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The UNC Water & Health Conference

Week of October 23-27, 2023  •  Friday Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
languages offered
(Numbers based on our 2021 conference.)

Where WaSH professionals of the world come together.

The annual UNC Water and Health Conference reflects Water Institute's commitment to improving public health by achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) services that are safe, affordable and sustainable. The conference provides a curated space where policymakers, practitioners and researchers can gather to review the evidence, interrogate the science and improve old and develop new approaches to expanding WaSH access and services. 

Similar to the 2022 Conference, the 2023 Conference is planned to be in-person in Chapel Hill, NC with integrated virtual programming.

Can't attend in person?
View our virtual option
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Our 2023 schedule

Conference resources & links

See the Top Poster Presentations of 2023!
“This was my first time attending a conference like this. Information was provided from different perspectives and backgrounds, which was extremely insightful.”
— 2021 conference participant
“The level of engagement and quality of questions from the other participants was honestly one of the most impressive of any conference.”
— 2021 conference participant
“Very relevant session topics. This conference is a frontier of new events, research and models for sustainable and safe water.”
— 2021 conference participant
“The best part is catching up with old friends who've been around the block: They help me see old problems with fresh eyes & new problems informed by the hard-earned lessons of the past!”
“Fun and informative #UNCWaterandHealth session with great audience engagement and challenging questions!!”
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Conference updates

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Where do I register for the 2023 UNC Water and Health Conference?

To register to attend the Conference in-person in Chapel Hill please register here.

To register to attend virtually through Zoom please register here.

When will final decisions be announced for accepted abstracts?

Abstract decisions have already been announced and we are currently confirming both verbal and poster presentations. We will reach out individually to waitlisted abstract authors if we have any more poster slots available.

Is there a different registration rate for Conference presenters?

No, there is not a separate rate for those who have been selected to present their abstract at the conference. All presenters must be registered to attend the in-person Conference.

Are accommodations included in registration?

No, accommodations are not included in the cost of registration. We are working to block off a limited number of rooms at hotels near the Conference venue and will update the website with direction booking links once we have them.

Are there travel scholarships available? What if I need a visa letter?

If you need a visa letter or would like to apply for a travel scholarship, please note that you must first register for the conference.

Before filling out either form below, be prepared to upload a copy of your passport bio-page (the page with your photo and personal information) and a copy of your registration confirmation. Look for this confirmation message in your email inbox after registering.  

*As a reminder, independent consultants, unsponsored practitioners, or students from LMICs will be considered for travel scholarships. Please note that we are unable to cover anyone's full travel costs, but can help with conference registration or accommodation.

What if I have other questions about the Conference?

Please email for additional questions or information.


October 22, 2023

The 2023 UNC Water and Health Conference is here! In-person early check-in begins at 2pm today (Sunday, October 22nd) at the Friday Center and will continue the rest of the week every morning at 7:30am alongside breakfast. Virtual programming will begin at 7:45am every morning and in-person side events will begin at 8:30am.

October 1, 2023

All 2023 UNC Water and Health Conference research verbal and poster presentations, Tech Showcase presentations, and travel scholarship winners decisions have now been made and selected individuals notified. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Conference this month.

August 9, 2023

Hotel information for this year's Conference is now available. See the 'Accommodations' section right below this section on this webpage. You can click on individual hotels to go directly to each hotel's respective reservation portal.


Water Institute has partnered with the following hotels in the Chapel Hill area to offer discounted rooms for Water and Health Conference attendees. Each hotel link below includes discount codes that will be applied for conference week reservations.

Discounted hotel rooms will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in making use of these special offers, please use the links provided above.  In addition to the reduced prices for hotel rooms, we are working to offer shuttle services from these hotels to the conference venue.

Hotels not providing special rates but have room blocks available: Tru by HiltonSheraton Chapel HillHampton Inn & Suites Carrboro

Featured presentations of 2021: “Every last drop!”
day 1 plenary
Getting our sh*t together

How do we “safely manage” human excreta? What do safe disposal and management systems look like and can we ensure that they are resilient and sustainable? How do we measure success?

Developing and implementing sanitation policy

This event is being organized to share experiences on how enabling policy environments can contribute to sanitation transformation and increased political support for universal access to basic sanitation.

Evolution of Rural Water Supply

Rural water supply is increasingly managed through new models, some similar to those of utilities, and in some cases with private sector involvement.  However, there is still a role for communities in these new arrangements, holding water authorities to account.

day 3 plenary
Is there a future for WaSH?

The global WASH sector is faced with quickly shifting research priorities, a complex policy environment, and new challenges that require adaptable and resilient approaches to service provision. This discussion grapples with some of the most challenging issues facing WASH today, where there are no easy answers.

day 4 LUNCH
Assessing empowerment, equality, and inclusion in WaSH

This discussion looks at five novel approaches to exploring gender equity, diversity, and social inclusion in WASH programs.

Featured conference photos

An assortment of photos taken from our last in-person conference in 2019. See all photos.