Hydrophilanthropy: The Road to Help (Is Paved with Good Intentions)

Presented on Monday, April 28, 2014

Lack of political will and money. Fourteen years into the 21st century and that’s why billions of people in developing regions have no access to safe water and sanitation. Those issues notwithstanding, we in the developed world have a responsibility to help those lacking clean water and sanitation. But we face a daunting task — not only must we provide immediate relief, but also the education and training so the people we assist can eventually meet their own needs. With more and more people seeking to join this important task, it is imperative to ensure that WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) projects in developing regions are undertaken with local needs, culture, and sustainability foremost.

Good intentions often go awry for a variety of reasons. This presentation discusses some of those reasons and their remedies using my own experiences in Central America and elsewhere.

Michael E. Campana, Ph.D.
Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Michael E. Campana, Ph.D., is a professor of hydrogeology and water resources management at Oregon State University and former director of its Institute for Water and Watersheds. He formerly directed the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, where he is now emeritus professor of hydrogeology. In addition, Campana was a research hydrologist at the Desert Research Institute and professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Campana is a current board member of the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation, past chair of NGWA’s Scientists and Engineers Division, and past president of the American Water Resources Association. His passion these days is WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) issues in developing regions. To that end, he founded and heads the nonprofit Ann Campana Judge Foundation, which funds and undertakes WaSH projects in Central America, and serves on the board of directors of the Calgary-based nonprofit Hydrogeologists Without Borders. As WaterWired, he blogs and Tweets on water and related issues. He holds a B.S. in geology from the College of William and Mary, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in hydrology from the University of Arizona.

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