Drought in the West and recent floods in the South remind us of the power of this vital resource. Climate change, population growth, agriculture and urban development are straining supplies and water management systems in the United States and around the world. According to the World Resources Institute, 33 countries face extreme water stress by 2040. Nearly half are in the Middle East.
Much of Oregon is already facing severely reduced supplies. As of September, drought had been declared in 25 Oregon counties. In Southern Oregon, farming and fishing communities compete for limited resources in the Klamath basin. In Eastern Oregon, water quality and falling water tables constrain irrigation for crops. Another dry winter in the Cascades could lead to cutbacks for agricultural and other uses in Central Oregon. Hopes are high that a wet El Nino winter could help alleviate water deficits resulting from last winter’s poor snowpack.
On November 9, in the first of two meetings on water, the Corvallis City Club will offer global and regional perspectives. Three experts who study climate, water resources and water management will share their knowledge of water supply threats and potential solutions. They will focus on the influence of climate on water supplies and consider the potential for conservation and political agreements to meet critical needs. They will discuss the status of surface and groundwater resources in the West.
Speakers are faculty in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. They include:
- Phil Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Center at Oregon State University.
- Aaron Wolf, director of the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at OSU.
- Gordon Grant, research hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service.
Doors will open at 11:30 at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will conclude by 1:15. Lunch will be catered by Delicias Valley Cafe: pork and vegetable tamales with sauce, beans, rice, chips and salsa. Lunch is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. To reserve lunch, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Nov. 6. You can also pay for lunch online with your credit card.
On January 11, City Club will look at water supply trends in the Willamette Valley and Benton County and consider how communities can adapt to changing circumstances.