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ECU Water Masters Student Presents In Vegas

The WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition (WSI) is the largest urban water-efficiency conference of its kind in the world. The WSI conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada this October 6yh-7th and was host to hundreds of industry professionals and participants. Amongst the presenters, The Oka’ Institute and East Central University were proudly represented by Brian Bahati Oonga, a master’s student at East Central studying Water Resources, Policy, and Management. His research and travel was funded by Oka’ and the WaterSmart grant. His project, titled “Evaluating Uses for Crushed Glass Collected from a Community Recycling Campaign,” was one of 15 posters presented at the exposition.

The project explores uses for crushed glass and compares crushed glass and sand on four parameters: cost, labor, functionality and environmental sustainability. Glass bottles are collected from the public, crushed, and then tested to see to what uses they could be put to such as building, construction, and art applications. Brian and his team tested building concrete blocks and artistic applications in conjunction with the ECU School of Fine Arts.

This project demonstrates good watershed management in two ways: it decreases the amount of glass bottles in our landfills, and it potentially reduces the need for sand mining.

The Oka’ Institute commends Brian for his commitment to water sustainability research, education and solutions!

For more information about the 2021 WSI conference or for future conference information please visit

Research Poster Oonga
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