Grahamstown students to participate in international Water is Life Conference

FEBRUARY 9, 2016

Six students from St Andrew’s College and the Diocesan School for Girls, in Grahamstown, in the Makana Local Municipality, will be among young students from all over the world, who are expected to meet at the International ‘Water is Life’ Conference, which will take place from the 5th to the 11th of June in Vught, in the Netherlands.

The conference is expected to look at water security and management as one of the most fundamental and crucial challenges facing countries around the world.

This is why the conference organisers, Maurick College, from the Netherlands, and Raffles Institution, from Singapore, have invited young students to think about local water matters, identify issues and develop possible recommendations.

Hence, Matthew Owen, James Macgregor and Chris Benjamin – all from St Andrew’s College, and Annabelle Schaefer, Kelly Beviss-Challinor, Jessica Rushmere – all from the Diocesan School for Girls, will do research exploring the socio-ecological risk and agency development of a local resident during a period of drought or reduced water delivery.

“Our world is characterized by climate change and increased global connection where local water-issues cross boundaries in many cases.

“This makes the local and global water challenges more complex, but at the same time it promotes the exchange of knowledge between different countries,” said Cherié Wille Communications officer at St Andrews College.

“We can only prepare for the future if we seriously search for solutions to local water problems. Young students play a stimulating and inspiring role here. After all they are the generation of the future and they can determine the international water policy. Leadership in this perspective in an international context will make the difference for future generations.”

About the International Water Conference 2016

All participating research teams will go to Vught, the Netherlands and share, together with the conference organisers, their research results with each other. The conference program consists of workshops, lectures, panel discussions and excursions.

Renowned speakers who are expected at the conference include Professor Vladan Babovic, Director of collaboration between the National University of Singapore and Deltares, Netherlands, and Professor Glen Kowach, from the Science Division of The City College of New York, will provide some challenges for students in the world of water.

Caption: YOUNG SCIENTISTS… Matthew Owen (left photo) and James Macgregor (right photo) completing a miniSASS test, which uses the presence of invertebrates to determine the health of the water, at Grey Dam, outside Grahamstown.