A creative solution to the world’s water shortage problem has earned second-year Mitchell student Stephen Hanson runner-up honors in a scholarship contest. The Future of Water Scholarship campaign, which drew about 150 entrants, is sponsored by WaterFilters.net, a clean-water distribution business founded and run by Jamin Arvig ’07.
Hanson’s entry was in response to a question about how to reduce water shortages and ensure all people had nearby access to clean drinking water. His proposal involved shipping clean water to developing countries on ocean-going supertankers, eventually piping it to storage facilities for distribution.
“Steve’s short-term solution struck me as a welcome problem-solution oriented approach,” says Arvig. “This type of practical thinking is common among students accustomed to the hands-on training that William Mitchell provides, but sadly, is often lacking among those most responsible for ending our world’s water shortage crisis.”
“I often apply for state and national scholarships that have essay topics that require the applicant to propose a viable solution to a real problem, based on current research,” Hanson says. “I also look for interesting and challenging essay topics that are relevant to our nation and the world, such as the topic for the WaterFilters.net contest.”
Arvig particularly liked Hanson’s view of the bigger picture.
“Most impressive about Steve’s response to the global water shortage crisis was his understanding that this represents both a long-term challenge and a crisis needing an immediate short-term solution,” he says. “His short-term proposal to ship clean water from parts of the world naturally more abundant, to those parts most suffering, was insightfully balanced against long term solutions such as desalination.”
For being runner-up, Hanson received a number of hydration items from WaterFilters.net, including a universal shower filter system.