RIT Observes World Water Day on March 23

Panel discussion features alumnus Bob Bechtold, one of the earliest area business owners to use wind turbines to generate sustainable energy

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U.N. Water Organization

World Water Day Image

According to the United Nations, more than 40 percent of the world’s populations reside within internationally shared river basins. Rivers and waterways continue to be an important resource for commerce, travel and industrialization, yet management of water resources is often a source of conflict.

Rochester Institute of Technology will observe the United Nations World Water Day on Monday, March 23, to focus on the responsible use of water resources locally and around the world. The event takes place at 4 p.m. in Ingle Auditorium in the Student Alumni Union.

The program opens with the movie Flow, a documentary about the impact of privatization on the decreasing freshwater supplies around the world. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring local business owner Bob Bechtold; RIT mechanical engineering technology alumnus Jeremy Swerdlow; RIT professor emeritus Bill Larsen and Ann Howard, associate professor, science, technology and society/public policy departments. Panelists will discuss the political, social and economic issues related to water usage, management and shared resources.

Bechtold is president of Harbec Plastics in Ontario, N.Y., and one of the local pioneers of wind turbines for sustainable energy usage in business. He has invented a hand-powered, portable water purification device that he intends to distribute to developing countries. Swerdlow is part of the DEKA Research and Development Corporation team; the company was founded by inventor, Dean Kamen, and is instrumental in designing water purification systems. Larsen and Howard, will discuss developing water management systems and water-resource law, respectively.

The World Water Day program is sponsored by the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, part of the College of Applied Science and Technology. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the movie and panel discussion.

WHAT: World Water Day Observance and Program

WHEN: Monday, March 23, 2009, 4-6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Ingle Auditorium, Student Alumni Union, Rochester Institute of Technology

COST: Free

CONTACT: Barbara Bangs, director of development, College of Applied Science and Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, (585) 475-6362

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: www.unwater.org/worldwaterday