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  • Academy Events

  • The True Cost of Water

    Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by the Green Science & Environmental Policy Discussion Group and the Columbia Water Center

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    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

    Gregory Characklis, PhD

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Michael Hanemann, PhD

    University of California, Berkeley

    Upmanu Lall, PhD

    Columbia Water Center

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