Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism

Water and the New West: Economics, Politics and Nature

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June 25 - June 29, 2002
University of Southern California/Annenberg School for Communication

Water - its costs, availability and quality - has shaped the growth and development of the Western United States since Native Americans were the sole human inhabitants of its plains, deserts and mountains. More than ever, management of this precious resource will determine how the West will survive into the 21st Century. "Water and the New West: Economics, Politics and Nature," explored the critical issues of management and availability of water to residents of the West. This seminar brought 21 journalism fellows together with engineers, urban planners, developers, environmentalists, and others who are experts on the use and abuse of water resources in the West. Seminar topics included: Managing the Resource; Historic Perspective: economic, political and cultural role of water in the West; Defining and redefining water law; the Geology and Geography of water; Native American Water Rights; Meeting California's water demand and the Colorado River; Implications of climate change on water in the West; Water as a commodity and the privatization of the resource; Technology and conservation trends; and Adapting for sustainability. The five-day seminar also incorporated an overnight field trip to the Salton Sea, Coachella Valley Water District and Imperial Irrigation District.



What fellows have to say about past seminars:
"I was most impressed with the structure of the program - how each speaker built on what we'd learned from the prior ones - and how together we saw all sides of issues I didn't realize were so complex (despite 20 years in the business). I know this will allow me to ask better questions, and isn't that what we all need to do better - ask the right questions and then listen."
- Kevin Carmody, Austin American-Statesman
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Funded by the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation