Water in the Balance: The Human Fingerprint on Global Freshwater Availability as Seen from Space (English)


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A CUSA Sustainability Seminar delivered by Jay Famiglietti, PhD, Professor, Earth System Science and Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Director, UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling. Recorded on April 6, 2011.

Over the last decade, satellite observations of Earth's water cycle, in particular, those from NASA's GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission, have provided an unprecedented view of recent changes in freshwater availability. In particular, the human fingerprint of water management practices such as reservoir storage and groundwater use is abundantly clear, and raises many important issues for climate, water, food and economic security. Moreover, the worldwide depletion of groundwater aquifers and their transboundary nature points to the great potential heightened conflict in the very near future. In this seminar I will review the basics of how the GRACE mission observes world water resources, what new information the mission has provided since its launch in 2002, and what the implications are for the future of water availability. Several hotspots for water stress, including implications for regional security and conflict, will be highlighted.


Author:
Jay Famiglietti Ph.D.
Title:
Professor
Department:
Earth System Science
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Water in the Balance: The Human Fingerprint on Global Freshwater Availability as Seen from Space by Jay Famiglietti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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