Talk by: Jyoti Sharma

Taubman Fellow and Social Entrepreneur in Residence, Brown University; President FORCE

Nov 2, 2016

Sponsored by: Taubman Center For American Politics and Policy


Her talk highlighted the crisis in fresh water availability that is not just threatening the lives, livelihoods, health and habitations of millions across the globe, but is also the cause of rising global conflict which will only get worse as climate change impacts increasingly make their present felt. She introduced the audience to the concept of ‘Water Use Embedding’ i.e. the water consumption that is hidden in products, services and activities. Using that concept, she illustrated, using visualizations created with support from S4 lab of Brown, how it links all countries of the world in a supply chain of virtual water and thereby makes the water crisis a global phenomenon – not merely one that is limited to the countries that have a visible scarcity of water.

Most of her talk was about exploring how Water Use Embedding and related concepts like Virtual Water and Water Footprint can be used to frame water policies that trigger agricultural / industrial production and water usage methods that minimize the water footprint and thereby reduce the pressure on global fresh water supplies. The highlight of her presentation was her citation of the research papers of Brown faculty and her adaptation of their learning to find a direction for elements of Water Policy.

The talk tried to impress upon researchers the potential for application of their research for creating a coherent, effective, realistic Water Policy that uses Water Use Embedding as the tool and Virtual Water Supply Chains as the units of implementation. She showed how existing research of the Brown Faculty gave powerful insights into these issues and how evaluations of those research on Water datasets is the need of the hour.

The talk closed with the sharing of a website – www.BforWater.org - designed to help policy makers and researchers explore Water Use Embedding for sustainable, equal and just water management through supporting global multidisciplinary research, evaluations and case studies; and with a request for further consultations to create a Global Research Hub for WUE based Water Policy.

Jyoti Sharma is the president of FORCE — an Indian nonprofit working for water security. She is in the second year of residency as a Taubman Fellow and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Brown University's Swearer Center for Public Service