Colorado State University Water Café Series recap: Water conservation and sustainability were front and center at the session

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From the Rocky Mountain Collegian (Jordan Kurtz):

Brian Richter, the director of Global Freshwater Strategies for The Nature Conservancy, presented his “Meeting the Global Challenges of Water Scarcity” lecture to a crowd of more than 100 people in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center Thursday night…

Richter focused on sustainability throughout the evening, making it very clear that the definition of this term varies greatly depending upon the location.

“Sustainability to us is to have a reliable supply of water, but also recognize that there are impacts when you use that water,” said Donnie Dustin, the water resources manager for Fort Collins. “You try to find a balance between meeting water needs and reducing demands and developing your water supplies to consider the environment as well.”[…]

According to Richter, our society also consumes water in astounding quantities. A healthy and hydrated human consumes about three quarts of water per day, but the average household usually uses around 12 gallons in the shower, 15 gallons in the washer, 19 gallons for the toilet and hundreds of gallons in landscape watering per day. Richter added, however, that 90 percent of household water that is used, with the exception of landscape watering, is returned.

The water that is used in consumer products is being documented into a measurement called a “water footprint.” The water footprint for the average American is 800 gallons per day – the equivalent of 12 bathtubs, Richter said. “We don’t want you to feel guilty about using water,” he added. Instead, he said he hopes that increasing the awareness of water conservation will spur more effective use of the life-essential resource.

Richter is part of another event at the university today at 10:00 AM. Here’s the announcement from Colorado State University:

Water Sustainability in the 21st Century: Why the world needs what CSU has

Brian Richter of the Nature Conservancy, along with panelists from CSU faculty, will discuss how we can integrate and build cross-campus research and education in water sustainability.

Panel Members

– Leroy Poff, Department of Biology
– Kurt Fausch, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
– Brian Bledsoe, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
– Gene Kelly, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Recognizing the importance of dialog and planning on this topic, the Colorado State University Water Center and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability have teamed up to host the CSU Water Café.

Water Café is an interdisciplinary, interactive series designed to examine critical water issues and the University’s roles in their solutions.

More conservation coverage here.

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