August 10, 2008
MSUB hosting 2-day water conference
MSU BILLINGS URBAN INSTITUTE - With the Yellowstone River running through the heart of Billings, there is a constant, flowing reminder of the importance of water in our daily lives. That daily importance, on a local and global scale, will be the focus of a two-day conference in September at Montana State University in Billings.
Presented by the MSU-B Urban Institute in association with World Water Network, the Water Forum is set for Sept. 25-26 at the MSU Billings main campus, 1500 University Drive.
Chuck Tooley, Director of the Urban Institute, and Christine Pierce, of World Water Network who are coordinating the forum, said this event is an occasion for people of Billings and the region to not only become more aware of local and global water issues, but to find out what they can do about those issues.
A former mayor of Billings, Tooley understands issues related to water supply in an urban setting.
"On a hot summer day, the City of Billings treats and distributes up to 60,000,000 gallons a day to water customers,” Tooley said. “We must insure that our water supply will meet future needs. How do we go about that task?"
One of Tooley’s goals for the Urban Institute is to bring together some of the best minds to tackle such issues. “We need to explore new ways to address the challenges that we face.”
Pierce said, "The Water Forum will serve as a way for people to connect with one another about water projects in the Billings area, Montana, the West and the world. We need to build awareness, education, encourage action and find ways to ensure water quality, supply and availability.
“We hear frequently that water is the next oil,” Pierce said. “If we really did run out of oil, what would that look like? If we run out of clean water what would that look like? There simply are no alternatives for water".
The Water Forum will include speakers, exhibits, demonstrations, books and a keynote address by Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold, a 2002 bestseller about the growing international water crisis, and most recently of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water. Her Blue Gold has been reprinted in 16 languages and is available in 47 countries around the world. A panel discussion with Maude Barlow will follow her talk.
The forum will also include a Billings premier screening of Flow - For Love Of Water, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary about current world water conditions and what we can do to help. See www.flowthefilm.com
For more information or to get involved, contact Tooley at the MSU-B Urban Institute at 896-5862 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Christine Pierce, World Water Network, at 672-3636 or by e-mail at email@example.com.