Climate change and human water management are driving massive changes in the redistribution of Earth's freshwater resources. These changes are having profound implications on global food production and human security, yet the scale of the response pales in comparison to the scope of emerging problems. In this presentation, I will review what satellites like NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) have revealed about shifting patterns of water availability, and I will discuss research into the causes and implications. The roles of climate change, interannual variability, and human behavior will be discussed. Issues including global groundwater depletion and threats to both water and food security will be highlighted.
Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a professor, and the Executive Director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, where he holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing. Before moving to Saskatchewan, he served as the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. From 2013 through 2018, he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California State Water Boards. A fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America, Famiglietti is a regular advisor to state, provincial and federal government officials on water security issues.
Jay and his team have been researching and communicating about water and climate change — in academics, in business, in government, and to the general public — for over 30 years. He appeared as a featured expert in Participant Media's water documentary "Last Call at the Oasis", on CBS News 60 Minutes, and on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. Jay is a frequent speaker and he is an avid writer for the general public. His research and commentary are often featured in the international news media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Economist, and in network, cable, and public television news. Jay is a regular guest on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, CBC Radio, and other public radio shows. Other Jay's film and television credits include Jigsaw Productions' documentary "Water and Power: A California Heist," VICE, and Years of Living Dangerously. He was a story consultant on the National Geographic Channel water documentary series "Parched." In 2018 and 2019, Jay worked with KEO Films and Passion Pictures on water documentary projects with expected release dates in 2020. He continues to work on his first book on the disappearance of groundwater resources the world over.