April 16, 2018

Media Advisory – Water for the World: The Future of Water

An event that looks at water sustainability in Southern Illinois and around the world is set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, in SIU Carbondale’s Morris Library John C. Guyon Auditorium. 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover “Water for the World: The Future of Water.” The event will link the campus and community in a discussion on the topic. 

The program is free and the public is invited. 

Multi-faceted program on sustainable water 

The program will feature: 

  • Local groups working to benefit human water rights around the world.
  • Dramatic readings by Carbondale Community High School students of “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park.
  • Sheila Simon reading selections from writings on water policy by her father, the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.
  • An overview by Kara Lawrence, a Celia Howard Fellow at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute on public policy issues relating to water, including future needs. 

The UNA-USA Southern Illinois chapter, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIU Carbondale University Honors program and Marion Medical Mission are event sponsors. 

Local United Nations chapter donated books 

Melinda Yeomans, the UNA-USA Southern Illinois chapter education chair, said the organization donated about 20 copies of Parks’ book, “A Long Walk to Water” to local area schools. The book is a fictionalized story of circumstances young people face in providing water for families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Students from SIU’s University Honors program will also participate, said Yeomans, who is that program’s associate director. 

“It’s events like these that help develop and encourage a sense of local and global responsibility,” she said. 

Institute is “delighted to contribute to discussion on water policy” 

Simon, who died in December 2003, championed the need for safe drinking water throughout the world. He authored a 1998 book, “Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It.”  

In December 2014, President Obama signed into law the Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014. The legislation improved the efficiency with which the U.S. gives foreign aid for global safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and modified the 2005 Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush. 

“Paul Simon had many interests, but for him water policy was both an interest and a passion,” John Shaw, institute director, said. “He was far ahead of the curve in realizing the important public policy challenges that confront the world as it pertains to water.”