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Engineering Water Systems Symposium starts discussions on addressing water issues

Over 150 delegates, which included University of Regina students and faculty as well as representatives from First Nations, federal, provincial and muncipal governments, water authorities, mining industry and agricultural producers gathered virtually on September 24th for the Engineering Water Systems Virtual Symposium hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. 

The Symposium aspired to get as many different voices as possible together to see what issues are out there and how to start moving towards addressing them, according to the organizer, Dr. Raman Paranjape.

“We wanted to demonstrate the strengths that we have within our Faculty and within the University,” said Paranjape, Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of Electronic Systems Engineering. “As engineers we are very focused on solving problems but the definition of those problems may be a bigger issue and that requires discussion from many different groups.”

Ten speakers from the University of Regina, SaskPoly, SaskEnergy, the SRC and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan were featured at the Symposium and they covered topics ranging from waste water treatment to water management in mining, agriculture, and First Nation communities. A full list of the speakers and their presentations can be found here.

Although the Water Symposium is now over, work has just begun for Paranjape, who is beginning to reach out to delegates for follow-up.

“My goal is to identify different groups and reconnect with them one at a time and see where the opportunities are to collaborate, interact and improve the conditions that exist in the various places,” he said. “There are so many places we can make an impact and a difference.”

Paranjape is currently planning another symposium on Engineering Resilience in Critical Infrastructure – infrastructure that is currently being challenged by climate change, forest fires, rain, drought, earthquakes, and the many additional things that will be attacking or effecting our society like cyber-attacks.

“I believe there are many opportunities and I believe we can do a better job of communicating how we, as engineers, can help society – the goal is to educate, to communicate and to better our community while helping conserve our valuable resources,” Paranjape said. “These are lofty goals and we want to do our part. We have a number of important things we have to do, we have to do the research and we have to develop new technology but we also have to connect to our community.”

As for the water symposium, Paranjape is still determining if there will be a follow up event or events that are more targeted, with a specific focus on the many different areas covered during the symposium. 

More info on the Engineering Resilience in Critical Infrastructure Symposium

Check out our Environmental Systems Engineering program

For more information on University of Regina Water Research click here

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