Sandra Postel, National Geographic at WSU
Lane Lecture featured speaker Sandra Postel, National Geographic. Photo by Cheryl Zook

PULLMAN, Wash. – Sandra Postel, National Geographic freshwater fellow and director of the Global Water Policy Project, is the featured speaker for the Lane Family Lecture in Environmental Science 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Washington State University.

Postel is recognized as a leading international authority on freshwater issues and a leading proponent for the development of a new water ethic. She will explore the threats facing global water resources and discuss new management approaches in her presentation “Water is the New Oil: Managing Our Resources To Sustain the Planet.”

“Everything we use, eat, wear and buy takes water to make,” said Postel.”The supply of water on Earth is finite, but global population and consumer demands continue to rise.”

25 year focus on water

For more than 25 years, Postel has researched and reported the “geography of water stress” and its implications for agriculture, rivers and wetlands, and regional peace and security. She teaches about how innovative technologies and strategies not only will improve irrigation sustainability, but also alleviate hunger and environmental stress.

“We face a huge challenge: how to meet our water, food and energy demands without destroying the ecosystems that support our economies and sustain life on this planet,” said Postel. “Fortunately, there are solutions. But they will take a fundamental change in how we use, manage, value and even think about freshwater.”

National Geographic Society fellow

In 2010, Postel was appointed freshwater fellow of the National Geographic Society, where she leads their freshwater initiative. She is a Pew Scholar in conservation and the environment and has been named one of the “Scientific American 50” for her contributions to water policy. Postel has authored several award-winning books and is a regular commentator on national television and radio shows.

The lecture, presented by WSU’s School of the Environment, will be held in the Compton Union Building Auditorium on the Pullman Campus and is free to the public. A reception will follow.

The WSU School of the Environment is an interdisciplinary academic unit harnessing resources throughout the state to find solutions for a wide range of pressing environmental problems associated with human impacts on natural resources and the Earth’s ecosystems.The school also provides cutting-edge training for the next generation of scientists, resource managers, policy makers and well-informed global citizens.

The Lane Family Lecture in Environmental Science is endowed by a gift from Bill and Jean Lane. Bill Lane was the co-chairman of Lane Publishing Co. and publisher of Sunset magazine from 1959 to 1990. Jean Lane served as a docent at Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve for more than 35 years.

For more information see the School of Environment website.