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Access to Water in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Paolo D'Odorico, Thomas J. Graff Professor of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Oct 23 2023 | 11:00am to 12:00pm PT Bren Hall 1414 / Online

Headshot of Paolo D'Odorico
Paolo D'Odorico

Paolo’s scholarship has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of dryland ecological dynamics and the impacts of water globalization, and his approaches are always characterized by their elegance and rigor. His seminar will examine the diverse threats to equitable water access that threaten vulnerable, water-scarce communities and ecosystems.
—Kelly Caylor, Professor, Bren School

Watch a recording of this talk here


Water appropriation by different actors becomes controversial when it involves scarce water resources that support livelihoods, food security, or environmental functions. To date, some of the unique institutional and hydrological conditions that underlie water appropriations have not been fully recognized, which hinders the development of effective policies and governance mechanisms to safeguard the rights of those whose access to water is diminished by such appropriations. Previous research has often concentrated on water appropriations through land investments or water infrastructure while neglecting other subtler mechanisms associated with pollution, changes in land use, afforestation, land-atmosphere interactions, and irrigation technology. These methods frequently contribute to the reduction of water access for prior users, including rural communities, indigenous populations, women, and the environment, ultimately playing a pivotal role in eroding livelihoods, cultural identity, and environmental needs. This seminar will explore the relationship between water tenure arrangements and these overlooked hydrological mechanisms of water appropriation to critically assess their impact on water access.


Paolo D’Odorico is the Thomas J. Graff Professor of Natural Resources in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Padova (Italy), has been postdoc at Texas A&M and Princeton, and professor at the University of Virginia until he moved to UC Berkeley in 2017. His research focuses on the role of hydrological processes in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and societies. His current work focuses on water security, the globalization of water, food and energy security, and water equity and justice.

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