|Regional Experts Convene at Bren School for
First Western Forum on Water and Energy Sustainability
Conference tracks with concerns raised in recent DOE report
Santa Barbara, CA – On March 22, World Water Day, against the background of a recently released U.S. Department of Energy report focusing on “threats to national energy production that might result from limited water supplies,” the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will open the First Western Forum on Energy and Water Sustainability.
More than 50 water and energy experts from around the western United States will convene for the two-day event, which was organized by Bren professor Arturo Keller, who says that the conference comes at a particularly opportune time, given the release of the 80-page congressionally mandated DOE report “focusing on threats to national energy production resulting from limited water supplies.”
“The timing of this First Western Forum on Energy and Water Sustainability could not be better, coming right after the release of a major Department of Energy report on the linkage between energy and water resources,” says Keller. “This is also evidenced by the terrific level of interest in the forum.”
While the DOE report focused on energy-water interdependence as a national issue, it is a subject that resonates with particular strength in the arid West.
“Electrical energy and water are highly interlinked, and since we live in a dry area, water is terribly important for us,” says Keller. “The population projections into the century and the specter of climate change put even more pressure on us to think hard about these issues and their connections. In a discussion with the Electric Power Research Institute [an independent, nonprofit center for public interest energy and environmental research] and Southern California Edison, we decided that it would be useful to hear from researchers, agency and utility staff, and other interested people about their work in the energy-water nexus. We have been extremely pleased with the amazing quality of the speakers we will have, and we expect the event to generate a fertile research agenda for the coming years."
For information about event speakers, go to: