The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
5 Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job After Graduation
July 11, 2024

Graduated and feeling lost about your next steps? Looking to set up your life, find a good job, and earn money? Who doesn’t want that, right?...

CEO of Water For People addresses water sustainability

Around the world 1.8 billion people do not have access to safe water and 2.4 billion lack access to adequate sanitation, according to Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water for People. 

Allen spoke about water sustainability and building a water infrastructure on World Water Day on March 22. 

Ad

Water For People is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that works across nine countries to bring safe water and sanitation to over four million people. 

“Women and children spend more than four hours walking for water each day and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases,” Allen said. 

In addition to traveling to these countries to build wells, install indoor plumbing and pumps, the volunteers of Water For People educate and reach out to the community and government they wish to help.

In conjunction with CSU Hydrology Days and World Water Day, Allen’s lecture was part of the second annual Dr. Norm Evans Endowed Lecture Series, which are dedicated to educating others on water management, education and policy.

The evening began with Reagan Waskom, the director of the Colorado Water Institute and the chair of the CSU Water Center, introducing Allen and speaking about the importance of water conservation.

“Once you have clean water and sanitation you can move onto the next step and move up the hierarchy,” Waskom said. “I think we could also do a better job taking care of the ecosystem once we tackle those problems.” 

Allen’s lecture focused on water being a global currency that should be available to everyone and how building water infrastructure will make that easier to do. Water practices and ideas developed here in Colorado and across the U.S. are playing a large part in water development in countries who need it most. Allen also encouraged people to become “water diplomats” who provide education and solutions to the world’s most concerning water issues.

“Our population will continue to grow and place demands on our already low fresh water supply,” Allen said. “We can take care of our water and allocate it better because I actually believe there is enough water for everyone.”

Water For People works with government officials and communities to create projects to resolve various water access and sanitation issues. Allen met with the mayor of Rwanda in 2011 to create the model for one such project called “Everyone Forever: access to safe water and sanitation for every family, clinic and school, forever.” By working with the national government, Water For People is implementing Everyone Forever in every district of Rwanda and will soon be put into action in other countries as well.

Ad

“Everyone Forever is about building infrastructure,” Allen said. “But perhaps more importantly it’s about creating utilities and training professionals that can operate and maintain water systems.”

As a civil and environmental engineer, Allen spoke of the importance of scientific studies dedicated to more efficient water systems. Colorado is on the forefront of this research, which has been shared across the nation to make smarter systems dedicated to conserving what we have and avoiding divergence as much as possible while creating these systems.

Emilie Abbott, a civil and environmental engineering student and intern for the CSU Water Center, believes population growth and climate change are the main points of discussion when thinking about water.

“Here we’re seeing the need to share between agriculture and cities to meet water demands for everyone,” Abbott said. “Cities are working on conservation measures and looking into innovative techniques for water reuse.”

The lecture ended with audience discussion where one question was asked about the kind of advice she’d like to give to CSU students interested in water. Allen mentioned that students at CSU are lucky to have unique program opportunities that she never got to experience.

“Work will be there for the rest of your life so follow your heart and take time to travel and discover,” Allen said. “Take this window of opportunity to discover what you like and what you want to become great at.”

More information about water programs and activities at CSU is available at www.watercenter.colostate.edu

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached on news@collegian.com or on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *