Navigating the Future of Water: Charting a Vision for American Cities

A picture of Milwaukee Wisconsin from the river. Text on the picture says Navigating the Future of Water: Charting a Vision for American Cities October 18-20, 2017.

A Research Conference addressing the challenges facing water and urbanization in the 21st century.

There are multiple interlinked challenges facing water and urbanization in the coming century. Water resource security is threatened by a changing climate with floods, drought and changing water quality, opportunistic pathogens and invasive species and loss of aquatic biodiversity.

Delivery of water to industry, the community and agriculture is compromised by aging and inadequate infrastructure with energy production being closely interlinked. For freshwater, dealing with the trifecta of resource scarcity and excess, aging infrastructure and climate change is estimated to be a $23 trillion challenge globally over the next 15 to 20 years.

Urban areas are at the epicenter of many of these challenges as demographics shift, spurring urban expansion and accelerating demands on existing urban infrastructure. This has focused attention on heightened vulnerabilities of urban freshwater systems and urban populations that are exacerbated by uncertainties in the magnitude, if not the direction, of future change.

This conference will highlight new research that addresses the issues of Emerging Threats, Critical Infrastructures and Evolving Policies surrounding the availability of freshwater.

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