89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 8:30 AM
Water in the 21st century—a reality check
Room 121A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Pamela L. Stephens, NSF, Arlington, VA; and W. Hooke
For more than a century, Americans have watched water resource management in the semi-arid West and Southwest grow more challenging and contentious, as area populations have increased, the economy has grown, and the limits of water availability have become more apparent. That East coast water resources might also be limited is a relatively new concern – highlighted in part by the recent drought in the Southeastern United States. Current problems are more troubling in light of current climate projections that suggest that this region could experience more precipitation extremes, both flood and drought, in the future.

In the face of climate non-stationarity and changing demographics, Eastern water managers and policymakers must develop new strategies that will meet future water needs and minimize hazards for both people and ecosystems while sustaining economic viability. In March 2008, the AMS Policy Program organized a forum entitled “What About Water? A Reality Check for the 21st Century,” which brought together people with a wide range of backgrounds and viewpoints to explore some of the issues that will need to be addressed to meet the water challenge. The key issues and suggestions raised during the forum will be reviewed as will next steps as the forum is intended to be the first in a series on water and policy

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