Presenters at the first annual Indiana Global Water Summit come
from different areas of expertise, but the group of teachers and sustainability
experts all offer innovative solutions for the global water crisis. On Saturday,
Dec. 10, they'll share their proposals with the community during a full day of
presentations at the Christian Theological Seminary.
The day will include six breakout sessions, where presenters
will address everything from sustainable project development to new water
purification systems. The event will direct its attention towards
the half-billion people worldwide that live without access to clean water.
"By 2025, more than one-third of the world's population
will face severe and chronic water shortages," said organizer Nick Reich,
executive director at Circles Indiana.
Several of the day's sessions will
address the growing challenge of providing water system development solutions to communities in impoverished areas.
crisis is not one of absolute scarcity as much as poor management and
inequitable distribution. In order to avoid a 'hole-punch' effect in
developing nations with water wells and bore holes, new design and connectivity
will be crucial."
Aside from basic
hydration, summit speakers say that water can be used on an even greater scale
-- as a form of currency. According to Reich, online organizations like WaterCredit.org are focused on using micro lending to increase access
to safe water.
is being used in many different ways relating to water," Reich says.
"One example is providing satchels that minimize waste to bag water in the
local community for resale in the cities. This money can be reinvested in
more satchels and the community can reinvest funds for the maintenance of the
The summit could prove useful in solving Indiana's own ongoing water crisis as well. From sewer
overflow to river and stream pollution, the state's water systems leave much
room for improvement.
"According to the AP, 46 million Americans, including
some in Indianapolis, have trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in their drinking
water," Reich says. "In addition, 43% of cities report repair and
replacement cycles that exceed 50 years for water pipes, and over a million miles of
water pipes in the U.S. generally
aren't replaced until failure."
Brandon Pitcher will present his ideas for globalized water system development,
but his expertise has a local focus as well. His current
work with 5 Kingdoms Development, LLC helps midwestern communities integrate
sustainable systems into their infrastructure. In 2010, he was Indiana
Green Business' Awards "Green Entrepreneur of the Year," and was recognized
by Sen. Lugar's office this year for his commitment to sustainability education
and social entrepreneurship.
Fellow speaker Michael Bayer has brought his ideas for clean
water development to the classroom in Berne, In. Recently named Indiana
Science Teacher of the Year for his work at South Adams High School, Bayer aids
his science students in creating new water purification and filtration
systems for use in developing areas. His students will soon travel to Haiti to install their new systems in
Other speakers will include Maggie Kirkpatrick of Building Tomorrow, Inc.
Tomorrow, Inc., who'll discuss sustainable project development; and Bill Farrar, founder of
Fountains of Hope, who'll address new water purification and filtration
The Indiana Water Summit is free, with lunch provided at no cost. For info an online registration, visit the Indiana Water Summit's Facebook page.