Monday, March 7, 2011

Science Cafe: The Future of the Colorado River

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM

The UA Science gang presents an informal talk on the future of the Colorado River on at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at downtown's Cushing Street Bar. Warning: The water that Tucson depends on is drying up.

Press release after the jump:

Flandrau is holding its next “Science Café” at Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant in downtown Tucson on Tuesday, March 8 at 6 pm.

A Science Café is a casual forum for people to meet and discuss a particular science topic with a UA scientist in the relaxed atmosphere of a local restaurant.

The next science café will be an entertaining and informative discussion with Dr. Karl Flessa, Director of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, titled, "Silence of the Clams: The Past, Present and Future of the Colorado River."

The Colorado River no longer reaches the sea. About 90 percent of its water is
used up in the United States by farms and cities. The remaining 10 percent is
used in Mexican farms and cities. Tucson gets half its water from the Colorado
River. Before upstream dams and diversions, the river supported diverse and
abundant vegetation and wildlife along its riparian corridor, in its wetlands,
and in its estuary. Today, the river mostly supports cities and farms. In the
future, demand will grow as cities grow and supply will decrease as global
warming proceeds. Dr. Flessa will lead the audience in a discussion of what we
want the future to look like, what is nature's fair share of the river, and
whether the current system of water allocation makes sense.

In addition to his work at the University of Arizona, Dr. Flessa also directs
the National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Coordination Network —
Colorado River Delta. The RCN-CRD is a network of natural scientists, social
scientists and legal scholars that facilitates interdisciplinary,
inter-institutional, and international research on the Colorado River Delta of
the U.S. and Mexico. Dr. Flessa received his undergraduate degree from
Lafayette College and his Ph.D. from Brown University. A paleontologist by
training and a conservation biologist by choice, he and his students have been
working on the Colorado River Delta since 1992. He has authored more than 100
scientific articles and co-edited four books, including "Conservation of Shared
Environments: Learning from the United States and Mexico."

Shipherd Reed will moderate the discussion. Reed, who promises to wrap things up
by 7:30 p.m., will keep the discussion lively and on track.

Seating is limited so please arrive early. Seating is on a first come, first
served basis.

For more information about UA Science: Flandrau and the Science Café go to

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You’re welcome to join the conversation on Twitter — username: @FlandrauAZ

Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant is located on the corner of Cushing Street &
Meyer Avenue in Downtown Tucson, across the street from the Convention Center.
Complimentary, lighted, on-site parking is available on the east side of the

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