Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation

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Led by Matt Kondolf (Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning), Holly Doremus (Berkeley Law), Ted Grantham (Environmental Science, Policy & Management), Adina Merenlander (ESPM), Jeff Romm (ESPM), and John Andrew (California Department fo Water Resources, Sacramento).  Both the developed and developing world confront intensifying impacts on rivers and other water resources.  Impacts include those from population increases and consequent increased extractions of water for human uses, proliferation of dams, mining sediments from river beds, and intensified land-use impacts, all exacerbated by climate change.  Accelerated erosion of coasts and deltas (e.g., from sediment starvation, groundwater pumping, accelerated sea-level rise) are among the manifestations of these impacts.  Our seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to these challenges by examining how societies have adapted to variability in the past (uncertainty in water supply, flood risk, etc) and considers the tools we have to manage future variability in river flows and sediment loads, including variability in water supplies, increased flood risk, and the existential threat to many coastal areas. 

Photo taken by Professor Matt Kondolf, Isar River, Munich - renaturalization of the river banks and restoration of gravel load in the Isar River through Munich has created complex habitats for wildlife and popular recreational areas for the urban population.