Water and Peace

Is Peace Possible in an Era of Diminishing Water Supplies?

Water is so essential for life that wars have been fought over it. And with the accelerating pace of climate change, conflicts over water resources will become more frequent, widespread and intense. Even an agricultural powerhouse like Nebraska, sitting atop one of the largest fresh-water aquifers in the world, is projected to face water shortages in the decades to come. Potable water, it turns out, is not only essential for life. It’s essential to creating the conditions for peace.

Our diminishing water resources, fittingly enough, will be the subject of the keynote presentation at the 2014 Annual Peace Conference in Lincoln, Saturday, October 4. A panel of four presenters will provide an overview of our current water supply and use, projections for future availability, the social and economic impact of water (and food) shortages, and local initiatives to address this looming peril. Dr. Ann Bleed, past director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, is a hydrologist and expert on state and regional water policy. Professor Clint Rowe is a UNL climatologist and co-author of the university’s climate assessment slated for release September 25. Retired UNL professor and NFP president emeritus Paul Olson is one of the premier authorities on peacemaking in the state. And State Senator Ken Haar, District #21, is the Nebraska Legislature’s leading environmental advocate. Together these four panelists will provide a well-rounded perspective on the challenge climate change and resource scarcity present to human society and the earth’s ecosystem.

The 2014 Annual Peace Conference is co-sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Omaha Grace Abbott School of Social Work and will run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Center for People in Need, 3901 N. 27th Street. Early registration cost, which includes breakfast and lunch, is just $30. Visit www.nebraskansforpeace.org for information on how to early register, or contact the NFP State Office directly at 402-475-4620.

The morning keynote presentation on “Water and Peace” will be followed in the afternoon by a selection of Peace & Justice Workshops on timely political topics. Make your reservations now to attend this one-of-a-kind educational experience for the mind and heart.

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