ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • We are now an official Charity!!  We will be rolling out the ability to donate on-line shortly.
  • Fund-raising goal of $100,000 sought to bridge financing needs while expected funds start in Sept 2014.
    • Funds needed to support:
    • Compilation of practicals
    • Review of lectures and practicals
    • On-going support of African universities to get program approval
    • Equipment/books sent to African universities
    • Travel expenses to deliver programs, walk Africans through the programs determined what critical needs they have
    • Continue to build collaborative links with other organisations to get real problems for students to work on
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Another Great Collaboration!

Thanks to the African Book Project, another NGO working in Africa, who have generously donated a collection of text books that will be used to supplement the Geological Department libraries in our host universities.  This is a wonderful way for retiring geologists, hydrogeologist, hydrologists or environmental scientists to pass on their collections.  Please contact Laurra Olmsted if you have some you’d like to see put to good use.

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Jessica Dillabough Joins our Board

Jessica Dillabough is a regulatory affairs advisor for Imperial Oil.  She has an MBA (Dalhousie, 2006) and PhD (University of Calgary, 2012) in Strategy; Energy Management and Sustainable Development.  We anticipate Jessica’s background in policy and sustainable development with be an asset in attaining our longterm vision at UniWater.

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UNICEF Nigeria Adds Data for Program Use

WASH, UNICEF, Nigeria has kindly provided access to the raw data used in the Integrated Water Management module. The data was analysed by a consultant, Raj Kumar Daw (rajdaw1@gmail.com).  This local contribution is greatly appreciated as it will provide students with lessons that can be learned with a local focus.

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Matrix Solutions Contributes

UniWater is grateful for the technical contributions of Matrix Solutions Inc in the manner of lecture and practicals that support the module on contaminant studies related to the Oil and Gas Industry.  Matrix is a leading environmental consulting company located in western Canada.  Matrix has also provided data for use in the physical hydrogeology portion of the program.

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UNESCO-IHE Collaborates

Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook, Vice-Rector  of Academic and Student Affairs and Professor of Hydrology at UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands has contributed lectures and practicals related to the hydrology module of the UniWater program.  This generous donation lends strong academics to our program which addresses the integrated study of surface water and groundwater.

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Assistance Provided

Many thanks go out to Dr Roger Beckie and Dr Leslie Smith of the department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia (Canada) who graciously donated numerous lab practicals for our use in the UniWater program.  These two profs are world class not only in their technical skills but in their philanthropic attitudes as well!   It is truly appreciated.

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Success in Africa

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 uniwatered@gmail.com.

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A Report on the 5th Delft Symposium on Capacity Development in the Water Sector – Who Will Take the Lead?

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.

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Grand Challenges Canada Funding

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

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