Water Conference 2017
Global Water Scarcity
December 1, 2017
9:00am to 3:30pm

Read a summary of the keynote interview and insights from the conference panels, and watch videos of the TED-style talks and interviews with experts.

A special program exploring global water scarcity challenges and solutions, presented in partnership with O’Melveny & Myers LLP as part of the Pacific Council's Global Water Scarcity Project.

Contact the Events team at events@pacificcouncil.org or (213) 221-2020 for more information.

The Global Water Scarcity Project connects the dots between California's water scarcity challenges and international issues of trade, energy, politics, and security. This project was made possible with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a leader in helping the world’s vulnerable and disadvantaged communities gain access to safe water.

Here and abroad, the effects of water scarcity extend beyond the possibility of drought, spilling into cross-border conflict, global trade issues, and human (in)security. What can we do to address these issues now and create a water abundant future?

Read expert analysis on water issues ahead of the conference:

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Agenda:

9:30am-10:30am

TED-Style Talks

Explore how water scarcity connects with Global Trade, Energy, Politics, National Security, and Human Security.

Featuring:

Ms. Kirsten James, Director, California Policy and Partnerships, Ceres

Ms. Rachel Cardone, Global Water Scarcity Project Fellow, Pacific Council

Mr. Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson, Jr., Robert E. Paradise Professor of Natural Resources Law, Stanford Law School; and Of Counsel, O'Melveny & Myers LLC

10:45am-11:45am

Session 1: Global Water Hotspots & U.S. Military Priorities

The failure to sufficiently invest in water security now could mean that the United States and other international actors will incur great costs in the future to respond to potential humanitarian crises, public health emergencies, and conflicts between or within states. Water scarcity also has the potential to inflame regional conflict; particularly during the last two decades, water has incited instability in the Middle East through adverse climate conditions, water mismanagement, and the use of water supply as a weapon itself. How are water problems (shortages, poor water quality) already impacting U.S. national security interests overseas?

Featuring:

Dr. Marcus DuBois King, Associate Professor and Director, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Read Dr. King's advance analysis on water stress, instability, and violent extremism here.

Ms. Betsy Otto, Director, Global Water Program, World Resources Institute

Mr. Todd Diamond, Director of Middle East Region, Chemonics International. Read Mr. Diamond's advance analysis on water solutions to the displacement crisis in the Middle East here.

Moderator:

Ms. Heather Welles, Associate, O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Session 2: Urban Water Resilience Across the Globe

It is anticipated that in the next 30 years, urban water demand will increase by 50 percent. Challenges such as population growth, economic expansion, and climate change further threaten water supplies in cities around the world. In the United States, nearly one in 10 watersheds is "stressed" with demand for water exceeding its natural supply—a trend that appears likely to become the new normal. Cities that are exposed to drought, such as Los Angeles, face the challenge of resiliency—most cities are dependent on large, centralized water supplies. As surface water becomes less available, there will be growing challenges for agriculture, electrical suppliers, and municipalities. Cities across the globe are re-thinking investments in infrastructure and water management practices. Are there lessons learned for other governments, businesses, and civic leaders who live in cities affected by water shortages?

Featuring:

Ms. Liz Crosson, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mr. Chris Dunston, Senior Program Officer, International Programs, Hilton Foundation

Ms. Laura Friedman, Assemblymember (D-43), California State Assembly

Moderator:

Ms. Rachel Cardone, Global Water Scarcity Project Fellow, Pacific Council

Session 3: Water Security Risk & California Trade

California’s agricultural commodities markets are vital for the U.S. food supply, contributing over one-third of the U.S.’s vegetables, and two-thirds of U.S.’s fruits and nuts. A recent report from the Pacific Institute, looking at California’s water footprint, shows that California’s agricultural footprint is dominated by non-renewable (ground) water. Dependence was apparent throughout the recent drought. Now with the drought behind us, how are leading agricultural sectors addressing their water risk and what is needed to become more water secure?

Featuring:

Mr. Sargeant Green, Water Management Specialist, California Water Institute, California State University, Fresno

Ms. Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation, & Member, California State Board of Food and Agriculture

Dr. Julian Fulton, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, California State University, Sacramento

Ms. Heather Cooley, Director, Water Program, Pacific Institute

Moderator:

Mr. Alf W. Brandt, Senior Counsel to the Speaker, Office of California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

Session 4: Virtual Water Trade? Lessons from the Commodities Market

Over the next quarter century, clean drinkable water will become more scarce as the global human population grows and supply decreases. Although investing in water is already commonplace, water is not openly traded in the marketplace like other commodities such as oil. As water becomes increasingly scarce and demand for water continues to grow, will this precious commodity become a resource that can be bartered for and traded on a futures exchange, like fuels, wheat, or gold? Will water become the commodity of the 21st Century?

Featuring:

Dr. Vanessa Casado-Perez, Associate Professor of Law and Research Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University; and Affiliated Researcher, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford Law School

Mr. Christopher Peacock, Founder and CEO, Water Innovation Project

Mr. Matthew Payne, Principal, WestWater Research LLC

Moderator:

Mr. Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson, Jr., Robert E. Paradise Professor of Natural Resources Law, Stanford Law School; and Of Counsel, O'Melveny & Myers LLC

12:00pm-2:00pm

Keynote Lunch: Water Scarcity

Featuring:

Ms. Tara Lohan, Managing Editor, Water Deeply

Moderator:

Ms. Jennifer Faust, Executive Director, Pacific Council

2:00pm-3:30pm

Roundtable Sessions

Featuring:

Ms. Betsy Otto, Director, Global Water Program, World Resources Institute

Mr. Todd Diamond, Director of Middle East Region, Chemonics International

Mr. Christopher Peacock, Founder and CEO, Water Innovation Project

Dr. Marcus DuBois King, Associate Professor and Director, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Ms. Rachel Cardone, Global Water Scarcity Project Fellow, Pacific Council

Mr. Sargeant Green, Water Management Specialist, California Water Institute, California State University, Fresno

Dr. Julian Fulton, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, California State University, Sacramento

Mr. Sargeant Green, Water Management Specialist, California Water Institute, California State University, Fresno

Mr. Chris Dunston, Senior Program Officer, International Programs, Hilton Foundation

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Thank you to our Water Conference Co-Presenter and Supporter:

      

And thank you to our Water Conference Supporter:

Finally, thank you to our Community Partners:

 

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