March 4, 2011 — Brian Richter, director of the Nature Conservancy's Freshwater Conservation Program, will give a Dean's Forum Lecture on March 28, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in Campbell Hall, room 153.
His lecture, "In Search of Sustainability: Big Dams, River People and the Political Economy of Nations," will explore current global trends in dam development to supply water and electricity, and the environmental and social impacts that come with such development.
More than 50,000 large dams have been built, providing electricity to expanding economies and irrigation water to grow food. At the same time, more than 500 million river-dependent people have lost their food security as fisheries decline, and opportunities for flood-recession agriculture and floodplain grazing have been lost. The lecture will highlight potential solutions.
Richter has been involved in river science and conservation for more than 20 years and has consulted on more than 90 river projects worldwide, helping governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private firms understand the need for and feasibility of sustainable water-management practices.