Cayman students at international water seminar

| 28/06/2016
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Water Authority graduate engineer Ahmed Elsheshtawy with students Charles Panton, Shamelia McPherson, Liana DaCosta and Bianca Rego-Ramos

(CNS): Four students are representing the Cayman Islands at the Rotary International World Affairs Seminar in the US state of Wisconsin. The Water Authority-Cayman (WAC) has provided $2,500 in sponsorship for Charles Panton, Shamelia McPherson, Liana DaCosta and Bianca Rego-Ramos, who are attending the conference, which runs through 1 July and is themed “Water: A Global Resource to Share and Protect”.

As part of their preparations for the event, the four student delegates recently visited the authority’s Lower Valley water works to learn more about water production, treatment and development in the Cayman Islands.

Water Authority director Gelia Frederick-van Genderen explained that the WAC was proud to sponsor the students to attend the seminar.

“Water scarcity is an emerging global issue that impacts millions of people around the world,” she explained. “We need to encourage the next generation of thinkers, innovators and policy makers to take an interest in water issues, and put them in a position to affect positive change in the future.”

The students toured one of the authority’s reverse osmosis plants to see first-hand how saline groundwater is abstracted from wells deep underground and converted into clean, safe potable tap water.

Panton said that, before the tour, he was unaware of how water was produced in the Cayman Islands.

“I knew salt was taken out but I didn’t know how,” he said. “In reverse osmosis, they take out the salt using high-pressure pumps.”

The students learned how the pumps force the water through semipermeable membranes, which remove 99.9 percent of the dissolved salts from the water.

McPherson spoke for the group when she said that she was looking forward to learning more about global water issues at the seminar and how countries around the world are dealing with issues of water scarcity.

“I’m excited to learn about water issues in different countries, and what they’re doing and going to do about it,” she said.

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Category: Education

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