World Water Security Begins with an Adequate Blue Water Supply

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Room 312 (Hynes Convention Center)
Henry Lin , Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Adequate blue water supply requires a holistic approach to understanding and managing various components of the hydrologic cycle and the use of diverse measures to sustain freshwater resources.  In this presentation, we will focus on three key aspects: First, we will discuss the need for a global Blue Revolution, referring to the water equivalent of the Green Revolution to get freshwater for domestic use and crop irrigation to people worldwide who do not have it and to do so in ways that are ecologically-environmentally sound and socio-economically feasible. Global scale awareness, education, support, and policy are integral parts of such a Blue Revolution. Second, we will highlight the importance of integrated land-water management to help build water security, as land use is at the heart of managing water resources. A move from a blue-only (runoff) to a green-blue approach (soil-plant moisture and runoff) in land-water management is needed, and a greater emphasis should be placed on the mesoscale of small catchments to link the local and regional scales, where soil-plant moisture operates and generates a multitude of ecosystem services and human consumption. Third, we will explore a suite of practical measures to store, conserve, protect, and produce clean freshwater that help ensure adequate blue water supply at different scales.  Water footprint of human consumptive products is one of newly recognized measures that can determine the impact of goods and services on water sustainability.