Water Week waterfall image

Water Week 2014

UAlberta Water Week is a campus celebration of water the week leading up to UN World Water Day

The theme for UN World Water Day 2014 was Water and Energy. 

Activities included:

Unveiling of Bottled Water Sculpture in the QuadLearn more 

Tap vs. Bottled Water Taste Test > presented by the University of Alberta Office of Sustainability

If you're on campus regularly, learn more about SUB Water Refill Stations.

Lunch talks:

Urban Water Challenges and Solutions for Sustainability at The Way We Green Speaker Series, City of Edmonton Office of the Environment, featuring former Water Initiative Executive Director Dr. Greg Goss.

How to Choose a Reusable Water Bottle > Dr. Bill Shotyk, Renewable Resources Professor, Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment, and Founder of the Elmvale Water Festival, spoke about the science behind how to choose a safe reusable water bottle.

Framing Sustainability and Water—public health issues > Dr. Nick Ashbolt presented novel system structures that utilize resource recovery, along with potential impacts (positive and negative) on public health as part of the narrative for moving us into a more sustainable way of living. View Dr. Ashbolt's presentation slides.

Intimate Collaborations: Water and Body > Liz Ingram spoke about her art works in printmaking and installation using images and the human body. This work is inspired by a long-lasting and ongoing relationship with an ecologically fragile site in Northern Alberta, Obed Lake.

Global Health Rounds: Cholera—A Bacterial Perspective > Dr. Stefan Pukatzki, Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, provided background on cholera epidemiology and shared information on how to assess the features of the causative agent Vibrio cholerae and appreciate its biological diversity. 

Presented by the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Division of Community Engagement Office of Global Health.

Film screenings:

Even the Rain [Spanish, with English subtitles]

Sponsored by the Faculty of Native Studies and the Global Education Program, University of Alberta International

Blue Gold: World Water Wars [documentary]

Organized by student Luis Delgado Chavez, Air & Waste Management Association

Evening Events:

Conversation Cafe — Clean Water in Resource Limited Settings: Insights from the Kenya Ceramic Project Dr. Andre Isaac talked about the importance of innovation and social enterprise in addressing global water needs.

Presented by the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Community Engagement.

Streams of Thought: An evening of interdisciplinary water knowledge > The Canadian Water Resources Association Edmonton Students and Young Professionals group and the University of Alberta Water Initiative co-hosted an evening of interdisciplinary knowledge sharing to showcase the breadth and scope of water work in Edmonton and promote collaboration across sectors. Streams of Thought included an adjudicated poster session, discussion space and screening of the film Watermark >  Learn more and view the detailed schedule of activities

Performance: Experiments in Artistic Hydrology > MFA Candidate Aaron Veldstra presents this performance art project, which is focused on the definition of two words, remediation and sustainability, and how these words are used in relation to the resource industry. He drew inky lines on the wall, which are tracings of geographical data sets which display human incursion on the boreal forest of Northern Alberta. The lines are: pipelines, roads, cutlines, and power lines. Each drawing corresponds with a particular section of the National Topographic System grid. When a particular section is finished the lines are then erased using a mixture of baking soda and water. All waste water is then filtered using buckets containing gravel and graded sand. The water is re-used as many times as possible before it is returned to the city system. The drawing surface is then repainted and a new section of Alberta is traced and then erased.

Aaron Veldstra


Weekend event:

Celebrating the Athabasca. Its uses and abuses > A celebration of the Athabasca Watershed as a site of huge national and international significance. Programmed activities include talks and displays, including a performance of Aaron Veldstra's Experiments in Artistic Hydrology performance. Facebook event page with schedule   

*Presented in collaboration with Treaty Eight, Treaty Six, the Keepers of the Athabasca, the Dept. of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta and the project Intersections: Indigenous Communities, Energy Development and the Global Triple Crisis of Sustainability (contact: Dr. Makere Stewart-Harawira).

Panel discussion: 

Oil and Water: Hydraulic Fracturing and Insitu Production—an opportunity for dialogue between researchers and the public

Expert panelists discuss oil sands processes such as hydraulic fracturing (known in the popular media as "fracking") and insitu production in relation to the water supply, and the role of science and scientists in informing the public and separating fact from fiction. 

Interactive discussion between scientists on the expert panel and members of the public is welcome. Panel members include U of A professors Rick Chalaturnyk and Daniel Alessi, Ricardo Acuña, Executive Director of the Parkland Institute, and Mervin Grandbois, a community member from Cold Lake. Moderator: Professor Greg Goss.

The Water Initiative thanks all students, faculty, staff, departments and units that have been involved in the collaborative coordination of UAlberta Water Week, including: 

University of Alberta Office of Sustainability, Office of the Vice-President (Research), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Global Health and Community Engagement, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta International, Conference Services, Exams and Timetabling, IST, and University Relations Marketing and Communications; City of Edmonton Office of Environment Community and Employee Engagement; Let's Talk Science; Council of Canadians; Alberta ESRD Water Policy Branch and Education and Outreach; Sustain SUAP!RG, Council of Canadians, Edmonton Water Week.