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March 5, 2007 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (March 1, 2007) - Every day worldwide, 300 million people go without access to clean water. And each day, 15,000 of that number die as a result. Is there a solution to this world crisis? That is what Aquinas College students are exploring. They will share what they have learned at a Harvard University-sponsored symposium in New York.

An Aquinas College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team will be presenting at the China-India Relations and Development Symposium on March 30, 2007. They will present a report on their developing sustainable water project. The students are working to develop an anti-oxidant water storage system designed to maintain the quality of filtered water. They also hope to create a sustainable micro enterprise model to deploy this new technology in a manner that promotes social equity, environmental consciousness and empowered personal economic development.

AQ's SIFE Team will be presenting their project to global policy makers from the Chinese and Indian governments as well as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Development Program. Masato Yamazaki, Ph.D., economics professor at Aquinas and SIFE advisor, had encouraged the undergraduate students to apply to the conference.

"It's an amazing opportunity for them to meet with the most influential people in development policy and a big step for Aquinas," said Yamazaki.

The Aquinas SIFE team has created partnerships with local, national and international firms to create the vital network necessary to establish and deploy their product model. Partnering with William McDonough, the U.S. Chairman of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development, the SIFE team plans to establish a program to incorporate the anti-oxidant plastic product model into a sustainable pilot project in a city in China's Liaoning Province.

In addition, the SIFE team has introduced new and interactive education programs into the Grand Rapids Public Schools that inform students about the global water crisis and the possibilities of free enterprise solutions. AQ SIFE hopes to create a partnership between Grand Rapids Public School students and to raise funds that will aid in the development of international water projects. The team hopes not only to educate but to involve those students so that they can contribute to the advancement of sustainable water projects.

This is an ongoing project for Aquinas students, Jeremy Walker (senior), Mary Duprie (sophomore), Brad Bosserman (freshman) and Isabel Nelson (freshman). They plan to develop a prototype and conduct more extensive testing. They also will continue to seek opportunities to educate, implement and collaborate in the fight for universal access to clean water.

>>More on the AQ SIFE Team