In ongoing effort to support groundwater industry, OSU hosts OGWA conference

Thursday, 18 January 2024 15:59

In ongoing effort to support groundwater industry, OSU hosts OGWA conference Featured

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OGWA Conference attendees participate in a workshop at OSU’s Gary Stewart Core Research Facility on Jan. 10. OGWA Conference attendees participate in a workshop at OSU’s Gary Stewart Core Research Facility on Jan. 10. Photo by Jason Wallace, OSU College of Arts and Sciences

(STILLWATER, Okla., Jan. 18, 2024) — On Jan. 10 and 11, Oklahoma State University once again welcomed state and regional groundwater professionals to the annual Oklahoma Ground Water Association Conference and Trade Show.

This is the third year OSU has hosted the event, which provides education, training and networking opportunities for attendees. 

“The aim of the conference is to connect professionals across all areas of the Oklahoma groundwater industry so that they may have a place to share ideas and learn through continuing education courses,” said OGWA President David Correll.

Robert Keyes, a member of both the OGWA and National Ground Water Association boards of directors, added that they are “lifting the abilities of everyone that participates in the courses.”

“Oklahomans need to know that there is a group of hard-working Oklahomans who are actively engaged in protecting everything groundwater — from forever chemicals to water rights,” Keyes said.

According to Correll, attendance was at an all-time high since moving the conference to Stillwater, a testament to the importance of groundwater education.

“The members that make up OGWA are the professionals at the front lines of providing clean, abundant and safe water to the state of Oklahoma,” Correll said. “Through these groundwater professionals and our partners in the academic, legislative and regulatory landscape, Oklahoma will remain a leader in the groundwater industry.”

The conference, which featured seminars on a range of research and industry topics, complements OSU’s established partnership with the National Ground Water Association, NGWA University Powered by OSU. 

NGWAU was formed in 2020 through the efforts of OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, with a mission to train current and future groundwater personnel and thereby address a predicted shortfall in industry professionals.

“Clean water is the No. 1 health product ever developed by humanity, and Oklahoma has led the way in both energy and water worldwide,” said Dr. Todd Halihan, interim department head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology at OSU. “NGWA University has been training groundwater professionals in Oklahoma, the U.S. and worldwide with cutting-edge learning tools tailored for those who make a career of providing us with clean water.

“Whenever someone turns on the tap, they expect clean, high-quality water to be present for their needs. They rarely think about it, unless it is missing.”

Halihan emphasized that OSU’s collaborations with NGWA and OGWA are crucial to providing continued access to and protection of clean water, which in turn support areas of the university’s strategic initiatives. For example, OSU Polytech, which launched in December, expands STEM education access and enhances workforce development across the state through priorities like NGWAU.

“I don’t think anything illustrates OSU’s land-grant mission better than hosting a conference where industry professionals and academics get together to provide continuing education and to learn about challenges an Oklahoma industry faces,” Halihan said.

Echoing Halihan’s point, Keyes said, “OSU is positioned to become the groundwater university of the United States and beyond. So, the motto should be ‘OSU is all about groundwater for today and tomorrow.’”

To learn more about OGWA, visit okgroundwater.org. To discover what OSU is doing in the groundwater industry, visit cas.okstate.edu/ngwa.

 

Oklahoma State University is a premier land-grant university that prepares students for success. Through teaching, research and Extension, OSU engages communities and empowers servant-leaders to meet society’s most pressing challenges. OSU is the largest university system in Oklahoma and has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and more than 125 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 280,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

Last modified on Thursday, 18 January 2024 16:03
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