Can We End the Global Water Crisis?
Wed Jun 20, 2018, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Convention Centre West Building
DATE AND TIME
Wed, 20 June 2018, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM PDT
Climate models and decades of satellite data are converging on the unfortunate reality that Earth’s water cycle is changing. Paleoclimate indicators remind us that this has always been the case. Freshwater is constantly being exchanged among the atmosphere, ocean, land and ice reservoirs, while on land, patterns of precipitation, evapotranspiration, flooding and drought are shifting. The evolving water cycle of the 21st century will likely be stronger, more variable, and will result in broad swaths of mid-latitude drying, accelerated by the depletion of the world’s major groundwater aquifers. A well-defined geography of freshwater ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is clearly emerging. In this public lecture, I will outline the major elements of the global water crisis and discuss what can be done to mitigate them. In particular, I will address what water ‘sustainability' means under such dynamic climate and hydrologic conditions, in particular when coupled with future projections of population growth. Likewise, I will explore how will water managers cope with these new normals, and how food and energy production will be impacted. The responsibility of communicating this changing global water landscape falls squarely on the shoulders of the academic-research community, yet the challenge of doing so is daunting. In this lecture I will review what our latest research tells us, and I will share my personal experiences, positive and negative, with science communication and water diplomacy.
Senior Water Scientist, California Institute of Technology, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA
Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing
Professor and Director, Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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