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Everyone needs clean, fresh water to survive, but across the globe, hundreds of millions of people do not have this basic necessity. For others, access is threatened by aging infrastructure, politics and climate change.

To tackle these problems, hundreds of the world’s leading water, sanitation and hygiene experts will come together Oct. 3-7 as UNC hosts its annual conference, “Water and Health: Where Science Meets Policy.” The event at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education is convened by the Water Institute at UNC and the UNC Institute for the Environment.

Presenters and attendees will examine issues in six areas, including freshwater availability and climate change adaptation, water-related human rights and ethics, and water challenges facing North Carolina and the Southeastern U.S.

The event highlights research, education and public outreach, both during the conference and at workshops before and after it.

“Solutions to these urgent problems can be found and implemented more quickly if experts from diverse locations and disciplines share ideas and information,” said conference co-chairs Jamie Bartram and Lawrence E. Band, both of UNC.

Participants come from nearly 50 countries and attendees represent diverse organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Save the Children and the World Bank.

Registration is $225 for students and $450 for the public. Workshop-only registrations are available for $175.

The conference, in its fourth year, represents an ongoing effort to bring UNC’s water resources expertise to bear on the growing challenges of providing safe water and adequate sanitation to the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world.