Archive by Author | Jack C. Sorensen

Student reflects on pool of knowledge garnered at water symposium

Video by Linnea Anderson, ’12


Sophomore Ben Quinn: Pacific Northwest residents need to submerse in water shortage education

Video by Linnea Anderson, ’12

Alumna returns to PLU for Wang symposium

Video by Linnea Anderson, ’12

Free flow of ideas and experiences flood student forum

By Shawn Gross, ’12

She said that in Colorado, where she is from, they have droughts. Droughts that sometimes require state officials to set limits on the times people can use water.

Even with those limits, PLU junior Briana Frenchmore witnessed people in her community turning on their hoses to water their yards, just to keep the grass green. But not everyone has the privilege of a green lawn, she said.

Frenchmore shared this story at the opening student session of the 2012 Wang Symposium: Our Thirsty Planet. This symposium  asked students to share what they’ve learned about water from their studies, research and travels. Although there was no explicit theme other than water, the discussion among the 35 people present often turned to how water is a right, not a commodity.

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Vice president of the Norwegian Academy of Polar Research lectures on the frigid politics governing the Arctic Ocean

By Mel Natwick, ’12

Mutually supporting region is just more than a body of water

One of the coldest places on Earth has become one of the interdependent regions filled with industrialized and militarized resources.

The Wang Center Symposium “Our Thirsty Planet” continued Friday with Vice President Norwegian Academy of Polar Research Willy Østreng speaking on the topic of the Arctic Ocean and its geopolitics of economy, climate change and military security at the University Center at Pacific Lutheran University.

Østreng has published more than 250 scientific works on “polar affairs and international security, ocean resource management, polar and ocean policy and on the preconditions of interdisciplinary research,” according to the PLU website.

Around 50 people attended the lecture.

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Q&A with humanitarian, water filter inventors

By George Culver, ’12

Q&A with Suzanne Livingston, Friendly Water for the World

What is your mission?

(Taken from Friendly Water for the World website)The Mission of Friendly Water for the World is to expand access to low-cost clean water technologies and information about health and sanitation to people in need of them. We provide opportunities for Quakers and those of other faiths and traditions to partner with individuals and communities working to improve living conditions around the world, and to learn from each other.

What is a biofilter?

(Taken from Friendly Water for the World website) The Biosand Water Filter is a low-cost, appropriate household technology that can remove 95-99% of bacteria and viruses from the water supply, as well as some metals such as arsenic, iron, and manganese, and worms and cysts. It is a proven method for preventing typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and other waterborne diseases.


How much does it cost to make a filter?

The Raw material cost is about $12. The entire filter takes about $50 to make. Several fundraising methods are adopted to raise the money.

Favorite Quote of the Interview:

Suzanne: “I think it’s God’s way of cleaning water.

How can PLU students get involved?

Students can find more way to get involved by visiting Friendlywaterfor There are also summer training sessions for students to make bio-water filters.

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Students christen conversation on water

By Samantha Shockley, ’12

Water — it drips from the sky, it fills up puddles, it covers 75 percent of the earth’s surface. Its boundless power can sustain life and its pollution can eliminate nations. Water is essential to everyone and everything.

As a study abroad student I have tasted dirty water — water that makes you sick. We do not know what it is like to live without clean water in the United States. We turn on the faucet and drink without reservation or fear. Nevertheless, we will understand its limits if we do not act now. That, at least, is the view of the PLU study abroad students during the student session of PLU’s Water Symposium.

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United States’ tapped resources

By Annie Norling, ’12

“Water, water every where, nor any drop to drink.”

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous line suggests, humans are soon to be surrounded by water that cannot quench their thirst. Maude Barlow, the keynote speaker for Pacific Lutheran University’s annual Wang Symposium, opened her address on issues of water rights around the world with Coleridge’s words.

Alliance of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow addresses an audience of almost 350 people in Pacific Lutheran's Lagerquist Concert Hall Thursday. Her keynote message on stewardship was the second of two opening sessions for the 2012 Wang Symposium Thursday and Friday titled Our Thirsty Planet. "Fighting for justice is like a bath," she said as she neared the end of her speech. "You take it every day or you stink." Photo by Heather Perry.

At the beginning of the speech, Barlow recognized the students, faculty and staff of PLU live in a water-rich area — an area where rain is a common occurrence, if not a nuisance. It is difficult for those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest to wrap our heads around the idea of a global water crisis. However, as a student who has studied abroad, I have felt the effects of this crisis firsthand.

“We are a planet running out of water… accessible, clean water,” Barlow said.

I experienced the lack of safe drinking water in countries such as Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, I stayed with a host family where running water was only available for a few hours in the evening — the rest of the day the taps were dry. Even when the pipes held water, it was not safe for me to drink.

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