Off-grid water sanitation solutions

A panel discussion featuring renowned international experts in off-grid water sanitation will share their knowledge at a panel event on May 25 at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre hosted by UNBC's Water and Sanitation Holistic Technologies Research Group.

May 18, 2023
Five people pose, two sitting on rocks, three standing.
The Water and Sanitation Holistic Technologies Research Group at UNBC is hosting a panel and networking event on May 25. Group members include Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Flor Yunuen Garcia Becerra (front left), Molecular Biology and Biochemistry student Lexy Green (front right), Master of Applied Science in Engineering students Mario Salinas (back left) and Erik Groenenberg (back right) and MITACS intern Violeta Estefania Gomez Borraz.

A panel of esteemed water and sanitation experts will explore the implementation of off-grid technologies in northern B.C. and answer questions from the audience about the different options available on May 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre.

UNBC's Water and Sanitation Holistic Technologies (WASH-T) Research Group invites the community to join them for Creating Decentralized and Holistic Water and Sanitation Solutions for Small Communities, a panel discussion and networking event.

“Water is the essence of life and holds the key to our collective well-being,” says UNBC Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Flor Yunuen Garcia Becerra. “It is our shared responsibility to ensure that clean, safe, and sustainable water sources are accessible to all.”

Conventional centralized water and sanitation approaches, although effective for large urban centers, have encountered limitations in adapting to the evolving social, economic, and environmental landscapes of the 21st century. Further, centralized approaches are not fully viable in many of our communities in northern B.C. Recognizing this, we must forge new paths to develop contextually appropriate solutions for emerging and remote communities.

Off-grid systems, also known as decentralized systems, are designed to manage smaller amounts of water and waste, focusing on local needs while fostering circular management of precious resources. These solutions offer a beacon of hope, enabling us to address the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations, including SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure).

“By embracing decentralized technologies, we can create a synergy between centralized and decentralized approaches, harnessing the complementary abilities of both,” Garcia Becerra says.

Stewardship emerges as a vital component in safeguarding the future of our water resources. As we strive for social and environmental sustainability, managing urban services becomes paramount. Integrated water management serves as a catalyst for proper stewardship of water/used water as well as other critical resources within our cities. By achieving success in water and sanitation, we can fortify our communities, fostering strength and resilience.