NCSSM 2011 Summer Symposium, an Introduction to "The Waterless West"

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An introduction to a course called "The Waterless West" on water policy in the American West for NCSSM's 2011 Summer Symposium on the Global Water Crisis

An introduction to a course called "The Waterless West" on water policy in the American West for NCSSM's 2011 Summer Symposium on the Global Water Crisis

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  • 1. NCSSM Summer Symposium, 2011
    THE WATERLESS WEST
    Meredith Murphy
    NCSSM Humanities Instructor
  • 2. “The Great American Desert”
  • 3. THE WATERLESS WEST
    “The Great American Desert”
    “rain follows the plow”
    Westward migration and water
    Bureau of Reclamation
    dams, power plants, and canals that provide water to 31 million people, 10 million acres of farmland and that produce 40 billion kilowatts of hydroelectric power per year.
    How have westerners balanced the needs of people, agriculture, and nature in managing water?
    California Water Wars
    HetchHetchy
    Colorado River Basin
  • 4. What does this have to do with us?
    We’ll learn how water policy in the West relates to North Carolina’s water supply:
    Where does Triangle water come from?
    What processes are used to deliver Triangle water?
    How has NC responded to urban growth?
    Do the water supplies of the American West and NC have the same or different problems?
    How sustainable is NC’s water supply?
    How has supplying water to people impacted the environment of NC?
  • 5. We’ll hear from…
    Bill Holman
    Director of State Policy for Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
    Richard Whisnant
    Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC-CH School of Government
  • 6. We’ll visit…
    Durham Wastewater Treatment Plant
    OWASA Water Treatment Plant
    University Lake Reservoir
  • 7. By the end, we should know some ways to answer these questions:
    How does water management work?
    Was it a good idea to “reclaim” water in the West?
    Was it worth it?
    Is it good for people? for farmers? for the environment?
    Do people have any business living where water is not abundant?
    What water issues does NC face?
    How are NC communities addressing those issues?
    What water challenges might NC communities and the nation face in the future?