Water Bankruptcy and Environmental Politics in Iran (Lecture in English)

Bilingual Lecture Series

Water Bankruptcy and Environmental Politics in Iran (Lecture in English)

A conversation with Kaveh Madani (Yale University)

Monday, October 5, 2020
2:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Live Meeting via Zoom.
RSVP required to obtain access details.

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Frequent droughts coupled with over-abstraction of surface and groundwater through a large network of hydraulic infrastructure and deep wells have escalated Iran’s water situation to a critical level. This is evidenced by drying lakes, rivers and wetlands, declining groundwater levels, land subsidence, water quality degradation, soil erosion, desertification, and more frequent dust storms. In this conversation, Kaveh Madani overviews the major drivers of Iran’s water problems. He argues that Iran is suffering from a socio-economic drought—i.e. “water bankruptcy,” where water demand exceeds the natural water supply significantly. Madani believes that the current structure of the water governance system and the food-dependence paranoia in Iran leaves minimal hope for a meaningful reform that can address Iran’s water problems in a timely manner.

Videos to watch before the lecture:
Iran’s Water Bankruptcy (YouTube)
Environmental Security in the Middle East (YouTube)

Kaveh Madani is an environmental scientist, educator, and activist, working at the interface of science, policy, and society. He has previously served as the Deputy Vice President of Iran in his position as the Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment, the Vice President of the UN Environment Assembly Bureau, and Chief of Iran’s Department of Environment’s International Affairs and Conventions Center. He is currently a Henry Hart Rice Senior Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies of Yale University and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) of Imperial College London. He recently won the Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Scientist Award in 2019 for his research activities.

Lecture in English

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies