In 1950, Gilbert White led the President’s Water Resources Policy Commission, identifying a set of grand water challenges facing the nation. Over the intervening 70 years, the US has been transformed technically, economically, and socially, yet many of the visions by White and the Commission were prescient: many recommendations were implemented, others ignored, and some only now being recognized and appreciated. As importantly, new water issues have emerged which challenge communities, regions, and the nation. This lecture will revisit the context of the 1950 report, along with the trends and events of the intervening seven decades. But it will also look at the present reality of water in America and identify some of the water policy issues most pressing for the coming decade. Finally, it will explore the need and potential for a new era of engaged science in formulating A New Water Policy for the American People.
A Water Policy for the American People – Revisited
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Martin Doyle is a Professor at Duke University focused on the science and policy of rivers and water in the US. His work ranges from fluid mechanics and sediment transport to infrastructure finance. In addition to his role as a professor, Doyle has served in both the Department of Interior and the US Army Corps of Engineers, where he worked to translate between science and policy of water management. Doyle has published many journal articles and law reviews, as well as two books: The Source (WW Norton, 2018) – a history of America’s rivers – and Streams of Revenue (with Rebecca Lave, MIT Press, 2021) – a look at how environmental markets are changing how we restore ecosystems. Doyle has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and been recognized as a Kavli Fellow from the National Academy of Sciences. He has recently retired from a very mediocre career of coaching Little League Baseball.
Gilbert F. White Lecture in the Geographical Sciences
The Geographical Sciences Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosts this lecture series in tribute to Dr. Gilbert F. White. The aim of the this series—developed with Dr. White’s blessing—is to focus on connections between the geographical sciences and society and to use his example as an inspiration for geographers to share their work on these connections.
The Geographical Sciences Committee is a standing committee of the National Academies' Board on Earth Sciences and Resources and provides high-quality scientific, technical, and policy advice and recommendations to society and to government at all levels using the methods of spatial analysis and representation.