Richart Lecture

Start Date: 
Monday, December 9, 2013 - 4:40pm to 5:40pm

Bob and Betty Beyster Building Room 1670

Dr. Glen Daigger

Title: Global Water Challenges and Solutions

Bio: Dr. Glen Daigger is the CH2M HILL Senior Vice President and Chief Water Technology Officer and the President of the International Water Association. He is a recognized expert in wastewater treatment, especially the use of biological processes. His nine patents for wastewater treatment have helped establish the nation’s wastewater treatment standards, and as the author or co-author of more than 100 technical papers, four books, and several technical manuals, he has contributed to advancing practice within the wastewater profession.

Reception to Follow in Tishman Hall

To watch the lecture online, please register here.


1.      Significant changes in water management are required to avoid the consequences of a “business as usual” approach, which will result in about half of the population of planet earth experiencing water stress within the next decade or so.  Alternate approaches to water management are available, but they will require significant changes in how water is managed, both locally and globally.

2.      Water management must become much more resource efficient.  Resource constraints will become increasingly critical, increasing the costs to operate water systems but also making the resources available in the water cycle more viable.  These include energy (kinetic, thermal, and chemical), nutrients, and other materials.  Increased efficiency can reduce resource requirements and resource recovery can provide significant revenue sources while also contributing to increased environmental sustainability.

3.      We are far from achieving the human right to water and sanitation.  The “true” figures are that about half of the human population lacks access to truly safe water, and between 3 out of 4 and 4 out of 5 lack appropriate wastewater management.  Significant changes are needed in this areas.

These challenges arise at least in part because of the continued use of historical approaches to water management which were appropriate in the historical context when the human population was 1 Billion or less and mostly rural.  Today, with a global population growing to approximately 10 Billion, mostly urban, and with a greatly expanded economy, new approaches are required.  Fortunately such approaches exist but require accelerated application.  Moreover, further advances in science and engineering are providing new and even more effective solutions.  Implementing these new systems, to be addressed in this presentation, will require significant changes by the water profession.
1  In this context the term water refers to the entire water cycle, including water abstraction, treatment, and use, along with treatment for additional use or to return it to the environment.

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