UF Water Institute to host symposium featuring state, national experts
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida Water Institute will host its fourth symposium, “Sustainable Water Resources, Complex Challenges, Integrated Solutions,” Feb. 11-12 at the Reitz Student Union.
This year’s conference focuses on what organizers call “Water Supply Planning in a Non-Stationary World.” The forum is meant to bring many professional perspectives together to focus on science, technology, management, policy and public action.
Participating panelists and speakers include:
- During the opening session beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Feb 11, Jerad Bales, chief scientist for hydrology at the U.S. Geological Survey, will speak on recycling, understanding and forecasting water; Ben Strauss, director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central in New York, will talk about threats from sea level rise; and Robert Lempert, director of the Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition and senior scientist for Rand Corp., will speak about how to make robust water-supply planning decisions under deep uncertainty.
- Executive directors from each of Florida’s five water management districts, the director of water policy at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the deputy director for water policy at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will discuss challenges and opportunities for improving water supply planning in Florida, during the session beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb 11.
- Bob Graham, a former U.S. senator, Florida governor and state legislator will serve on a panel at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Reitz Union auditorium. He will be joined by Cynthia Barnett, a journalist and author; Melissa Meeker, former water management district executive director and former DEP director of water policy and Steve Seibert, a Pinellas County commissioner during the Tampa Bay water wars and secretary of the Department of Community Affairs under former Gov. Jeb Bush. That discussion will focus on the complementary roles of grassroots efforts and political leadership in changing the way Floridians view, value and use water.
Some of the many topics to be discussed at the conference include water quality protection and treatment; managing water for people and the environment; water security: the water-energy-food nexus; and science, stakeholders and decision-making.
Information on the symposium is available at http://waterinstitute.ufl.edu/symposium2014/index.asp.
Anyone interested in attending the symposium must register by Jan. 31. The media are invited to attend.