Feeding Ourselves Thirsty:
The Future of Water and Food Production

Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Cohen Auditorium, Tufts University Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA

Symposium Program

The 2013 WSSS Symposium will be a full day of engaging events including keynote addresses, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. The topic of the symposium will be agriculture and water.

The Official 2013 Symposium Program is available for download (pdf, 3.8 MB). If you are attending the symposium, please consider downloading the program beforehand to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. We are printing a limited number of programs in hopes that some attendees will be able to use the digital version during the symposium.

Topic of Discussion

Agriculture accounts for between 70-80% of water use worldwide. A growing world population is estimated to require a doubling of global food production by 2050. Meanwhile, debilitating droughts and devastating floods threaten an already vulnerable global food supply. This year, students, academics, and professionals from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors will explore the nexus of water and agriculture. Symposium topics will include climate change and vulnerability, water availability, water rights and the economics of water allocation, water pollution, public health, natural resource management and collaboration.


Symposium Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 am Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 am Welcoming Remarks
9:10 – 9:55 am Keynote Address: Craig Cox
10:00 – 10:55 am Panel 1: Approaches for Mitigating Agricultural Water Contamination in the United States
10:55 – 11:15 am Coffee Break
11:15 – 12:10 pm Panel 2: Water, Food, and Conflicting Resource Demands
12:10 – 1:20 pm Lunch and Poster Session
1:20 – 1:35 pm Alternative Perspectives: Food and Water Practices of the Mashpee Wampanoag
1:40 – 2:35 pm Panel 3: Solutions for Sustainable Water Resource Management
2:35 – 2:55 pm Coffee Break
2:55 – 3:40 pm Keynote Address: Dr. Roberto Lenton
3:45 – 4:15 pm Closing Remarks and Student Awards
4:15 – 6:00 pm Cocktail Hour with Live Music by Cold Chocolate

List of Speakers

Keynote addresses will be given by:

Panel discussions will include:

We are also excited to have a special talk entitled "A Look Back ­ Food and Water Practices of the Mashpee Wampanoag" by Annawon Weeden of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.


Speaker Bios

Craig Cox

Craig has devoted his working life to conservation since joining the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 1977 as a field biologist. In 1989 Craig moved to Washington D.C to accept a position as Senior Staff Officer with the Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, where he completed three major studies, including Soil and Water Quality: An Agenda for Agriculture. In 1994, he the staff of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to lead the development of the conservation title of the farm bill that was passed in March 1996. Craig then joined the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Special Assistant to the Chief and served briefly as Acting Deputy Under-Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the Department of Agriculture before moving to Iowa in 1998 to become Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. In August 2008 he joined the Environmental Working Group (EWG). He leads the organization’s research and advocacy work in agriculture, renewable energy, and climate change and directs EWG’s Midwest office in Ames, Iowa. He has degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota and is an avid fly fisherman, hunter and hiker.


Roberto Lenton

Dr. Roberto Lenton is the Founding Executive Director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A specialist in water resources and sustainable development with some 40 years of international experience in the field, Prof. Lenton earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has served as chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and of the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership, and is a coauthor of Applied Water Resources Systems, a coeditor of Integrated Water Resources Management in Practice, and a lead author of Health, Dignity and Development: What Will it Take?, the final report of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, which he co-chaired. Until January of last year, Prof. Lenton was the Chair of the Inspection Panel of the World Bank. Earlier, he was senior advisor at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, director of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Division of the United Nations Development Programme in New York, director general of the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka, and program officer in the Rural Poverty and Resources program of the Ford Foundation in New Delhi and New York. He has served as adjunct professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT.


John Briscoe

John Briscoe is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environment Engineering Harvard University where he directs the Harvard Water Security Initiative and is on the faculties of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University in 1976 and his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1969.

His career has focused on the issues of water, other natural resources and economic development, ranging from engineering (government water agencies of South Africa and Mozambique) to epidemiology (the Cholera Research Center in Bangladesh), academia (the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard) and international development. In his 20-year career at the World Bank, he held high-level technical positions (Senior Water Advisor) as well as managerial positions (Country Director for Brazil). Briscoe’s role in shaping the governance and strategy of the World Bank is the subject of a chapter in Sebastian Mallaby’s The World’s Banker (Penguin, 2006).

Briscoe was a founding member of several major global water partnerships: the World Water Council, the Global Water Partnership, and the World Commission on Dams. He has served on the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum and currently serves as a member of the Council of Distinguished Water Professionals of the International Water Association and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Global Development. He has been awarded the President’s Award of the International Water Association and the Stroud Prize for Excellence in Water. His recent consultancy clients include the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank, the Friends of Democratic Pakistan, the U.S. National Intelligence Council, the National Water Commission of Australia, the Government of Chile, the OECD, McKinsey, Nestle, Inbev and The Nature Conservancy. He has published extensively in the media and in professional economic, finance, environmental, health and engineering journals.

