Volume 3 - October 5, 2004 - Background

Meeting a "Tremendous Challenge in Water Management": an Interview with Stephen Parker, director of the Water Science Technology Board

bridges vol. 18, July 2008 / Feature Article

by Juliet M.  Beverly


"Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink," goes "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ." The lines from the English verse seem to echo the future challenges of water resources. The US Census Bureau projected that the world's population will grow from 6 billion in 1999 to 9 billion by 2040. A growing population requires more water, and in the face of global warming, research for desalination, water reuse, water management, and adaptability become a pressing matter that policy makers must attend to.

parker_small.jpgStephen D. Parker, Director, WSTB

Last month, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on Water Supply Challenges for the 21st Century . The purpose of this hearing was to investigate the challenges of managing water supplies so that both human needs and uses and environmental needs are satisfied. Among the panel of experts who gave their testimony was Stephen D. Parker, director of the Water Science Technology Board.  

Within the National Academies, the National Research Council established the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) in 1982 in order to have a central site specifically for studies related to water resources and to water-related topics in science, engineering, economics, policy, education, and society. Since its inception, Parker has been the director of WSTB, where he is involved in the planning, program, and policy development and federal agency program manager interaction for WSTB.

In this interview, Parker sat down with bridges to tell us how WSTB is investigating water challenges and the current state and future outlook for water resources in the US.

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