Oregon State University officials and scientists from across the Northwest continue to discuss the balance of water, food and energy during a two day seminar wrapping up in Hermiston Tuesday. The INFEWS meeting focuses on the water-food-energy nexus, as outlined by the United Nations. Chad Higgins Assistant Professor of Biological and Ecological Engineering at OSU says it’s vital all three Northwest states are mindful how water is used.
“We’re food producing states, we’re exporting states, we are states with limited water resources especially out east, and we’re also energy producing states, particularly with hydropower in the Columbia Basin and the Columbia River Gorge.”
He says if a healthy balance is not met not only will the agriculture community be negatively impacted by less available water, but so will community growth and development. He said that will only be staved off if open dialog take place.
“And discuss these potential impacts to try to avoid conflicts and tension and try to ensure efficient production of food and try to ensure that we have a stable water supply and try to ensure stable water supply into the future.”
Higgins says conversations in Hermiston look at 10, 15, 20 year solutions rather than a quick fix.
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