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Oka’ announces full program for 2020 virtual conference

ADA – Oka’ the Water Institute at East Central University is committed to providing practical solutions to water issues all Oklahomans face at its fifth annual Water Sustainability Conference, a fact that is reflected in its diverse program of presenters.

“Water sustainability and economic prosperity are interwoven,” said Susan Paddack, director of the ECU-based Oka’ Water Institute. “So the education and presentations at this conference are relevant and timely to all citizens.”

Traditionally hosted on ECU’s campus, the 2020 Water Sustainability Conference takes place online this year in the interest of participant health and safety. Scheduled for September 22-23, the conference will be available as a live event on the Oka’ website at There is no cost to register for the virtual conference

The program for 2020’s virtual conference reads like a “who’s who” of water sustainability experts, featuring presentations by researchers and scientists, farmers and ranchers, water-related business leaders and lawmakers.

“I am excited about our agenda this year,” said Paddack. “We have outstanding speakers who will cover the full spectrum of water quality and quantity, plus discuss the value of water as an economic driver.”

Each of the two days of the conference features a keynote address during the luncheon portion of the program. On Tuesday, Chickasaw Nation Governor and ECU Distinguished Alumnus Bill Anoatubby and will present “Importance of Water to our State.” Wednesday’s luncheon features Braden Milford, Oklahoma’s winner of the 2018 U.S. National Stockholm Junior Water Prize on Designing a Novel Heavy Metal Bioremediation System.

Following is a complete roster of presenters for the 2020 Water Sustainability Conference:


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Tuesday, September 22 (Morning)

· April Richards, Bureau of Reclamation Research Program Manager, Small Business Innovation Research EPA

· Shoaib Shaik, Financial Operations Manager, XploSafe

· Tom Wavering, Tom Love Innovation

· Connor Cox, Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology