Call For Abstracts and Letters of Interest Now Open

The organizers of the 2018 Colorado WASH Symposium in Boulder, CO would like to engage academics, practitioners, researchers, professionals, and students who have a passion for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to participate in our annual Symposium on March 6-7, 2018. We believe that creating diverse networks of people who research, evaluate, and implement interesting approaches across the WASH sector is essential to sharing and promoting the innovative ideas that are needed for achieving and sustaining the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our objective is to foster meaningful connections that lead to enhanced understanding and collaboration across professions and disciplines on critical WASH issues.

The CO WASH organizing committee is soliciting 1) letters of interest and 2) abstracts for sessions at the 2018 Colorado WASH Symposium.

Letters of Interest: Proposals for workshops, breakout sessions, panels, or other creative sessions on divergent topics within the WASH sector. These sessions will be 40-80 minutes, and collaboration between multiple presenters and organizations is highly encouraged. Letters of Interest are due November 15, 2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

Abstracts: Proposals for short oral presentations or posters on research, projects, and programs related to the WASH sector. Short oral presentations will be roughly 20 minutes. Posters will be on display throughout the conference and at a specific poster session. Abstracts are due December 15, 2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

Travel Funding: The Colorado WASH organizing committee has limited funding to support travel to the symposium for excellent applicants to the call for Letters of Interest or the call for Abstracts. Please indicate in your application if you are interested in learning more about our travel funding opportunities. If you are seeking funding from other resources, please let us know if there is a specific date by which you need a response on your Letter of Interest or Abstract.

About the Symposium: The 6th annual Colorado WASH Symposium (March 6-7, 2018) is an unconventional student-organized event that brings together premier speakers from the academic, practitioner, and NGO sectors engaged in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene research and practice. The programming of the symposium is designed to create an open and candid dialogue around some of the most pressing challenges and emerging issues in the WASH field. The two-day event consists of panels, presentations, and interactive sessions. In keeping with a tradition of openness and engagement, the event is free and open to the public. More information about the symposium can be found on the links above.



(i) Bring experts in the WASH sector as speakers to highlight promising global approaches to selected topics

(ii) Feature exciting, recent work in the WASH sector of students, professors, researchers, development practitioners and social entrepreneurs from Colorado. 


The intent of the Colorado WASH Symposium is to provide a platform for sharing and expanding knowledge in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene in the context of development. The symposium brings together leaders and WASH practitioners in social enterprises, the  private sector, NGOs, academia, and development agencies.

Colorado WASH Symposium: A Brief History

In 2012, a small interdisciplinary group of students interested in issues in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector applied for a small Engineering Excellence Fund grant to support a panel discussion on WASH. With their enthusiasm, the panel discussion grew to a two-day symposium with speakers from the World Bank, FHI 360, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a host of local businesses and NGOs engaged in WASH activities. The event attracted over 140 participants, from different backgrounds and disciplines, and fostered provocative debate and collaboration between important players within the WASH sector. 

The WASH Symposium is still coordinated by students at CU-Boulder, and continues to grow in popularity with WASH professionals from around the world. 

See what our speakers have had to say about previous years! Jonathan Annis (WASHplus) 2013, Katie Borden (Improve International) 2015, and Darren Saywell (PLAN International) 2015. 


Thanks for Attending the 2017 WASH Symposium!

The 2017 WASH Symposium was a great success. The themes of this year's event were behavior change, business of WASH, humanitarian, refugee, and other challenging contexts, social dimensions of WASH, systems of WASH, and technology and instrument innovation. Below is a list of the symposium participants:

2017 Symposium Program2017 CO WASH Symposium Program pg 1

2017 CO WASH Symposium Program pg 2

Your feedback from 2016: