ILSI North America Scientific Session 2018
10:30am – 12:30pm
Fairmont Southampton Hotel
At the 2018 ILSI Annual Meeting, ILSI North America is organizing a scientific session on Water II – Water Management for the Future. This session will examine new and emerging technologies related to water management (including regeneration, conservation, and efficiency improvement) and the impact of these approaches on short and long-term water management and human practice. The session will also focus on emerging technologies and innovations in water management in agricultural systems and in areas and regions affected by climate change. The session will include a Bermuda case example – an island where water conservation and management have been a necessity and long practiced goal.
Welcome and Introductions
Co-Chairs: Shawna Lemke, PhD, Monsanto and Josette Lewis, PhD, Environmental Defense Fund
Chasing the Water Sustainability Rainbow?
Margaret Catley-Carlson, Juror Stockholm Water Prize; former Chair Suez Environment and World Economic Forum Advisory Boards on Water Management
Emerging Technologies for Water Management & Conservation
Steven Evett, PhD, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and President – American Society of Agronomy
Bermuda’s Freshwater Cycle: Capture, Conservation and Water Quality Management
Geoff Smith, PhD, Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Chasing the Water Sustainability Rainbow?
Margaret Catley-Carlson, OC, Founding Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water; Chair and subsequent Patron, Global Water Partnership; Chair, Suez Environment Water Advisory Committee, Former President Canadian International Development Agency, Deputy Minister Health and Welfare, Canada, USA and International
We are of course NOT running out of water: we have the same amount as the worlds of the dinosaurs and Julius Caesar. Because such a small amount is fresh water at any one stage of the water cycle, because most fresh water is frozen, and 90% of the unfrozen water is underground, there will always be water – somewhere. BUT: rapid population growth, over abstraction, exhaustion of surface sources, pollution, insufficient infrastructure, climate related change and above all the absence of incentives and good management combine to create water stress to an increasing portion of the global population during some part of the year. Worse, more migration, famine and more shortage lie ahead. Science and technology play an important role in offering solutions – from less thirsty crops, to better forecasting of weather events, to water treatment allowing reuse and recycling, to metering and monitoring to more energy efficient desalination plants, and more. All of these require infrastructure and better resource management in a world resistant to increased public expenditure or paying for water services, criss-crossed by international boundaries, bound by arcane laws (where laws exist). The struggle for better management of the resource, and for reaching the 2 billion now without access to safely managed drinking water is literally about life and death. Guidelines, models and tools exist to improve management; science is key here. International sustainability goals propose objectives and timelines. Is it chasing rainbows to imagine humans can or will move toward more sustainable water management? The pot of gold is continued existence for many life forms, sufficient food, prosperity, and improved health. No water, no life.
Emerging Technologies for Water Management & Conservation
Steven R. Evett, USDA Agricultural Research Service, President - American Society of Agronomy, Beltsville, Maryland, USA
Much of history involves the rise and fall of civilizations as water resources varied with climate change, and as water management technologies and methodologies changed and either succeeded or failed to cope with change. Humans have managed water resources for many thousands of years, and there have always been emerging technologies that have changed human capabilities both to use water and to manage water use. Water diversion structures and canal systems allowed early civilizations to flourish in Central Asia, the Fertile Crescent, China, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Piping was introduced in China several thousand years ago in association with brine pumping for salt production, and examples of pipe systems have been found in ancient Mesopotamian and Central Asian cities. The Romans elevated the art of hydraulic engineering including aqueducts and piping systems, the latter under pressure, spreading these technologies across the Middle East, Egypt, Europe and the British Isles. The growth of cities has always depended on the advancing technologies for urban and agricultural water management, but because agricultural irrigation consumes between 70% and 80% of freshwater supplies worldwide, it is becoming critical that emerging technologies keep pace with expanding needs for food, feed, fiber and agricultural byproducts. In the US, agriculture provides 49% of crop market value on the 18% of cultivated lands that are irrigated. Although irrigated area has ceased to expand in the US, it is still expanding in other countries. Paradoxically, due to technological innovation and adoption, expanding irrigation is not equivalent to increasing water demand for irrigation even though production from irrigated lands has grown steadily. The rapid adoption of pressurized irrigation systems, now covering 65% of U.S. irrigated lands, has eliminated the large water losses in surface irrigation systems, resulting in declining irrigation water consumption even as irrigated acreage remains stable. Today, emerging technologies in satellite data fusion, proximal crop and soil sensing systems, supervisory control and data acquisition systems, variable rate irrigation systems, the internet of things, and plant breeding and genomics are merging to enable the sustainable intensification of production with existing resources by using a systems approach that involves all aspects of genetics, environment, management, sociology and technology.
