Water is necessary for life, but as supply shrinks, choices must be made about who is given access to water and who isn’t. Communities across Arizona are going dry. This means that some residents may have no choice except to move. How do we decide who gets access to water, and who does not? Should the needs of the many be placed above the needs of the few? How do we address the social and moral issues raised by competition for scarce resources, locally, regionally and nationwide? Join us for a discussion about water in Arizona, sustainability and the supply/demand imbalance.
Paul Hirt is a Professor of History, Senior Sustainability Scholar, and member of the public history faculty at Arizona State University. He specializes in the American West, environmental history, and sustainability studies. Hirt’s publications include a 2012 monograph on the history of electric power in the US Northwest and British Columbia titled The Wired Northwest, a monograph on the history of national forest management since WWII, titled A Conspiracy of Optimism (1994), and more than two dozen articles and book chapters on various topics in environmental history, including two essays on water and sustainability in Arizona. Dr. Hirt conceived and directed the “Nature, Culture, and History at Grand Canyon” project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities he chairs the American Society for Environmental History’s Advisory Board for Professional Development and Public Engagement, and he is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Salt River Project.