Introductory remarks will be made by Dean Sandra Archibald, University of Washington
FeaturingJennifer L. Turner ♦ China Environment Program, The Wilson CenterStevan Harrell ♦ University of WashingtonBrett Walton ♦ Circle of Blue
Refreshments will be provided starting at 8:30 am.
China’s soaring economy, fueled by an unyielding appetite for coal, is threatened by the country's steadily diminishing freshwater reserves. Next to agriculture, China's coal mining, processing, combustion, and coal-to-chemicals industries consume more water than any other industrial, municipal, or commercial sector. China’s coal boom is forcing China into a choke point; one where limited and polluted water supplies could constrain energy development, endanger food production, and stymie economic growth. The United States faces similar water-energy confrontations—millions of gallons of water are taken from ranchers to develop the deep oil and gas shale reserves of the west and there are battles between Georgia and Florida over diminishing drinking water reserves.
Over the past 18 months, Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum have explored the extensive water circulatory system and vast energy production musculature that makes China and the United States go, and what could also contribute to making both nations falter. The new findings, presented in rich narratives, data, imagery and graphics, provide compelling evidence of a potentially ruinous confrontation between growth, water, food, and fuel that is readily visible in both countries and virtually certain to grow more dire over the next decade. Global Choke Point, though, is not necessarily a narrative of doom and gloom. The presentations at this event will highlight the oft-overlooked energy-water-food choke points confronting the United States and China and opportunities for collaboration to address them.
The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for Congress, the Administration and the broader policy community.
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