Water for the world
In recognition of World Water Day, observed every March 22, this issue of Civil Connection highlights just a few of the many ongoing efforts by civil engineers, researchers, students, and professionals to improve drinking water resources and sanitation, particularly in developing countries. The United Nations General Assembly designated an annual observance of World Water Day beginning in 1993 to draw attention to the more than 1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water. This year, almost 70 U.S. cities officially recognized or held World Water Day events.
Water research efforts
Researchers recently presented their efforts to address drinking water and sanitation needs in developing countries at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "We have a large-scale infrastructure in the United States to provide clean water," explains Joseph Hughes, chair of the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "Using our current approach will not provide the rapid fix the United Nations is looking for in developing countries. It would take decades."
Hughes outlined four steps in solving the developing world’s water and sanitation problems. First, researchers must determine how big the problem is, then analyze the dynamics of water distribution, understand the complexity of the systems required, and finally, create new approaches to water supply and sanitation through research and development. This includes new methods of storing, treating, and disinfecting water and developing sanitation systems that minimize pathogen release.
Water outreach efforts
Engineers Without Borders-USA (www.ewb-usa.org) is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide to improve their quality of life. According to the organization, this partnership involves implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.
More than 160 colleges and universities in the United States now have or are establishing EWB-USA chapters. In addition, more than 50 professional chapters have been established nationwide. Following are reports about international projects conducted recently by two student chapters.
Structural Engineers' Building Conference & Expo call for proposals
Structural engineers face many challenges and demands in the successful completion of buildings. Where do you turn to increase your knowledge of the technical issues you encounter while also staying abreast of the most current management issues? ZweigWhite and Structural Engineer announce the return of the Structural Engineers’ Building Conference & Expo, Oct. 10-11, 2007, at The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, and have issued a call for proposals.
Roller-compacted concrete for dams and dam rehabilitation
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and the Southeast Cement Association are co-sponsoring a technical seminar and site tour April 25-26, 2007, in Atlanta, demonstrating current trends in the use of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) for water resource applications. According to the PCA, the engineering community is increasingly recognizing RCC as an economical solution for rehabilitating existing dams and constructing new structures.
Designing with and specifying PE pipe
Municipal and consulting engineers have a new American Water Works Association (AWWA) resource to help prepare plans and specifications for high-density polyethylene (HDPE or PE) pipe projects, as well as two opportunities to attend a workshop about the manual.
The AWWA recently published Manual 55, PE Pipe – Design and Installation. The manual provides engineers and contractors with information to aid in the design, specification, procurement, installation, and understanding of HDPE pipe water systems.
Call for Environmental Connection 2008 technical program proposals
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is accepting proposals for technical programming at Environmental Connection ’08 (EC08), IECA’s annual conference and expo to be held Feb. 18-21, 2008, in Orlando, Fla. All professionals in the erosion and sediment control industry are encouraged to participate in the education process. Abstracts for presentations relating to the following categories are being solicited:
Post-Tensioning Institute announces technical conference and expo
The Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) announced its Sixth Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, to be held May 6-8, 2007, in Miami. The two-day conference and expo, which focuses exclusively on technology and applications of post-tensioning, features educational seminars, technical sessions, panel discussions, committee meetings, networking events, industry exhibits, and the PTI Legends Awards presentation and dinner.
Technical sessions of interest to engineers, architects, building officials, inspectors, contractors, specifiers, students, researchers, and others with an interest in post-tensioning include the following:
Fifteen named to Earthquake Hazards Reduction Advisory Committee
William Jeffrey, director of the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), named 15 academic, industry, and government experts to serve on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction. Established by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, NEHRP is the federal government’s program to reduce the risks to life and property from earthquakes.
Responsibilities of the new independent advisory committee include assessing trends and developments in the science and engineering of earthquake hazards reduction; the effectiveness of NEHRP in performing its statutory activities (improved design and construction methods and practices, land use controls and redevelopment, prediction techniques and early-warning systems, coordinated emergency preparedness plans, and public education and involvement programs); any need to revise NEHRP; and the management, coordination, implementation, and activities of NEHRP.
The initial terms for the advisory committee will be staggered, with the following appointed members serving one, two, or three years, with a possible full three-year second term: