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Michael A. Reuter Director, N.A. Freshwater Program & Great Rivers Partnership America’s Great Watershed Charting.

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Presentation on theme: "Michael A. Reuter Director, N.A. Freshwater Program & Great Rivers Partnership America’s Great Watershed Charting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael A. Reuter Director, N.A. Freshwater Program & Great Rivers Partnership America’s Great Watershed Charting a Course for Sustainability in the Mississippi River Watershed Big River Works ● New Orleans ● May 31, 2012

2 Climate Food Energy Water

3 America’s Great Watershed: A Foundation for the U.S. Economy – and our quality of life  >50% of nation’s water footprint  Vital ports and transportation  92% of nation’s annual agricultural exports (worth $54 billion)  Vibrant fishing and seafood industry  Outdoor recreation

4 How Did We Get Here? Ideas, Choices, Commitments  Mississippi River and Tributaries Project  Inland Waterway System  Agricultural and Rural Development Programs  Environmental Protection

5 The Imperatives of “Our Time” Systemic and cross-sector  Demand driving water scarcity in >50% of states  Floods impacting national economy, communities  Aging infrastructure affecting water supply, sanitation, transportation  +200% demand for ag products driving risks to water quality, quantity

6 There are not many rivers, one for each of us, but only this one river, and if we all want to stay here, in some kind of relation to the river, then we have to learn, somehow, to live together. From Daniel Kemmis. Community and the Politics of Place. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman, 1990

7 “Efforts to sustain the Mississippi River system will require a unified vision and intergenerational commitment to realize that vision.” Where Do We Go From Here?

8 America’s Great Watershed Initiative Steering Committee

9 AGWI Survey (2010): Stakeholder Expectations  Need shared vision for the Mississippi River Basin that encompasses the whole system in an integrated way, includes ecological, social, and economic factors, and leads to commonly accepted priorities  Need more effective institutional structure[s] to coordinate management of the river and turn the vision into reality  Need institutional arrangements that break down the many unresponsive, unconnected silos  Overcome complexity by linking together disparate pieces rather than creating comprehensive structure that reaches across the whole basin

10 America’s Inner Coast Summit A Unique Gathering  117 Participants ― 76 Organizations ― 20 States  Work Groups ― Vision ― Stakeholders ― Communications ― Science ― Projects More Info:  Focus on Sustainability and Collaboration ― Navigation, Flood Control, Cultural and Social Resources, Environment Major General Michael Walsh

11 Key Outcomes  Build recognition of watershed importance and need for integrated management  Establish an enduring, public-private facilitating entity to connect institutions, stakeholders  Measure progress toward sustainable management  Elevate local and regional projects that demonstrate effective collaboration toward system-level objectives  Network with river commissions and similar entities in North America and globally

12 Vision without execution is hallucination. – Thomas Edison

13 Developing Indicators of Progress Toward Watershed Health  Navigation Infrastructure  Flood Risk  Agriculture  Recreation  Water Quantity & Quality  Habitat Connectivity  Biodiversity  Wastewater Toward Collaborative IRBM  Integration  Scale  Timing (Sequencing)  Participation  Capacity AGWI Summit Sept , 2012 Saint Louis

14 The Danube River Commission Most International River Basin in the World  19 countries  81 million inhabitants

15 UNEP Report Deems Water Reforms Successful 15 May :35 by OOSKAnews Correspondent nairobi, Kenya — Countries that have adopted internationally-agreed approaches to integrated water resources management (IWRM) in many cases enjoyed significant benefits, particularly in potable water access, health and water efficiency in agriculture, according to a survey released this month by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Over 80 percent of the 130-plus countries surveyed have reformed their water laws over the past 20 years in response to pressure on resources from growing populations, urbanization and climate change, UNEP said. Around 90 percent of countries reported positive impacts after introducing IWRM reforms… Economic Benefits of Integrated Management

16 Great Rivers Partnership “Great Rivers That Work for People and Nature” Zambezi River Yangtze River Paraguay-Parana Rivers Mississippi River Magdalena River The mission of the Great Rivers Partnership is to bring together diverse partners and best science to expand options for achieving the sustainable management and development of the world’s Great Rivers and their basins. We seek shared solutions to common land- and water-use dilemmas, recognizing the inescapable linkages that connect our economy, human well- being and ecosystem sustainability. Tapajos (Amazon) River

17 Great Rivers Partnership “Great Rivers That Work for People and Nature”

18 “We will be known by the tracks we leave.” — Dakota Proverb AGWI Summit Sept , 2012 Saint Louis


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