The Global Water Situation: California and Beyond

On Saturday September 17th, 2016, the International Institute for the Bengal and Himalayan Basins (IIBHB), a nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, California, will hold its 7th Annual Townes and Tagore Seminar on the Global Water Crisis in 775 Tan Hall on the UC Berkeley Campus. This event is jointly sponsored by the IIBHB and the U. C. Berkeley Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Cell Biology (MCB), Public Health. Speakers will include authorities on water, environmental, and canopy chemistry, climate science, the water crisis in California, civil engineering, energy storage, and nanotechnology.

This year’s discussion will focus on the IIBHB’s “HydroGramin” model, the design of Dr. Rashbihari Ghosh, a Bangladeshi-American scientist, for a complex of villages built around a central reservoir on the principles of sustainable hydrological, architectural, and agricultural development. While serving communities economically and as a source of clean drinking water, irrigation, and aquaculture, HydroGramin projects will, in turn, be used to recharge or cleanse deep and shallow aquifers and will also prevent land subsidence, and address problems caused by sea-level rise. The seminar’s convener, Prof. Richard Saykally, a UCB authority on water chemistry, will address the overall advantage of the HydroGramin model over desalination and the place of both technologies in our planet’s water future. Other speakers include our institute’s advisor, Dr. Randy Scheckman, the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Medicine. We are greatly indebted to Professor Scheckman for his ongoing support of our institute and the insight brings to our development of solutions. Other speakers include Dr. Ghosh, Felicia Marcus, Chair of the California Water Control Board along with other scholars and scientists.


10:00 Introductory Talks: 10 min

Richard Saykally(UCB Chemistry)
Rash B. Ghosh(IIBHB)-“Canopy Chemistry and Hydrogramin”
John Paulin(IIBHB)-“Charles Townes and Hydrogramin: Water that works for everybody”…10 min

10:30 Invited Lectures: 15 min

  • Nir Krakauer (CCNY-Hydrogeology)-“Climate-adaptive research and technology transfer for rural Nepal”
  • Inez Fung (UCB Earth and Planetary Science)-“Precipitation Variability and Trends”
  • Robert Kostecki (LBNL)-“Forward osmosis water desalination via lower critical solution temperature ionic liquids/water phase transition”
  • Charlie Kuffner (SkyH2O Inc) -“Condensing Relative Humidity in the air for Commercial Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) Applications
  • Tarek Zohdi (UCB Mechanical Eng)-“Due Diligence When Considering New Water Technologies: An Engineer’s Point of View”
  • Khalid Mosalam (UCB Mechanical Eng)-
  • Teresa Head Gordon (UCB Chemistry)-

12:00 Break

1:00 Invited Student Talks: 15 min

  • Michelaina Johnson (UCB Environmental History) “Lessons from a River: Restoration on the Cosumnes River”
  • Devansh Jalota (UCB CEE)-“Mumbai’s Urban Water Challenges and Possible solutions for its Slum communities.”
  • Matthew DiTucci (UCB Chem)-“An Isolated Approach to the Solution: Using Aqueous Nanodroplets to Investigate Solvated Ions
  • Deb McCaffery (UCB Chem)-“Ions at the Graphene-Water Interface”
  • Tony Rizzuto (UCB Chem)-“Deep UV Spectra of Ions at the Water Surface”
  • Royce Lam (UCB Chem)-“Carbon Dioxide-Water Interactions from X-ray Spectroscopy”
  • Will Cole (UCB Chem)-“Terahertz Laser Spectroscopy of Water Clusters: Towards Improved Water dels”

The event is free and open to the public.

View the flyer