More information about Dr. Briscoe can be found at his website and the Water Security Initiative website.


Wayne Castonguay

Wayne is the Executive Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association, an advocacy organization that serves as the voice of the river and works to ensure that sure there is enough clean water for people and nature. Because of its designation as one of America’s most endangered rivers due to environmental impacts, he works in many areas of water policy and management. Previously, he was Agriculture Program Director for the Trustees of Reservations and oversaw a collection of 30+ agricultural properties. Prior to that role, he was General Manager of Appleton Farms, a diversified vegetable and livestock operation and one of the largest farms in Massachusetts. Wayne has an extensive background in municipal and agricultural non-point source pollution and its mitigation. Wayne has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and an MS in Oceanography and lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.


Sean Cash

Sean B. Cash is Associate Professor in the Agriculture, Food and Environment program in the Department of Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. His research focuses on how food, nutrition, and environmental policies affect both producers and consumers. Current and recent projectsin this area include the efficacy of food label and price interventions as public health and environmental tools, the economics aspects of obesity, and the role of agricultural policies on nutrition. He also conducts research in the areas of environmental regulation and resource conservation, including his recent project on household valuation of water system improvements in Mexico. Additionally, Dr. Cash has been involved extensively in policy and public-facing work, including testimony on childhood obesity interventions to the Canadian Parliament and service on a National Academy of Sciences panel on invasive species impacts of food trade.


Ujjayant Chakravorty

Ujjayant Chakravorty is Professor of Economics at Tufts University and Fellow at the Toulouse School of Economics and CESifo. He was previously Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Alberta and has also taught at Emory University. He has worked on the economics of fossil fuels and clean energy and the economics of water resources. His current work includes developing a theory of groundwater depletion in India and China, and modeling the supply of nuclear power and the effect of biofuel mandates on food prices and poverty. He has been visiting professor at Sorbonne and the Graduate School of International Studies at Geneva. He is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Resource and Energy Economics and Environmental Economics and Policy Studies. He is Co-Editor of the book “India and Global Climate Change.” Chakravorty has a BS in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi and a PhD in Resource and Environmental Economics from the University of Hawaii.


Tim Griffin

Timothy Griffin, who is Associate Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, received his Ph.D. in crop and soil science from Michigan State University. Dr. Griffin is also a faculty steering committee member for the Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program at Tufts. His primary research interest is the intersection of agriculture and the environment, and the development and implementation of sustainable production systems. Additional current research interests include environmental impacts of agriculture (nutrient flows, carbon retention and loss, and climate change), impacts of policy on adoption of agricultural practices and systems, and development and implementation of equitable food systems at the local to regional scales. Dr. Griffin’s past research responsibilities have included field and lab components addressing: crop management, alternative crop development, short- and long-term effects of cropping systems on potato yield and quality, management strategies to improve soil quality, manure nitrogen and phosphorus availability, soil carbon sequestration and cycling, emission of greenhouse gases from high-value production systems, and grain production for organic dairy systems.


Peter Kleinman

Dr. Peter Kleinman is the Research Leader of the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit in State College, PA. Dr. Kleinman explores the interactions between land management and landscape processes that control the transfer of nutrients from land to water. His specialty is in the study and management of phosphorus, an element he has pursued from the rainforests of Borneo to the pastoral landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He obtained his PhD in Soil Science from Cornell University in 1999. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.


Muthoni Muriu

Muthoni Muriu provides strategic leadership and management oversight for Oxfam America’s Regional Programs Department. In addition to steering policymaking and systems integration, she is responsible for ensuring that Oxfam’s regionally based programs are well resourced and have impact on the lives of poor men and women. She has 20 years of experience in international development work and has a passion for social justice issues. She is fluent in English, French, and Kiswahili. Muriu holds a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the London School of Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Public Policy and Management from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg is an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She recently spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America meeting with farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, and journalists collecting their thoughts on what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while also protecting the environment. She has spoken at major conferences and events all over the world and her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 3,000 major publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, BBC, the Guardian (UK), and other major publications. Danielle served as the Director of the Food and Agriculture program at the Worldwatch Institute. She also worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.


Christian Peters

Christian Peters received his Ph.D. in Soil and Crop Sciences from Cornell University in 2007 and joined the faculty of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in 2010 as an Assistant Professor in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program. His research interests lie in the developing field of sustainability science, within the thematic area of food systems. Within this broad, trans-disciplinary field, Dr. Peters focuses on three major topics: (1) Land requirements of the human diet, (2) Capacity for local and regional food systems, and (3) Feed needs of livestock systems. He is perhaps most well-known for his spatial analysis of potential local foodsheds, providing a concrete example of a term that has resonated with the local and regional food movements. Dr. Peters currently teaches the two-semester sequence NUTR 233 and 333 (Agricultural Science and Policy I and II), and he is developing a new course on the emerging field of food systems modeling.


