The Energy & Resources Group Spring 2015 Colloquium presents
Peak water or enduring thirst? California water, virtual water, and growth
Energy and Resources Group
As California faces an historic statewide drought, we must also recognize the role of global water resources in sustaining California’s population and economy. In this talk I will outline the contours and trends of California’s water footprint, that is, the water required to support our consumption of everyday products, from food and fiber to energy and industrial products (there will be an emphasis on energy). My work looks at recent patterns of production, trade, and consumption, showing that Californians increasingly depend on water resources outside the state, in effect importing virtual water. I argue that this situation has simultaneously offered a solution to local resource limits and confronted us with real, global water challenges. Acknowledging the environmental and sociopolitical dimensions to these challenges, I will offer thoughts on policy and research in support of a shifting paradigm in water management in California and elsewhere.
Julian has done much of his PhD research with the Pacific Institute and now teaches California Water at ERG. He has been a student on the UC Berkeley campus for nearly three decades, including an MSc in Civil & Environmental Engineering, a BA in Development Studies, and tromping in Strawberry creek as a child.
Top feature photo: Ian Abbott