Patrick Widner, executive director of International Water and Health Alliances, will give a free presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis.
The presentation will focus on the agency’s work in Africa and Central America to reduce water-borne diseases such as typhus, cholera, hepatitis A and diarrhea. Widner will demonstrate the innovative portable microbiology laboratory developed by his colleague Robert Metcalf, a retired professor of microbiology from Sacramento State.
The “lab” uses low-cost (about $1.25 per test) standard tests for E. coli originally developed for the food industry and adapted by agency to test drinking water. The lab, which fits into a gallon-size Ziploc-type bag, contains materials to carry out 50 tests.
The presentation will include images from training programs and a discussion of how to treat contaminated water. Participants also will see the results of analysis of Davis water samples and have the opportunity to test water as it is done in developing countries.