Water on an urban planet: urbanization, drinking water, and source watershed conservation
Rob McDonald – The Nature Conservancy rob-mcdonald-vanguard-scientist-nature-conservancy.xml
Urban growth is increasing the demand for freshwater resources, yet surprisingly the water sources of the world’s large cities have never been globally assessed, hampering efforts to assess the distribution and causes of urban water stress. In this talk, I will discuss the results from the first global survey of the large cities’ water sources and show that previous global hydrologic models that ignored urban water infrastructure significantly overestimated urban water stress. I will also talk about which cities are most dependent on the natural world for the maintenance of raw water quality and where source watershed conservation is likely to have the greatest financial return on investment in terms of avoided costs for operations and maintenance and new capital construction projects.