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Global university program to promote water reuse

October 26, 2012
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DENVER — CH2M HILL WaterMatch is collaborating with Net Impact to launch the new WaterMatch Makers University Program. This first-of-its-kind program channels the energy and creative thinking of students around the world onto water issues in their local communities. The students use social networking to connect people and promote water reuse. The WaterMatch Makers University Program will be officially launched on Saturday, Oct. 27 at noon during the Net Impact Conference, to be held Oct. 25-27 in Baltimore, Md. Attendees can also learn more about and sign up for the Program by stopping by booth #310 at the Expo.

RELATED: Majority of Americans support water reuse, survey finds

CH2M HILL launched the grassroots, goodwill initiative WaterMatch as a unique social network to connect water users with water generators to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural in 2011. Recognizing the importance of water reuse, and the low rates of implementation around the world, corporations, organizations and universities are partnering with WaterMatch to promote reuse and sustainable water management through a variety of actions. With more than 300 volunteer-led chapters worldwide, Net Impact will connect the WaterMatch Makers University Program with their vibrant network of universities and students to promote water reuse and take action on local water issues. The program offers students real-world learning experiences that support local community and economic development while protecting the environment.

“This program is a great fit for our Net Impact campus chapters. It will provide our student leaders with the opportunity to build crucial skills, learn about water sustainability issues, and make a tangible impact in their community,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact, the premier global nonprofit that supports a new generation of leaders working for a more sustainable world.

Courtney Martin, Corporate Affairs Group Finance Specialist at Intel Corporation, will join CH2M HILL Vice President Jan Dell and CH2M HILL Communications Strategist Kate Peabody for the official launch session, “Social Networking Starts a Water Reuse Revolution” Intel is a WaterMatch Collaborator, partnering with Arizona State University to work with local municipalities in Arizona and the U.S. Southwest to populate the WaterMatch Map and associated wastewater treatment plant profiles, as well as to conduct research into the uses and benefits of WaterMatch.

“Sustainable water management is a key focus at Intel. We created the collaboration with CH2M HILL ‘s WaterMatch, the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) and Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University to increase water sustainability in our local community,” states Gary Niekerk, Director, Corporate Citizenship at Intel. Intel believes that technology can play an important role in addressing the world’s sustainability challenges.

The WaterMatch Makers University Program will leverage the learnings of the successful pilots at the University of California San Diego and Arizona State University. “Our students were eager to engage on the critical issue of water sustainability in our Arizona community and work on a grassroots project,” said John Sabo, Director of Research Development, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University. “It’s great to see the program our students helped to pilot expand globally.”

“We are expanding WaterMatch and the grassroots water reuse revolution to promote progress through partnerships and projects on the ground,” says CH2M HILL Vice President Jan Dell. “Our motive is simple: to promote beneficial water reuse. We hope that students around the world will join us and help make matches happen, because no water should be wasted.”

Dell will also be speaking on the Net Impact Conference panel, “Business at the Energy-Water Nexus: Big Changes, Big Opportunities,” on Friday, October 26. Intel’s Martin will also be speaking on the panel, “Driving Bolder Corporate Investments in Sustainability” on the morning of Saturday, October 27.

The WaterMatch website has over 21,000 potential water reuse sources and is growing daily (www.ch2mhill.com/watermatch).

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