improved and there will be less reliance on foreign aid and technical expertise in the WatSan sector.
The program consists of 12 modules: Fundamentals of Hydrogeology; Applied Basic Hydrogeology; Groundwater and Geotechnics; Hydrochemistry; Groundwater Geophysics; Quantified Hydrogeology; Well Hydraulics; Groundwater Contamination; Integrated Water Resource Management; Borehole Drilling and Completions; Borehole Geophysics, and Field School.
All donations are welcome – as is. No formating is required as UniWater will take care of this. References will be properly provided, and in the event that a figure is included with no reference, it will be replaced with another which is properly referenced. Donor approval of the finished content will be sought.
Please click on the Donation reference to the right. Thanks!
Laurra Olmsted of UniWater Education attended the International Association of Hydrogeologists Congress 2012 in Niagara Falls, Ontario in September. This congress was the top of its kind with 900 delegates, 8 concurrent sessions of hydrogeology talks, and 160 posters.
Of particular note to UniWater’s activities was the opportunity to bring collaborators together for the upcoming program in Nigeria. Laurra was able to meet and discuss details of the program with collaborators Professor Aniekan Edet (Calabar University, Nigeria), Dr Mandy Meriano (University of Toronto), Professor Ken Howard (University of Toronto), Dr Segun Adelana (former IAH VP for sub-Saharan Africa), members of the Burdon Groundwater Network, and many other interested people. This meeting was very energizing and will assist in further communications as this program proceeds in development.