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What is the Future of Water?

Join The Nature Conservancy and WBUR for a Community Conversation

BOSTON, Mass. | May 30, 2013

Earth’s population is projected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050 – a third higher than today. Yet, we are already using more than half of all the available fresh water on the planet. Are water wars and new Dust Bowls our inevitable future?

Or can we find new ways to secure enough water to meet human needs while protecting the planet’s health – and ours?

Join moderator Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, and national thought leaders for their perspective on this important community conversation at The Future of Water, the final event in the spring Future of Nature lecture series that The Nature Conservancy is co-sponsoring with WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

The Future of Water
Monday, June 10, 6:30 pm reception, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. panel discussion
Virginia Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont St., Boston, MA

  • Sandra Postel, director, The Global Water Policy Project
    Postel directs the independent Global Water Policy Project, and also lectures, writes, and consults on global water issues. In 2010 she was appointed Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, where she serves as lead water expert for the Society’s Freshwater Initiative. Postel has been named a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, as well as one of the "Scientific American 50" for her contributions to water policy. Author of Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last? (W.W. Norton, 1999) and of Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity (W.W. Norton, 1992), Postel also wrote Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature (Island Press, 2003) with The Nature Conservancy’s Brian Richter. She is co-creator of Change the Course, a national freshwater conservation and restoration campaign being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.
  • Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization
    Steven Solomon is the author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (HarperCollins, 2010), an account of the history of civilization that illuminates the importance of water in human development. The book was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Solomon has written for The New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Economist, Forbes and Esquire. He has been a regular commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and has appeared as a featured guest on the late Tim Russert’s CNBC show, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Bloomberg TV, and on many other news shows. He has addressed the World Affairs Council, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and university forums. A previous book, The Confidence Game (Simon & Schuster, 1995) presciently warned about mounting dangers in the volatile global financial system.
  • Brian Richter, director of Global Freshwater Strategies, The Nature Conservancy
    Brian Richter has been a leader in river science and conservation for more than 20 years. He is the Director of Global Freshwater Strategies for The Nature Conservancy, promoting sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, and local communities. He serves as a water advisor to some of the world’s largest corporations and investment banks, and has testified before the US Congress on multiple occasions. He also teaches at the University of Virginia. He has published many scientific papers on the importance of ecologically sustainable water management in international science journals, and co-authored a book with Sandra Postel entitled Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature (Island Press, 2003). Richter holds a B.A. in journalism and environmental biology from San Diego State University and an M.S in earth resources from Colorado State University.
  • Moderator: Meghna Chakrabarti, WBUR, co-host of Radio Boston
    Meghna Chakrabarti is the co-host of Radio Boston. She previously reported on New England transportation and energy issues for WBUR’s news department and serves as fill-in host for Here & Now, WBUR’s national midday show. She has won awards from both the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association for her writing, hard news reporting and use of sound. She produced and directed WBUR’s national news and talk program, On Point, for five years. In 2006, she spent 10 months as a fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Reporting. Chakrabarti holds bachelors degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Oregon State University, and a masters degree from Harvard University.

Each night of The Future of Nature series has featured national and global thought leaders discussing the most critical conservation challenges of our time – as well as a pre-event reception with refreshments, good conversation, activities, and information from community groups that are working on these important issues. Prior events focused on food and energy sustainability and have drawn more than 400 local people to participate in this important discussion.

“We all have a part to play in ensuring that nature continues to meet the needs of all life on Earth, including people,” said Wayne Klockner, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
You can also join the conversation by tweeting your hopes and concerns, using the hashtag #futureofnature. What does the future of nature look like? Follow what your neighbors have to say at @Nature_NE.

NOTE: Please contact The Nature Conservancy regarding speaker media availability prior to each event. Speaker biographies and headshots are available at

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Misty Edgecomb
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts
617-532-8317 (desk), 484-343-3223 (cell)

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