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June 02, 2016

Need for collaboration a common thread during the "Acting on the Water-Climate Change Nexus" panel.

Water availability impacts almost all aspects of society and the economy. Climate change - higher temperatures and more extreme weather events - is and will continue to shift the availability and distribution of water. Some regions will experience water shortages while other areas will be threatened by increased runoff, flooding or sea level rise.

 

An expert group of panelists - Carolyn Olson, Senior Scientist at the USDA-OCE-Climate Change Program Office, Russ Behnam, Senior Counsel at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Elias B. Hinckley, Partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP and Matt McGovern, Senior Advisor at Department of Energy - actively engaged in a discussion, moderated by Bill Snape, environmental professor at American University Washington College of Law, on how changes in water availability, provoked and exacerbated by climate change, will affect agriculture and energy generation and distribution. Speakers pointed out that water has a direct influence on what they can and cannot do. Water is central to agricultural which is intrinsically linked to food security, poverty, and development. Coal, nuclear, gas, and hydro all require water, whether it be to create the mixture that is used to release natural gas from shale rocks or to generate electricity at thermoelectric or nuclear power plants. Therefore, effective and responsive water management will be essential to ensuring food and energy security.

 

Speakers highlighted the need for more information and a greater understanding of these interdependencies in order to inform more long-term and responsive policymaking. One speaker highlighted the need for more coalition building and the bringing together of groups that normally would not collaborate. While the types of effects climate change will have are known, the timeframe, the magnitude and prevalence of those effects, and the cascading effects are only partially understood. How we manage those uncertainties when it comes to long-term asset planning and management is one of our most fundamental challenges and biggest question we face.

May 20, 2016

The CWSC accepted an invitation to join the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI). The OECD Water Governance Initiative is an international multi-stakeholder network of members from the public, private and non-for-profit sectors gathering twice a year to share good practices in support of better governance in the water sector. The CWSC is honored to join this group of experts and looks forward to becoming an active contributing member.

May 07, 2016

CWSC leaders speak on water conflicts at American Bar Association Conference in St. Louis.

Conflicts over shared waters generate economic and political instability and uncertainty. As water resources become more limited and these conflicts become more frequent, international and domestic courts will be called upon to resolve these critical issues. Speakers discussed current domestic and international conflicts over transboundary waters, including current Supreme Court and international cases, focusing on the laws, agreements and policies governing these waters and how law can better encourage shared management and effective dispute resolution. 

March 31, 2016

In the Willard Smith library at Bucknell University, Alexandra Campbell-Ferrari, CWSC Executive Director engaged faculty, students and members of the public in a discussion on how we are reacting to the growing number of regions struggling with drought, why they miss they point and steps toward advancing water security, "Benjamin Franklin said, 'When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.' But I'm not sure we do," said Campbell-Ferrari. She discussed the centrality of water to almost all of our needs, from drinking water, agriculture, and navigation to energy production and recreation. Essential to getting on the right path, she said, is the law.

 

Before the lecture, Campbell-Ferrari had the chance to teach a class on water law to students taking Professor Greg Krohn's Freshwater course. Campbell-Ferrari set forth the basic allocation principles governing water allocation in the Eastern and Western United States, followed up by discussions of how they are applied.

February 29, 2016

The CWSC is delighted to accept an invitat ion to become a Global Forum partner to the World Bank Global Forum on Law Justice and Development (GFLJD).  The CWSC joins an elite group of 177 international financial institutions, international organizations at the global and regional levels, and national development partners, such as governments, judiciaries, academia, think-tanks, associations and civil society organizations, and of members of the private sector, 30 of which are based in North America. The GFLJD provides a global platform that brings together experts, scholars, and practitioners to develop legal solutions to development challenges and to promote the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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