Live To Inspire: Casey Walther ’98
March 10, 2015
By 2025, the United Nations estimates 1.8 billion people will live in an area with absolute water scarcity. Radar Technology International’s tagline, “Water for everyone, everywhere,” is what the company and its director, Casey Walther ’98, strive toward. Walther, an international business major and chemistry minor, has spent his career finding ways to bring water to people most in need.
In 2000, Walther traveled to France and began an internship with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in their external relations department. Although Walther took time off in 2002 to pursue his master’s degree in international development at Oxford University, he returned to UNESCO in 2003. He spent several years working in the water sciences division focusing on hydrology and groundwater, as well as the effects of climate change. In 2008, he became the organization’s natural science program officer in Iraq.
Walther’s time in the politically unstable country was spent providing water to rural communities by restoring the karez, Iraq’s ancient irrigation systems. Simultaneously, Walther and his colleagues worked on improving the Iraqi government’s ability to manage any newly identified water resources through training.
“With my work, I can see a direct impact on people’s lives,” Walther said. “That is the wonderful nature of exploration. We can look at things differently than before.”
In 2013, he joined his business partner, Alain Gachet, at Radar Technologies International—a multinational resource exploration firm offering cutting edge intelligence services in the areas of groundwater, minerals, oil and gas, and archaeology. RTI explores areas in water scarce locations, like Africa, the Middle East and Latin American, identifying potential resources while providing maps and sustainability instruction for clients.
“What we’re trying to do is very humanitarian,” Walther said. “Water is officially a human right. We have the tools and technology to find water rapidly over large areas with high certainty. We’ve learned that our maps require a certain capacity for clients to use. We’ve become more focused on the production aspect where before we were mainly focused on the exploration site. Because of our experiences in Africa and the Middle East, we realized the need for our involvement in the training and sustainability phases to make sure the information we provided was being given to the right people.
RTI has a 97 percent success rate with clients who have built more than 1,800 wells in various countries. Their most recent work in East Africa, one of the driest, most populated places in the world, recently averted a humanitarian crisis.
“Because of the strife in Sudan, there was an influx of 100,000 political refugees in Kenya, not only from Sudan, but from Somalia, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda. Kenya wasn’t meeting the 40 liters per day water needs for each person. They were only producing 10 liters per day and were on the verge of a crisis. We were able to give them our maps, and coach them on finding water and drilling wells. They were able to build 15 boreholes and had a surplus of water. Once again, I got to see our work directly and positively impact people’s lives.”
While Walther spends most of his time traveling around the globe exploring natural resource potential, his urge to explore goes back to his time at TLU.
“The international students were like my fraternity,” Walther said. “I had friends from Germany and France and Mexico. My best friends and roommates were from Colombia and Ecuador. I soaked up the Spanish language and Latin American culture and had my own cultural immersion program with them right on campus. I even went to Vechta, Germany for a few months after graduation to visit a girl I met at TLU. After Germany, I came back to Texas and lived in Austin for a year doing financial planning. But, I was anxious to get back out in the world and it seemed like every experience I had led to another one. I really think there is a unique environment and experience for everyone who comes to TLU.”
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