College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Student Organizations

September 16, 2013

Sept 16 | Berkeley Water Group

Sept 16 | Berkeley Water Group

First Meeting:
Monday September 16 at 6pm in Blum Hall B100

The Berkeley Water Group IdeaLab (BWG) was formed with the goal of providing a forum in which Berkeley students from different departments can meet, collaborate and discuss the interdisciplinary topics of water, sanitation and hygiene. We currently meet every other week in the downstairs of the Blum Center. Most participants are actively engaged in projects and research implemented in or aimed at less developed countries, although the group is open to engaging problems found in developed countries as well.

The group consists of a range of both undergraduate and graduate students hailing from many different departments, including MCB, Public Health, the Energy and Resources Group, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Systems Engineering, among others.

Participants work with Blum projects such as Haath Mein Sehat, the Shuar Health Project and do research in China, India, Mexico and California as well as many other places. The group meets twice a month to network and collaborate on our respective projects. The chance to meet and exchange ideas with students from other disciplines who all share a focus on water and sanitation has been very fruitful for all participants’ work and research.

The Berkeley Water Group also serves as a hub through which participants can alert each other to talks, events and conferences addressing our shared interests. For example, the BWG was responsible for connecting two students to summer internship positions with projects for the summer in India and Mexico, as well as for connecting graduate students looking for relevant, applicable topics for thesis projects that are now working in partnership with the student projects and other campus researchers.

This group is unique within the UC Berkeley community in that it provides a student-centered organization that meets regularly and includes a broad range of interest areas and project types– from multiyear to individual projects – working on or interested in learning about water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. Also, the BWG provides a forum to talk with and learn from each other about interdisciplinary topics related to water and sanitation. For example, the group often references relevant national news issues for group discussion topics. Additionally, there are many centers on campus that have water-related events or talks (the Water Resources Archive, Berkeley Institute of the Environment, Environmental Engineering), and the BWG functions very efficiently as a forum for increasing awareness and therefore attendance to such events across a range of disciplines.