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Kamran Asdar Ali, Director WCH 4.132, Mailcode G9300, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3550

The Political and Cultural Economies of Water in the 21st Century

"We'll never know the worth of water till the well go dry." -- 18th century Scottish proverb

Posted: March 26, 2008

We live in an era when environmental degradation and climate change make headlines in the evening news. Policymakers, scientists, and environmentalists clash over ways to preserve dwindling resources. International organizations have declared access to clean water a basic human right even though in many parts of the world it is barely a pipe dream.

We are not the first generation to worry about access to an ample supply of water. Some theorize that civilization itself began when nomadic populations were forced to settle permanently near reliable sources of water. But the issues today are more acute and more pressing than at any point in history.

Join us for a two-day conference featuring local, national, and international experts to discuss the cultural and political economies of water in the 21st century. From the Andes and Himalayas, to the oases of Egypt, the wilds of Siberia, and back to Barton Springs in Austin, we'll explore issues related to water in material and aesthetic production, conflict over water, conservation and resource management, and the issues of water as a human right.

Our opening event on Thursday, March 27, will feature Bill Bunch, Executive Director of the Save our Springs Alliance and Laura Dunn, director of The Unforseen.

On Friday evening, March 28, we will feature a screening of the Israeli film Atash with director Avi Kleinberg in attendance.

All panels are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact us.

The conference is organized by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies; the Center for Mexican-American Studies; the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; and the South Asia Institute.

Additional support for the conference has been provided by numerous units on campus, including the Office of the Vice President for Research; the Dean of Liberal Arts; the UT Environmental Law Clinic; the Jackson School of Geosciences; and the Center for International Business Education and Research.

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