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A water-centric view of the climate-FEW-society nexus


Authors: George M. Hornberger
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Created: Aug 20, 2018 at 7:02 p.m.
Last updated: Aug 20, 2018 at 7:04 p.m.
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Abstract

Reds Wolman Lecture
Background: The Wolman Lecture is named after M. Gordon “Reds” Wolman (1924-2010). Wolman was a prominent and much-beloved fluvial geomorphologist who taught at Johns Hopkins University from 1958 until his death in 2010. He advanced the quantitative and interdisciplinary study of rivers, contributed to solving a multitude of water management problems around the world, and was well-known for his insight, humor, and thoughtful mentoring of dozens of graduate students.

"A water-centric view of the climate-FEW-society nexus"
Speaker: George M. Hornberger (Vanderbilt University)

Food, energy, and water (FEW) are primary resources required for human populations and ecosystems. The large and growing water demands for agricultural production are well known, water can be a significant constraint in electricity production, and the use of arable land for biofuels represents tradeoff decisions at the FEW nexus. Climate change will affect water availability. Increased demand for FEW resources from population growth and lifestyle changes will result in increased competition for limited resources, which will impact financial decisions. Both water quantity and water quality considerations of FEW interactions need to be taken into account explicitly because there are important feedbacks between quantity and quality aspects of the interactions. It is also important to take FEW resources into account during adaptation planning, as highlighted by recent events in the US when many citizens lost ready access to food, electricity, and drinking water in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Managing the FEW resources concurrently is a seemingly wicked problem involving an apparent trilemma from a sustainability and resiliency perspective. A core challenge is to develop an integrative understanding that embodies processes and feedbacks at a level of detail that allows evaluation of alternatives in these complex systems and therefore can support integrated management.

Advances in hydrological science clearly are critical to the enterprise of determining how to achieve global goals for developing and using FEW resources sustainably, especially in the face of a changing climate and a growing population. Among the needs are new and expanded data acquisition, analyses and syntheses of multi-sectoral data and information, and integrative modeling. In my presentation, I will review some of the critical needs and illustrate them using a few nascent research results.

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CUAHSI's 2018 Biennial Colloquium Liz Tran  Public &  Shareable Open Access

How to Cite

Hornberger, G. M. (2018). A water-centric view of the climate-FEW-society nexus, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/d00e030e14a84e508ab4410772ae0427

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.

 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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