Global Water Politics at the Dawn of the 21st Century
Global Water Politics at the Dawn of the 21st Century; speaker Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted, EWU
Public Seminar organized by AUA Acopian Center for the Environment.
Date: Friday, March 21, 2014
Location: Room PAB 208E, American University of Armenia (40 Baghramyan Ave., Yerevan)
If the 20th century was all about oil, the 21st century will be the “century of water.” Transboundary water conflicts, the loss of indigenous water rights, threatened species and their habitats, and water quality underlie the competing demands of industrial, agricultural, domestic and recreational use of this precious resource.
The Columbia River, with its watershed bridging two nations, encompasses all of these contemporary concerns and offers a case study in which to understand the challenges of so many competing claims upon water. By focusing on the renewal of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada, an assemblage of actors and their special interests in the Columbia will be examined. The second part of the discussion will explore the limitations of global governance in addressing rival claims on the world’s water resources.
Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted is a Professor of Government and International Affairs at Eastern Washington University where she teaches courses on contemporary water politics, modernization and nature and globalization. Prior to this she served in several senior administrative roles including Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs. Her research expertise is water history and policy and she has published articles on irrigation systems in the American West, water and art, and the aesthetics of major rivers. Her most recent work is a comparative history entitled, Rivers, Memory and Nation-Building: A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers, to be published in November 2014 by Berghahn Press. She is currently waiting for final approval from UNESCO-IHP for a Chair/Center in Environmental History: Water and Indigenous Peoples in which she will serve as the project co-director. The Chair will be hosted by the University of Arizona. Before her academic career, she worked for a state agency consulting land owners regarding their water rights and establishing a privately-owned irrigation district.