Bermuda’s Freshwater Cycle: Capture, Conservation, and Water Quality Management
Geoff Smith, PhD, Environmental Engineer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bermuda
Bermuda’s very picturesque houses with their characteristic white limestone guttered roofs are a direct outcome of the approach taken by early settlers to manage freshwater. Bermuda has high annual rainfall but its freshwater resources are very limited as a result of the limestone bedrock being extremely porous. Rivers do not exist and ponds only occur where the lower lying land is over less permeable peat layers typically at a comparable elevation to the typically brackish water table. As a result of these factors early settlers collected rainwater and eventually it became law to have an 80% roof catch and a water tank sized at 10 gallons for every square foot of roof area. The regulations were written to ensure that each house had a storage capacity equivalent to 3 months of rainfall. However, for smaller homes with many occupants or during periods of drought it became necessary to have a supplementary supply of water. Early settlers dug wells and found water ranging from saline to brackish to fresh. Freshwater can typically be found over a 20% area of Bermuda in lenses that sit on the brackish water that sit on top of the seawater. Supplementary supplies developed first by a private company, Watlington Waterworks, were then followed by Government who developed the fresh groundwater resource. Supplemental water is provided by piped main to certain houses whereas others have to rely on water being delivered by truck. Government research focussed on ensuring that the freshwater resource was not negatively impacted by over-abstraction led to the Water Resources Act 1975 and the need to have a Water Right to abstract set limits of water. The abstraction limit set in the Water Rights is based partly on the estimates of recharge rate of rain to the groundwater. To date there are approximately 4000 Water Rights in Bermuda, most of which are for abstraction wells while others are for disposal boreholes. Wastewater management on a small island can bring challenges. Domestic sewage disposed to unlined soakaway pits (i.e. cesspits) led to elevated concentrations of nitrate in the groundwater in some densely populated areas, which necessitated all companies abstracting fresh groundwater for potable supply switching up from disinfection to ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis technologies. As the demand for freshwater exceeded the abstraction limit of the allocated Water Rights the primary potable supply company used seawater reverse osmosis as their supplement to their fresh groundwater sources. The Government SWRO system is powered by electrical energy recovered via a steam turbine connected to the Island’s municipal incinerator. In addition to the many cesspits wastewater is also managed at hotels, condominiums and the hospital via aerated waste water treatment plants ranging from secondary to tertiary grade with their discharge after reuse purposes passing to deep sealed borehole. The corporations have sewer mains and dispose of their wastewater to two off-shore outfalls. The regulator encourages new developments to consider wastewater reuse for irrigation and toilet flush water. The Department of Environment & Natural Resources monitors for potential effects of groundwater nitrogen affecting Bermuda’s near-shore environment via algal growth over the longer term and the Department of Health monitors its beaches daily for faecal bacteria over summer months and reports an extremely low incidence of contamination.
Shawna Lemke, PhD
Dr. Shawna Lemke leads Food Strategy & Stakeholder Engagement as part of Monsanto’s Corporate Engagement team. In this role, Shawna works with companies, NGOs and other stakeholders across the food value chain to find shared opportunities and value for providing healthy and abundant food to a growing world in a sustainable way.
Dr. Lemke has over 15 years of experience in product safety and nutrition in the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. She has held roles in managing pre-clinical and clinical phases of drug development, and conducting nutritional and food safety evaluation of products. Dr. Lemke led the clinical program to establish the nutritional value of soybean oil containing the omega-3 fatty acid, stearidonic acid (SDA). She most recently led the Toxicology and Nutrition Center at Monsanto, with oversight of human safety evaluation for crop protection chemicals and crops developed through biotechnology.
Dr. Lemke was born in Southern California and raised in rural Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay and received a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Environmental Sciences. Shawna holds a PhD in Toxicology from Texas A&M University and completed post-doctoral training in Human Nutrition at UC-Davis.
