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Press Release

2009 Water, Innovation, Technology, & Sustainability (WITS) Conference

November 18, 2009

The 2009 Water, Innovation, Technology, & Sustainability (WITS) Conference will be held November 23-24, 2009, in the city of Manaus, State of Amazonas, Brazil. The 2009 WITS Conference is organized by Co-Chairs Dr. Raul Gouvea and Dr. Sul Kassicieh from the UNM Anderson School of Management.

As stated by Fortune magazine, “Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations” (6/15/05). The WITS Conference will address the role of technology and innovation in enhancing water safety, availability, quality and sustainability. Quality of water resources is rapidly becoming a determinant of a country’s competitive advantage in a globalized economy, and water stress is one of today’s most pressing global issues. The global population has doubled in the past 50 years, while the demand for water has multiplied three times over. Water is essential for economic development and survival in developed, emerging and developing economies.
Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil was chosen at the conference location because the Brazilian Amazon is one of the world’s richest water resource regions but still faces sustainability challenges. Located near the joining of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões along the Brazilian Amazon, Manaus is a city of 1.7 million people, the capital of the State of Amazonas, an industrial center, and a popular ecotourism destination.

The 2009 WITS Conference will enhance UNM’s international relationships by providing professional growth and development, the opportunity to present company innovation and academic research to professionals from around the world, international networking, and the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in water technology/innovation and sustainable strategies.

WITS presenters will travel from the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia, and China to attend the conference and present their work. Dr. Mark Modzelewski, Executive Director of the Water Innovations Alliance and Member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will offer a keynote address at the conference. Presenters from New Mexico include Dr. Ned Godshall, CEO of Altela, Inc., and Anderson School Foundation Board President; John W. Brown, CFA, Sandia Capital Partners and past president of the Anderson School Foundation Board; Dr. George ‘Sandy’ Sanzero, Dr. Ray E. Finley, and Dr. R. Bruce Berry of Sandia National Laboratories; and Dr. Raul Gouvêa, Dr. Sul Kassicieh, Dr. Steve Walsh, and Dr. Raj Mahto of the UNM Anderson School of Management. For more information, please visit


The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.

The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit, email, or call (505) 277-6471.