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OverviewWater Diplomacy research crosses disciplinary boundaries to integrate science, policy, and politics in innovative and contextually relevant ways to effectively manage 21st-century water problems with stakeholders who have changing and competing viewpoints and values.
Connecting experts, creating more scientific knowledge, developing models, and sharing data are not enough. We research water networks to diagnose water problems, evaluate intervention points, and implement sustainable solutions. Water diplomacy research spans hydrological, geographic, jurisdictional, and political boundaries.
Boundary Crossing Research
Case Study: Oahu, Hawaii
The island of Oahu is threatened by a variety of imminent water problems, including rapidly increasing water demand, rising sea levels, and increasingly unpredictable and severe rainfall events. The island has lost huge tracts of freshwater and estuarine wetlands, upon which a variety of endangered birds, invertebrates, and plants depend. The Pearl Harbor Aquifer is the primary source of fresh water for the island, and supports more than 30 percent of the state's population. This important resource is threatened by sea level rise and unsustainable use. The collapse of the sugar industry has freed up agricultural land and water transport infrastructure previously used for irrigation. A diverse suite of stakeholders have spent the last decade disputing the future use of these water resources.
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