BEE 7540 - Water Management in an Era of Growing Water Scarcity
(crosslisted) IARD 7540
Spring. 2-3 credits, variable.
Enrollment limited to: graduate standing or permission of instructors.
T. S. Steenhuis, G. Holst-Warhaft, et al.
Scarcity of water might be well overtake climate change as the main issue limiting future development. In fact in many water-short areas in the world, such as the Mediterranean, much of Sub-Saharan Africa, and India, it is already a main cause of the prevailing poverty. Management of water in water scarce regions demands tradeoffs between a wide range of goals: preservation or enhancement of the environment, enhancement of social equity, preservation of cultural identity, and economically efficient utilization of water. Water management also requires consideration of a wide range of factors, some physical other socio/cultural, economic, legal, and political. The end result is seldom perfect since the goals are often are in conflict with one another.
A principal goal of this course is to identify the specific factors that should be considered in the management of water in different situations and to explore the areas where trade-offs in achieving these goals must be made. The context of this course will be the issues facing the following water-scarce regions: the Mediterranean, the Nile basin and India, and the South-West of the United States with an emphasis on the largest water user - irrigation for food production. This will include discussion of related issues such a land acquisition for food production and virtual water use throughout the world. Students that take this course for 3 credits will be required to submit an extra paper/project.
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