Newsletter: April 23, 2013, Issue #30

The Water Institute at UNC


Global WaSH News

Earth Day 2013

On April 22, more than one billion people around the world participated in the 43rd annual Earth Day to voice their concerns for the planet and take action to protect it. This year’s theme, The Face of Climate Change, is especially relevant to us at The Water Institute because one of our major focus areas is Adapting to Water Scarcity and Climate Change. Our work in this area involves several assessments to determine the potential impact of climate change upon water sources and water scarcity.

Water and Health Conference News

2013 Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy Final Submission Deadline

The final deadline for abstract submissions and side event proposals for this year’s Conference is Tuesday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m. United States Eastern Standard Time.

Water Institute News

Rotary World Peace Fellowship Offers Full Funding for International Master’s Students

The Rotary Center for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution and The Water Institute encourage highly-qualified university graduates from outside the U.S. to apply for a Rotary Peace Fellowship to support a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in water and sanitation. The funding includes tuition and fees, a living stipend, a summer internship, conference and research funding, and travel to and from the home country. Ten fellowships are awarded each year at UNC and Duke University. The application deadline for the 2014-15 academic year is July 1, 2013.

Online Discussion on Sanitation

There’s an online discussion of this recent Water Institute publication on our LinkedIn page:

Sanitation: A global estimate of sewerage connections without treatment and the resulting impact on MDG progress. Baum, R., Luh, J. and Bartram, J. Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Feb 19; 47(4):1994-2000. doi: 10.1021/es304284f. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Recent Publications on WaSH from UNC Researchers

The economic value of moving toward a more water secure world. Whittington, D., Sadoff, C. and Allaire, M. (2013). (TEC background paper No. 18). Stockholm: Global Water Partnership.

This paper explores the economic value of increased water security. The authors argue that aggregate, global estimates are not useful for guiding investment decisions for solving local water resource problems. They reason that there is no alternative but for States to do the analytical work required to understand complex hydrological systems, to determine the economic costs and benefits of specific policy interventions, and to make difficult decisions about the inevitable tradeoffs in water management and development.

Engineering in the time of cholera: overcoming institutional and political challenges to rebuild Zimbabwe’s water and sanitation infrastructure in the aftermath of the 2008 cholera epidemic. *Brocklehurst, C., Malik, M., Sebunya, K. and Salama, P. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. 2013; 3 (2):222–229. doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.143.

A devastating cholera epidemic swept Zimbabwe in 2008, which could be traced to the slow deterioration of water and sewerage utilities during economic and political crises. Donors, development agencies and government departments joined forces to work in a unique partnership, and to implement swift improvements ranging from supply of water treatment chemicals and sewer rods to advocacy and policy advice. The authors analyze the factors that made the program effective and the challenges that partners faced.

Ecological control of cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater ecosystems. *Wilson, A. E. and M. F. Chislock. Invited book chapter in Cyanobacteria: Toxicity, ecology, and management. Editor: A. Ferrão-Filho. In press. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York.

In this review, the authors argue that cyanobacteria may serve as a beneficial food resource for zooplankton and that ecological control of cyanobacterial blooms is practical for some systems. Additionally, they suggest that greater attention should be placed on direct biomanipulation of zooplankton communities in conjunction with the manipulation of higher trophic levels.

*Clarissa Brocklehurst and Alan Wilson are fellows at the Global Research Institute at UNC.

Campus WaSH News: Water in Our World
Water in Our World is UNC’s first ever campus-wide theme, running from 2012 to 2014

New Deputy Director of UNC Galapagos Initiative

Dr. Jill Stewart, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, will serve as the deputy director of the UNC Galapagos Initiative from July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2016. Previously, Dr. Stewart has been to the Galapagos Islands as a course instructor for the UNC Study Abroad Program and as a researcher. She will return this summer to teach and conduct preliminary research on water quality and human and ecological health in the islands.

Carolina Story Virtual Museum Exhibit on Water

A new exhibit in the Carolina Story Virtual Museum titled Water at UNC–Chapel Hill highlights the ways water has been a part of campus history and development—from the “abundance of springs” described by founder William R. Davie to the water conservation efforts of today.

UNC Journalism School Project on Water Nominated for Webby Award, a multimedia project on water created by UNC Journalism students, was recently nominated for a Webby award. The winner of the award will be chosen by a public vote, which will close on April 25 at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time.

Water in Our World speaker series: Can Coral Reefs Be Saved?
April 24th at 5:30 p.m., 4th Floor of the FedEx Global Education Center

Mark Hay, professor of Environmental Biology at Georgia Tech, will present a lecture as part of the series hosted by the UNC Global Research Institute. Hay will use reefs in Fiji as examples of how local intervention can have large positive effects and how an understanding of the chemical signals and mechanisms involved in structuring biotic interactions on coral reefs can provide additional options for more effective stewardship of coastal marine resources.