Josette Lewis, PhD
Dr. Lewis joined Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in April 2017 to lead their agriculture work. Prior to EDF, Dr. Lewis was with UC Davis to launch the World Food Center and worked in international business development with Arcadia Biosciences. Before Arcadia, Dr. Lewis spent 16 years at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). As Director of the Office of Agriculture at USAID, she worked with senior levels of the Administration to launch Feed the Future. Dr. Lewis served on the US Secretary of Agriculture’s advisory committee on Agricultural Biotechnology in the 21st Century, the Foundation for Agricultural Research’s Food Systems Innovation Advisory Committee, is a member of the board of trustees for the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation and is a member of the James Beard Foundation Impact Program Advisory Committee.
Margaret Catley-Carlson operates at the Board level in support of improved water resource management and the twin issues of agricultural productivity and rural development. She is Chair of the PAC section of the Board of Governors of ICIMOD (International Center on Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal), Vice Chair of the Canadian Water Network Board, serves on the Boards of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), is a jurist of Stockholm Water Prize and Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and is a member on the Advisory Council of the Syngenta Foundations, the Library of Alexandria, and the World Food Prize.
Catley-Carlson has Chaired Boards of the Crop Diversity Trust, the Global Water Partnership, the Foresight Advisory Committee of the Group Suez, ICARDA, the Water Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, CABI, and as Vice Chair of the IDRC Board and the Canadian Water Network, and as a member of the Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Water.
She was President of the Canadian International Development Agency 1983-89; Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York 1981-1983; President of the Population Council in New York 1993-98; and Deputy Minister of the Department of Health and Welfare of Canada 1989-92. Catley-Carlson has ten honorary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Steven Evett, PhD
Steven R. Evett is a Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland in Texas. Dr. Evett uses field measurements, electronic sensing and automation systems and energy and water balance models to study irrigated and dryland crop water use, irrigation application methods, agronomy and automation as they affect crop water productivity. He also studies and develops soil water content and plant water stress sensors, supervisory control and data acquisition systems to control irrigation systems, decision support systems for irrigation management, and methods to quantify crop water use. In addition to research locations in the USA, Dr. Evett has had research projects in Egypt, the Middle East and Uzbekistan on crop water use, irrigation scheduling and soil water measurement; and he has worked in China, Egypt, Jordan and the USA to build and use weighing lysimeters to measure crop water use. Since 2003, Dr. Evett has been the ARS research coordinator for the Middle East Regional Irrigation Management Information Systems (MERIMIS) Project, which has research and extension partners in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (http://www.merimis.org/). He is a graduate of the University of Idaho (B.S. chemistry) and the University of Arizona (M.S. and Ph.D., soil and water science), and was raised on an irrigated dairy farm in Southern Idaho. Dr. Evett is President (2018) of the American Society of Agronomy, and a Fellow of the Society and of the Soil Science Society of America. Dr. Evett is currently serving as the Acting Deputy Administrator, Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, USDA ARS, and he served as the ARS Acting National Program Leader for water resources in 2016. He is past associate editor of Agronomy Journal and of the Vadose Zone Journal, and he currently is on the Editorial Board of Agricultural Water Management. Dr. Evett is author/coauthor of 293 publications, including 3 patents, 145 peer-reviewed journal articles and 24 book chapters, and is coeditor of two books.
Geoff Smith, PhD
Geoff Smith is the Environmental Engineer who heads up the Pollution Control section of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources for the Government of Bermuda. In addition to amending environmental legislation, this role, together with the Hydrogeologist and Environmental Officer, includes administering the requirements of the Clean Air Act, Water Resources Act and associated regulations in addition to providing oil spill response and other specialised environmental and chemical input to a range of issues that can arise on a remote Island in the Atlantic Ocean. As a technical manager at the Defence Research Agency in the UK, Dr. Smith’s projects included working towards compliance of UK warships to various environmental requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He was also an advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence while serving on a NATO Special Working Group. Retrofitting membrane bioreactor technology to a Royal Navy Frigate for black and grey water treatment was one of the positive outcomes. Monitoring the environmental impact, clean-up and natural attenuation of the oil spill in the Gulf of Arabia over 1992 and 1993 was provided as part of an EU funded project to establish a marine wildlife sanctuary in an area that was due to be designated with international protection status. Dr. Smith is a graduate of the University of Wales; Bangor (BSc Chemistry & Chemical Oceanography) and he completed his PhD at the School of Ocean Sciences, U.C. Wales; Bangor.