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Urban Water Institute


The Urban Water Institute partners with local entities to organize symposia on water-related issues for industry, government, faculty and students. Invited regional and national experts present on areas of interest at the K-State Olathe and Manhattan campuses and on video streamed to regional partners.

Sustainable Food Systems and Urban Development

Friday, April 10, 2015, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

KC Design Center, 1018 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO

Are vacant lots an opportunity for urban agriculture, stormwater capture, and redevelopment?  Urban Water Institute Interim Director Stacy Hutchinson and KC Design Center Director and UWI Faculty Advisory Board member Vladimir Krstic presented a Green Business Network seminar on the sustainable use of urban land and water. 

More information

Interim Director of the Urban Water Institute Discusses Water Resources from an Urban Perspective

October 16, 11:30 a.m., Ackert Hall, K-State Manhattan

Dr. Stacy Hutchinson, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, delivered a lecture as part of the Natural Resources and Environmental Science Seminar Series. 

Learn more

View the lecture

59th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference
September 30-October 2, 2014

The 59th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference was held in Lawrence, Kansas. William Alley, a former chief of the USGS Office of Groundwater, provided the keynote address, "Fracking and Sustainability: Major Challenges in Earth Science Communication." The meeting consisted of a field trip, Water Resources of the Kansas River Alluvial Aquifer, followed by one and a half days of technical sessions (both oral and poster). Sessions included Groundwater Modeling of Aquifer Systems, Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction, Groundwater and Energy Production, Groundwater Management, Aquifer Characterization, Groundwater Quality, and Karst Hyrogeology. Rex Buchanan, the Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey, gave a talk on "Induced Seismicity." A special session on the High Plains Aquifer was held October 2.

Learn more

Questions about the proceedings may be directed to Donald Whittemore, Kansas Geological Survey.

Kansas Waters: Research and Communication-Data to News
September 26, 2014

The Kansas Waters seminar was presented jointly by the Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers' Land Use Decisions Research Team and the Kansas Natural Resource Council at the University of Kansas. 

More information

Please contact Alyse Zadalis if you would like more information.

2014 One Water Leadership Summit: Two Rivers | Two Cities | Two States | One Water

September 15-17, 2014

The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO

The Urban Water Institute served on the planning committee and as a supporting partner for this national conference advancing an integrated approach to water management. The Urban Water Sustainability Council examined the many uses of water and ways to unite its silos.  As a focal point for the national dialogue on resource recovery and green infrastructure, this Leadership Summit has been driving the notion of water as an integrating strategy for the urban environment.


Israeli Experts Present International Water Management Seminars at KU and K-State 

Tuesday, September 9, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, University of Kansas, 1340 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence, KS

Wednesday, September 10, 9:00  - 11:00 a.m., Great Plains Room, K-State Olathe, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe, KS

Two seminars presented by experts in water technology, strategic water resource planning, and desalination were presented at each university.

Strategic Planning with a Focus on Desalination Projects   

--Presented by Michael Saide, Head of the Strategic Planning Section, Israeli Water & Sewage Authority

Using New Technology and Innovation to Ensure Water Quality, System Efficiency and Security

--Presented by Oved Cohen, Deputy Manager Operations & Maintenance, Hagihon-Jerusalem Water Utility

The seminars were made possible by collaboration between the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, the Government of Israel Economic Mission to the Midwest, the Kansas Water Office, Kansas State University, and the University of Kansas.  The Urban Water Institute was pleased to participate in hosting the seminars.


Speakers' bios

Background documents for discussion

Biological and Agricultural Engineering Faculty Member Discusses Ecosystem Goods and Services

September 4, 2014, K-State Manhattan 

Dr. Trisha Moore, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, delivered a lecture as part of the Natural Resources and Environmental Science Seminar Series.

View the lecture

Weigh In: How Can Engineering Professionals Engage the Community and K-12?
August 25, 2014

The Urban Water Institute and K-State Olathe hosted the Joint Engineering Council and KC STEM Alliance in a roundtable discussion on community service and school outreach. Representatives of the JEC engineering associations and the College of Engineering were present to discuss outreach and service with members of Greater Kansas City K-12 STEM outreach organizations.

 Discussion topics included:

  • Developing an educational foundation for K-12 students interested
    in engineering
  • Sparking the interest of students of all ages in the engineering profession
  • Lessons Learned: best management practices for engineering organizations in community service, public relations, and school outreach

The Joint Engineering Council  is comprised of representatives from professional engineering associations across the KC Metro area. 

Kansas Water Authority Quarterly Meeting hosted by the Urban Water Institute
August 21 - 22, 2014

The Kansas Water Authority met at K-State Olathe to continue review of the Draft Vision for the Future of Water in KansasAgenda

A Social following the first day's proceedings was sponsored by Urban Water Institute Industry Advisory Board members George Butler Associates Architects and Engineers and Black & Veatch.

2014 Dialog on Sustainability
July 19, 2014
Where: College of Engineering, Rathbone and Fiedler Halls, Manhattan

"Communication and Sustainability: How to Communicate Effectively to Advance Sustainability Initiatives" is the title of the ninth annual Dialog on Sustainability held Saturday, July 19, in Rathbone and Fiedler halls at Kansas State University.

Hosted by the Consortium for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability and its partners, administrative leadership of the consortium was provided by the university's Center for Hazardous Substance Research in the College of Engineering.

This year's dialog focused on effective communication of sustainability concepts and ideas. The audience included youth from many European countries, undergraduate students from U.S. universities working on sustainability research projects, leaders and members of environmental organizations, environmental professionals and other communities.

All attendees were invited to share input, ideas and information on their sustainable activities. In addition to presentations and dialog, displays, posters, and exhibits were available.

Program details and additional information

Understanding Climate Change and the Implications for Kansas City:  Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Possible Adaptations
March 31, 2014
Where: K-State Olathe

Considerable evidence exists that the climate for our planet is changing, with system modeling indicating that additional change is in the pipeline.  Mid-America Regional Council and the Urban Water Institute hosted a presentation by Professor John Harrington, Jr., Department of Geography at Kansas State University, to provide updated information on the nature of global climate change, along with local examples of climate variation.  The date for the presentation was set to occur soon after release of findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

Following the presentation, for further discussion, Dr. Harrington was joined by panelists:

  • Doug Kluck, Central Region Climate Services Director, NOAA
  • Ed Peterson, Johnson County Commissioner
  • Stacy Hutchinson, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University Urban Water Institute

The presentation slides are available here.  Contact Joan Leavens, Urban Water Institute Program Coordinator, for more information.

Seminar on water sustainability in a changing world presented at K-State Manhattan

A seminar, "Water Sustainability in a Changing World," was presented by Dr. Jerald Schnoor in Fiedler Auditorium at Kansas State University on 
October 7.  The seminar was co-sponsored by the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment, the Consortium for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability and the Urban Water Institute.

"Water sustainability is very important in Kansas, and this lecture will be of interest to many faculty and students at K-State," said Larry Erickson, professor of chemical engineering and director, Center for Hazardous Substance Research at Kansas State University.

Dr. Schnoor is Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering, professor of occupational and environmental health and co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa.  He is editor-in-chief of Environmental Science and Technology, a recipient of the prestigious Clarke Prize, a national award recognizing significant contributions to the area of water research and technology and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.  He was selected to lead the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council by Governor Chet Culver in 2007; the Council developed a report on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

View the lecture.