The Michigan Engineer News Center

IWA President’s lecture will be online

The 2013 Richart Lecture, presented by International Water Association (IWA) President Dr. Glen Daigger, will be available online through MConneX.| Short Read

To watch it online, please register here.

The lecture will take place on Monday, December 9 at 4:40 PM in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building, room 1670. A reception will follow.

The lecture is titled, “Global Water Challenges and Solutions.” Please review the biography and abstract below.

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.


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 these 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.

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.

  • Glen Daigger

    Glen Daigger

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

The facility will accelerate the future of advanced and more equitable robotics and mobility | Medium Read