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UC Riverside to host 3-day international meeting on drought

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Population increases and climate change could swiftly exacerbate drought in many parts of the world. Drought, in turn, could lead to mass displacements of people, water and food shortages, as well as adverse economic and health impacts.

To compare drought impact and mitigation at the international level, the University of California, Riverside is hosting a three-day meeting this month that will bring together senior drought experts and policy makers from five drought-plagued regions: Spain, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, and California. The participants will discuss scientific and policy aspects related to drought in these regions.

Organized by UC Riverside's Water Science and Policy Center, the meeting, titled "International Drought Symposium: Integrating Science and Policy," will take place on March 24-26, 2010, at the Riverside Marriott Hotel, 3400 Market Street, Riverside, Calif.

Registration for the meeting costs $75-125. More information about the meeting, including registration information, can be found here. Reporters may attend the meeting at no charge.

Topics to be covered in the meeting include economics, agronomy, hydrology, ecology, technology, policy, and water management. A detailed program for the meeting can be accessed here.

"This meeting offers a golden opportunity for future collaboration on understanding drought impact and management from different countries' perspectives," said Ariel Dinar, the director of the Water Science and Policy Center and a professor of environmental economics and policy at UCR. "While the drought situation in California is said to have been improved in recent weeks, it is still necessary to design drought preparedness policies. Scholars at UCR have worked on drought and water scarcity issues in California, the United States, and around the world. They will take the lead on future drought research in various disciplines that will come out of this symposium."

A free public event "A World With Less Water: Discussion on Drought Policy" will be held Friday, March 26, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverside Marriott Hotel. A panel comprised of water policy makers will discuss drought issues, answer questions from the audience, and discuss what steps California and other drought-prone regions can take to ameliorate and avoid drought. Registration is not needed to attend the public event.

The International Drought Symposium is sponsored by the Water Science and Policy Center and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UCR; the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy; the National Science Foundation; the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority; and the Western Municipal Water District. Additional sponsors from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain can be found here.

A proceedings volume will be published following the meeting. It will include information about current and best practices in the field of drought impact, mitigation and preparedness.


Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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