CH2M HILL WaterMatch is collaborating with Net Impact to launch the new WaterMatch Makers University Program. This first-of-its-kind program channels the energy and creative thinking of students around the world onto water issues in their local communities. Students use social networking to connect people and promote water reuse. The program will officially launch on Saturday, Oct. 27, at noon during the Net Impact Conference, to be held October 25-27 in Baltimore, Md.

CH2M HILL launched the grassroots, goodwill initiative in 2011 as a unique social network to connect water users with water generators to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural. Recognizing the importance of water reuse, and the low rates of implementation around the world, corporations, organizations and universities are partnering with WaterMatch to promote reuse and sustainable water management through a variety of actions.

With more than 300 volunteer-led chapters worldwide, Net Impact will connect the program with their network of universities and students. The program offers students real-world learning experiences that support local community and economic development while protecting the environment.

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“This program is a great fit for our Net Impact campus chapters,” says Liz Maw, Net Impact CEO, the premier global nonprofit that supports a new generation of leaders working for a more sustainable world. “It will provide our student leaders with the opportunity to build crucial skills, learn about water sustainability issues, and make a tangible impact in their community.”

Courtney Martin, corporate affairs group finance specialist at Intel Corporation, will join CH2M HILL vice president Jan Dell and CH2M HILL communications strategist Kate Peabody for the official launch session, “Social Networking Starts a Water Reuse Revolution.” Intel is a WaterMatch collaborator, partnering with Arizona State University and local municipalities in Arizona and the Southwest to populate the WaterMatch map and associated wastewater treatment plant profiles, as well as to conduct research into the uses and benefits of WaterMatch.

“Sustainable water management is a key focus at Intel,” says Gary Niekerk, Intel corporate citizenship director. “We created the collaboration with WaterMatch, the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) and Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University to increase water sustainability in our local community.” Intel believes that technology can play an important role in addressing the world’s sustainability challenges. 

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The WaterMatch Makers University Program will leverage the learnings of the successful pilots at the University of California San Diego and Arizona State University. “Our students were eager to engage in the critical issue of water sustainability in our Arizona community and work on a grassroots project,” says John Sabo, director of research development, GIOS, Arizona State University. “It’s great to see the program our students helped pilot expand globally.”

Dell adds: “We are expanding WaterMatch and the grassroots water reuse revolution to promote progress through partnerships and projects on the ground. Our motive is simple: to promote beneficial water reuse. We hope that students around the world will join us and help make matches happen, because no water should be wasted.”

Check out the WaterMatch website for over 21,000 potential water reuse sources.

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