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Lecturer addresses global water crisis

May 24, 2012 — The world’s streams, rivers and lakes are under increasing stress because of human water management – and mismanagement – that threaten aquatic biodiversity and the water supply, Charles J. Vörösmarty said recently during the second annual John R. Mather Visiting Scholars Lecture.


Vörösmarty, professor of civil engineering with the City College of New York, presented “Global Water Crisis: The Slippery Slope” on May 3 at the University of Delaware's Roselle Center for the Arts.

“The contemporary water system is really defined increasingly by the actions of humans,” he said.

Vörösmarty began by discussing the worldwide water systems in relation to climate change. As the atmosphere gets warmer, he explained, it holds more moisture, produces more rain, affects land runoff and in turn creates more atmospheric moisture. Land precipitation has increased 2 to 3 percent, he said, with variability in this part of the water cycle increasing.

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