Ken Strzepek

Kenneth Strzepek is a Research Scientist at MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and Professor Emeritus of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, and Senior Research Associate at the UNU-World Institute for Development Economics Research. He has a long history of research collaboration with IFPRI.

Prof. Strzepek has a Ph.D. in Water Resources Systems Analysis from MIT, an MA in Economics from the University of Colorado and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Professor Strzepek has spent over 30 years as a researcher and practitioner at the nexus of engineering, environmental and economics systems. His work includes applications of operations research, engineering economics, micro-economics and environmental economics to a broad range of applications: from project scale to national and global investment policy studies. He has worked for a range of national governments as well as the United Nations, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the USAID. He is a lead author on the Fifth and was a lead author on the Second IPCC Assessment, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the World Water Vision, and the UN World Water Development Report. He was the USAID Scientific Liaison Office on Water and Climate Change to the CGIAR.

He was a Arthur Maass-Gilbert White Fellow at the Institute for Water Resources of the US Army Corps of Engineers and received the Department of Interior Citizen’s Award for Innovation in the Applications of Systems Analysis to Water Management. He is a also co-recipient of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment and, as a lead author for IPCC, he is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.


Jonathan Todd

After working as a captain in the Merchant Marines, Jonathan Todd joined his father in founding John Todd Ecological Design. Jonathan began right away working to integrate his father’s natural ecological technologies as they evolved into the company’s growing client base. Over the course of five years, working with engineers and other project designers, Jonathan helped to bring Dr. Todd’s discoveries to a commercial scale. Jonathan Todd worked with The Omega Institute to develop the concept for the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. Jonathan was one of the leads in developing the concept with the client and selecting the design team. He was lead designer for JTED throughout the design, construction and implementation of this Living Building Challenge” and LEED platinum award winning project.

As president of JTED, it has been Jonathan’s mandate to bring robust large-scale ecological wastewater solutions to the global community, recognizing that affordability, reliability, and aesthetic presentation were the keys to entering a competitive market against the conventional technologies.

Jonathan has been contracted as a consultant for architectural and engineering firms in the design of ecological exhibits, eco-industrial parks, and innovative large-scale water treatment systems. As a personal mission, he has a keen interest in developing sustainable water solutions for refugee populations throughout the world.


Peter Walker

Director of the Center since September 2002 and active in development and disaster response since 1979, Peter has worked for a number of British-based NGOs and environmental organizations in several African countries, as well as having been a university lecturer and director of a food wholesaling company. Peter joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva in 1990 where he was Director of Disaster Policy for 10 years before moving to Bangkok as Head of the Federation’s regional programs for Southeast Asia. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and has published widely on subjects as diverse as the development of indigenous knowledge and famine early warning systems, to the role of military forces in disaster relief. Peter was the founder and manager of the World Disasters Report and played a key role in initiating and developing both the Code of Conduct for disaster workers and the Sphere humanitarian standards.


Greg Watson

Greg Watson was sworn in as the Department's 19th Commissioner on April 2, 2012. He also served as Commissioner (1990 to 1993) under then Governors Dukakis and Weld. Commissioner Watson has a long connection to and appreciation of agriculture starting in his childhood where his grandmother tended a vegetable garden and fruit trees and visiting his uncle's working farm in Tennessee. His first hands on experience with agriculture started in 1978 as he worked with urban community groups and rural farmers to develop a network of six neighborhood-based farmers' markets in Greater Boston. Under his current leadership, Greg seeks to expand access to locally grown food across the Commonwealth with emphasis on building robust urban infrastructure solutions. Greg is a big fan of Bob Dylan, spending time with his two grown children, and loves Brussels Sprouts. He currently resides in Falmouth Massachusetts.


Annawon Weeden

Annawon is an enrolled member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe who devotes his time to preserving the history and culture of his people while sharing it with the world. His work can be found throughout many museums, books, school curriculums and other areas of teaching. Annawon has made appearances on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and most recently he portrayed the role of Metacom, or "King Phillip" for the PBS/We Shall Remain series. He is a proud father of five and works to improve the world which all children will inherit.


Tim Wise

Timothy A. Wise is Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. A specialist in trade, agriculture, and rural development, he leads the Institute’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program. He is the co-author of The Promise and the Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from Latin America, and Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico. He has written extensively on the global food price crisis and on commodity price speculation. He is the co-author of the report, Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007. Prior to joining the Institute in 1999, he was the Executive Director of the international aid agency Grassroots International.


David Zilberman

David Zilberman is a professor and holds the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. He is also co-director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development in the campus's College of Natural Resources. Zilberman's areas of expertise include agricultural and environmental policy, biotechnology, bioenergy and climate change, and the economics of innovation, risk, marketing, water, and pest control. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the USDA, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He is a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and won the association's Quality of Communication Award and Outstanding Review of Agricultural Economics Article in 2007. Zilberman’s work has been published in a wide range of journals. He received his B. A. in economics and statistics at Tel Aviv University, Israel, and his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.