California Capitol Hill Event Information

To expand communication between Washington and California, the California Institute provides periodic bulletins, briefings, and other information regarding current activity on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington that affects our state.

You are invited to a

Briefing and Roundtable Discussion

July 23, 2008

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC

2030: Population and Water Scarcity in the West

The fast-growing states and cities of the Southwest face great challenges in meeting increasing water demands. Most of the sources and supplies of water for this arid region are fully allocated among environmental, urban, and agricultural uses. Mechanisms for reallocating water away from current uses, along with technological means for augmenting supplies, all have physical, economic, and social limits.” Testimony of Stephen D. Parker, Director of the Water, Science and Technology Board of the National Academies, House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, May 14, 2008.

Water scarcity is one of the greatest challenges facing the United States. Over the next 22 years, U.S. population is projected to grow from 304 million to 364 million, and much of that projected population growth will occur in areas of the country already experiencing water shortages. The populations of Nevada and Arizona, two of the most arid states in the country, will more than double between 2000 and 2030. The population of California, which recently declared a drought emergency, is projected to climb from 37 million to 46 million by 2030.

Can the water needs of these states be met? The latest report of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program warns that the Southwest and other parts of the U.S. will continue to be subjected to extreme heat and drought. A recent study by Tim P. Barnett and David W. Price indicated that there is a 50 percent chance that by 2023 Lake Mead will not provide water without pumping. Other reports, while more optimistic, still suggest that the job of meeting the future water needs of California and the Southwest is a major challenge for policymakers.

The Population Resource Center and the California Institute are hosting a roundtable discussion on the long-term water outlook for California and the Southwest and the policy implications. Participants in the roundtable include:

· Jeff Jacobs is a scholar with the Water Science and Technology Board at the National Research Council. He was the study director of an important report released last year. (“Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability”)

· Paul Townsley, President of the Western Region of American Water;

· Betsy Cody, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy, Congressional Research Service; and

· David L. Reynolds, Director of Federal Relations, Association of California Water Agencies

MODERATOR: Robert J. Walker, President of the Population Resource Center

Former Congressman Anthony Beilenson, a member of the Population Resource Center’s Board of Directors, will give welcoming remarks.

For attendance information or to reply, contact:
Larry Wilcher, Program Associate, Population Resource Center
202.467.5030 or [email protected]


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