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A screening of the film “The Unforeseen” and a panel discussion will be the focus as East Central University’s Oka’ Institute kicks off Water Week 2017 with an event called “Let’s Talk About Water,” on Monday, April 17, in ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The event is a free and open to the public and the first 30 arrivals will receive a free Oka’ Institute water cup. Free snacks will be served at 5 p.m. with the screening to start at 5:30 p.m. The panel discussion will begin, immediately following the film.

“Unforeseen” is an independent documentary about water resources and development. The film highlights the interrelationships and inherent conflicts between economic development, private property rights, social welfare and ecosystem services.

Members of the panel include: Dr. Guy Sewell, director of research for the Oka’ Institute; Krystina Phillips, attorney for the Indian and Environmental Law Group, PLLC; Dr. Gary Greene, board member for the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer and Dr. Jack Keeley, retired from the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center and former member of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

“Let’s Talk About Water” is an event sponsored in part by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. and the “Let’s Talk About Water” program is funded by the Johnson Family Foundation as well as the Oka’ Institute. The goal of the program is to inform and educate individuals on local, regional and global water issues.

In addition to the “Let’s Talk About Water” event, Water Week 2017 will include the 14th Annual Ada Water Fest, which is hosted by The Oka’ Institute with special help from the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center and ECU Department of Environmental Sciences. The Water Fest will have 11 water-related agencies and organizations on campus, featuring 18 different educational stations with hands-on activities as well as visual demonstrations for the 538 fifth graders from all schools in Pontotoc County to learn about the importance of water.

The event will go from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on ECU’s Centennial Plaza.

The organizations that will participate include: Blue Thumb, The Chickasaw Nation, City of Ada, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service-Pontotoc County, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, US Geological Survey, and The Nature Conservancy.

The Water Fest focuses on the importance of water to individuals and to our community. The Environmental Health Science Club will sell hot dogs and Earth Day t-shirts at the event. The Water Resources Association, an ECU student organization, is planning to sell t-shirts as well. That event is free and open to the public as well.

For more information about Water Week 2017, contact The Oka’ Institute at 580.-559-5151 or www.ecok.ecu/oka-institute.



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