Are USDA-NIFA National Water Priorities Meeting Their Mark?

Columbia Water Center Cyberseminar Series

James P. Dobrowolski / USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Talk Description:

The need for a coordinated, national, integrative examination of the future sustainability of the nation’s water in the face of changing climate, new energy technologies, agricultural trends, environmental impacts and social values, is in many ways self-evident. The Columbia Water Center’s State of America’s Water: Present and Future project aims to promote both literacy as to subject, but also to engage public and private sector decision makers and the financial community in understanding the dimensions of the issues. Presenters in the webinar series will address the following:

  1. Past: Assess how the variations in climate, energy development and national/global economics over the last century influenced changes in water use and its valuation across the continental USA
  2. Present: Trends affecting water availability, withdrawal and use of surface water and groundwater by various sectors
  3. Future: Evolution of water use and supply while explicitly considering the capacity expansion of water and energy and urban infrastructure and potential re-allocation of cropping patterns, relative to global climate change, energy and economic scenarios, and prescribed water rights/allocation mechanisms and ecological needs 


Dr. James P. Dobrowolski is a watershed scientist and National Program Leader for Water and Rangeland and Grassland Ecosystems Programs. Jim leads the agency in developing a systems approach to water availability from working, rural and urbanizing lands, rangeland and grassland ecosystem management and conservation effects of cropland and grazing land practices. He manages the Water for Agriculture portfolio that focuses on the need to maintain adequate water supplies to meet the food, fiber, ecosystem and energy needs of an expanding population. Prior to USDA-NIFA, Dobrowolski was a tenured teaching/research professor for 16 years in watershed science (water quality and quantity) at Utah State University, Logan (1984-2000), and a tenured extension/research professor studying the effects of vegetation buffers on nutrient attenuation and other water-related issues for seven years at Washington State University, Pullman (2000-2006). Dobrowolski received his PhD in Hydrology and Watershed Management from Texas A&M University, Master of Science in Rangeland Ecology from Washington State University and Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Davis.