The Worldwide Water Crisis


Upmanu Lall
Director of the Columbia Water Center
Columbia University

NJIT Campus Center Ballroom
November 16, 2011, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Download the flyer (PDF, 305 KB)


Life-sustaining water is becoming increasingly scarce around the world, and the time for taking effective compensating action is growing short. As Upmanu Lall will explain in his Technology and Society Forum presentation on November 16, the crisis is multifaceted as well as global, with unique regional aspects that compound the complexities involved.

Population, economy, ecology and climate all shape local manifestations of the situation. Addressing the scarcity of clean, safe water means contending with a host of related issues that include pollution and the lack of appropriate water- and wastewater-treatment facilities. But as Lall will also discuss, there are policies and technologies that can help to alleviate the worldwide water shortage — provided there is the social consensus needed to implement them.

Lall earned his PhD in civil engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. In addition to his affiliation with Columbia’s Water Center, he is the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering at the university. He has worked extensively on many aspects of hydrology, climate-change adaptation, and water-resources planning and management. Much of his work has also focused on risk characterization and mitigation, and investigation of the dynamics of complex systems.