S68 Approaches to Safe Use of Irrigation and Wash Water in the Face of Increased Global Water Shortages

Wednesday, August 3, 2016: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
240 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Ewen Todd
Organizer: Ewen Todd
Convenor: Ewen Todd
Increasing water availability and sustaining water supplies are of strategic importance for food production globally. This symposium will focus on the issue of limited safe irrigation and wash water in the face of potable water shortages and will present possible mitigation strategies. Untreated sewage water or clean well-water pumped to surface reservoirs becoming contaminated is used in many countries to irrigate crops and wash produce with risks of infectious and chronic diseases from pathogens and toxic chemicals arising from urban effluent and agricultural and industrial use. Overusing aquifer supplies and climate change on reducing water availability and creating more frequent conditions for drought are already exacerbating existing problems but there is little political will for long-term mitigation strategies. Options such as desalination, reverse osmosis and recycled/reclaimed water to facilitate salt removal and cleanup of wastewater using physical, chemical or biological means will be discussed. Speakers will address the issues from the perspectives of developed and developing countries and regions, e.g., California and Arizona in the U.S., as well as in The Middle East and Africa which have considerable experience with growing crops with limited water supplies in the face of continued drought conditions. There will be time for audience input at the end of the symposium.


10:50 AM
Critical Water Issues Facing the United States
Manan Sharma, U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS EMFSL
11:10 AM
Overview of Critical Water Issues in the Middle East
Ewen Todd, American University of Beirut and Ewen Todd Consulting
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