17 February 2021, 2pm EST/8pm CET
Farmers Leading the Way: Creating Smart Water Infrastructure
In the western United States, growing crops means irrigating land, often with water diverted from rivers. The dams, diversions, and canals that deliver this water can be over a century old. With these aging systems, farmers need to divert more water and use more energy to grow crops. Investing in modernizing this critical infrastructure is one of the greatest agricultural, environmental, and local energy development opportunities in the western United States. The work of Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA)’s Irrigation Modernization Program has mobilized over $160M into communities across the western United States for irrigation infrastructure modernization.
Julie Davies O’Shea is the founder and Executive Director of the Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA). With an extensive background in conservation, renewable energy, and irrigation projects, Julie is the catalyst behind the growth and development of FCA. Her leadership guided not only the creation of the Irrigation Modernization Program, but also most recently the installation of the nation’s largest horizontal fish screen. The screen, the 50th Farmers Screen™ installed, was a project in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Derby Dam, supporting the recovery of threatened Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. More information about FCA: fcasolutions.org.
About the Series
The Energy and Environmental Programs Speaker Series is pleased to announce our seminar theme for the 2020-21 academic year is the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. This relationship describes an idea central to sustainable development: the linkage between water security, food security, and energy security. With the increasing global population, economic growth, urbanization, and shifting consumption, demand for water, food, and energy is rising globally. An example of the linkages between the three domains can be seen with agriculture and food production. Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater resources, and more than one-fourth of the energy expended globally is used on food production and supply. Each seminar this year will explore the relationship between these three sectors from a variety of different narratives and approaches.