State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

The True Cost of Water: NYC Event May 6

The Green Policy and Environmental Policy Discussion Group of the The New York Academy of Science and the Columbia Water Center are sponsoring a panel discussion on The True Cost of Water on May 6.

The importance of water for sustainable human development and healthy functioning of Earth’s ecosystem has never been more pressing an issue than it is today. Skyrocketing water demands for industry and agriculture, coupled with decreasing availability of freshwater resources due to unsustainable usage, has led to the need for novel and effective water resource management strategies.

The focus of this panel discussion is the importance of economic optimization of water usage in the present and in the future to establish long-term sustainability of water resources. Among the needs for water resource management are the desirability of achieving equitable distribution of scarce water among communities and the allocation of water among different industries such as power generation and irrigation.

The specific aim of this forum is to discuss the topic of the real price of water. A detailed analysis of the associated costs and impacts will include:

– The extraction and delivery infrastructure
– Treatment and loss of ecosystem services
– The current distribution of costs and who is paying for what
– Opportunity costs and economic externalities
– Environmental and social costs
– Relative importance and value of water in different markets
– Financial risk management

Speakers will include:

Greg Characklis, Associate Professor in the Department of
Environmental Sciences & Engineering at the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michael Hanemann, Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley
Moderator: Upmanu Lall, Director, Columbia Water Center, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Alan & Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth & Environmental Engineering, Columbia University

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Reception to follow.

Location: The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor, New York, NY 10007-2157

Price: NYAS Members: FREE
Non-Member: $20
Non-Member Student: $10




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