Jack Keller: Understanding Peak Water
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Uploaded on Dec 16, 2011
Jack Keller had a long career as an internationally recognized expert in the design, implementation, and management of irrigation systems. He spent many decades sharing his expertise by consulting municipalities, corporations, and governments about efficient irrigated agricultural development; river-basin water management and conservation planning; irrigation water monitoring, verification and conservation planning; and developing efficient low-cost irrigation technologies for small farms.
We had Jack on as an interview guest two years ago to speak about one of the greatest and least appreciated predicaments facing society today: Peak Water. And just a few weeks ago, he and I agreed that he'd return as a guest in December with an update on how the situation has evolved since.
With heavy heart, I'm saddened to report that Jack Keller died unexpectedly this week at age 85. He was in the midst of preparing for yet another international consulting trip, this time to South America -- sharing his passion and talents until the very end. We're running his initial interview below in memoriam.
We'll miss you, Jack. ~ Adam
Similar to oil and other key natural resources that are mined and consumed, water is subject to the same exponential trends. Both surface supply and underground fossil stores of clean water are depleting at alarming rates, and the energy & economic costs of extraction are swiftly increasing.
Water is our most precious natural resource (well, perhaps after oxygen). Advances in irrigation in the past century ushered in tremendous prosperity (the "green revolution"), particularly in food production, power generation, and a dramatic increase in the supportable populations for vast regions of land. If the water supply in future years dwindles to less than today's, those societal gains are going to have to retreat to some extent.
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