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Freshwater Seminar: Rafael Schmitt, Ph.D. "The River Nexus: How strategic management of rivers and freshwater systems links to global water, energy, and food security"

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Event Details:

Please join us for a special seminar presented by Rafael J. P. Schmitt, Ph.D. The seminar will help build the research community in Freshwater in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.


Rafael J. P. Schmitt, Ph.D.

Lead Scientist

Natural Capital Project

Stanford University

Thursday, February 15

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Hartley Conference Room


The River Nexus: How strategic management of rivers and freshwater systems links to global water, energy, and food security


The world faces a multifaceted water crisis, overcoming which will be central for pressing sustainability and human development challenges. While the urgency of this crisis is widely understood, Dr. Schmitt argues that a better representation of freshwater processes and freshwater systems in water science, management, and policy will be critical to fully comprehend and solve this global crisis. 

For that, Dr. Schmitt’s talk will put a special emphasis on the world’s large rivers. Rivers are central to solving the global water crisis in many ways, but also increasingly overallocated and impacted by human development, with complex and unintended consequences for ecosystems and people.

Going forward, how can we solve these trade-offs and leverage freshwater resources from rivers in a sustainable manner? For that, Dr. Schmitt will discuss how to leverage new numerical approaches for strategic impact/benefit assessments of river infrastructure. Secondly, he will highlight interdisciplinary advances for quantifying future needs and alternatives for infrastructure. Lastly, Dr. Schmitt will point to new frontiers in linking river and catchment processes to emerging challenges, such as water storage and water quality, with implications for managing both terrestrial and freshwater systems.

In conclusion, this talk will demonstrate novel quantitative approaches for centering the water management agenda around natural freshwater and catchment processes, which will be critical for ensuring water security and addressing emerging challenges in the water-energy-food systems.