It seems simple enough. You walk over to the kitchen sink, turn the tap and out comes cool, refreshing water. It’s exactly what you need on a hot day or when nursing a hangover on a Sunday afternoon. But is there a larger story to what comes pouring out of our faucets?
MCLA’s Green Living Seminar Series will explore many issues associated with water. The spring session is entitled, “Water Wars: Protecting our Water Resources.” It is a 12-week series that considers issues of local and global water quantity and quality.
“These presentations will inform both students and community members about the impending global water crisis, as well as provide an overview of our local water infrastructure,” said Elena Traister, MCLA professor of environmental studies.
According to the USAID Web site, “An expanding global economy, urbanization, and increases in population are all causing demand for this vital resource to surpass supply, sparking local and regional tensions and hindering food production and economic growth in many developing countries.” USAID is the government agency that provides assistance to developing countries.
“The lectures address the issue from a wide variety of angles,” said Traister. The series will focus on water privatization, local and international water quality, climate change, population, water treatment, and water management, according to Traister.
The “Water Wars’’ lectures will be given by local, regional and national experts. The lecturers include Tim Lescarbeau, commissioner of public services for the City of North Adams, and Matt Poach, marine biogeochemist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.)
The seminars will take place every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in room 218 of Murdock Hall on the MCLA campus. The Green Living Seminar Series is free and open to the public.
On Jan. 27, the series screened the documentary “Flow,” by Irena Salina. The award-winning film investegated the political and enviromental issues of the world water crisis according to documentary’s Web site.
Last Thursday Traister led an introduction to water resources and human impacts. She discussed topics ranging from the water cycle to pollution to the global water crisis. Traister also discussed the link between water availability and water use. About 35 students and members of the public attended the lecture.
“I hope participants will come away with a greater awareness of the imperative to manage our global waters responsibly, and what we are doing at the local level,” Traister said.
Brad Furlon, Operating Manager of the Hoosac Water Quality District, will lead this Thursday’s lecture. Furlon will discuss the local water infastructure in North Adams and Williamstown.
Besides discussing local and global enviromental issues, the Green Living Seminars allow students to network with local experts for job and internship oportunities, according to Traister. The seminars also allow students to contribute to local causes.