AUBURN – Auburn University President Ed Richardson announced Thursday that Graeme Lockaby, associate dean and professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, will lead AU’s newly created Water Resources Center.
The center, part of AU’s Institute for Natural Resources, has the mission to improve the management and use of water in Alabama and the Southeast by addressing problems caused by salt water intrusion, contamination, weather, lower water tables and inadequate distribution systems.
“Dr. Lockaby’s professional experience is well-suited to lead Auburn’s work on an issue critical to all Alabamians in the 21st Century,” Richardson said. “Under his leadership, Auburn will help landowners and governmental agencies better manage water resources. This will lead to greater economic, environmental and quality of life benefits. The effective use of water will blend nicely with AU’s effort to increase biomass production for alternative fuel generation.”
Lockaby and the AU Water Resources Committee will begin by planning water management programs and hosting a national water management conference in June.
“We have experts at Auburn who can address many problems related to water quality and quantity,” Lockaby said. “Bringing them together to focus on key issues will help solve problems the nation faces or will soon face.”
One example is water shortages that occur during droughts, adversely affecting crops, livestock, tourism and industry that depend upon readily available supplies of water, according to Larry Fillmer, director of the Institute for Natural Resources. He adds that water consumption by individual Alabamians has risen 150 percent since 1956.
“We are dependent upon a safe, reliable supply of water for everything from drinking to food and energy production to recreation,” Fillmer said. “Auburn’s Water Resources Center will be vital for the economic well-being of our people and communities.”
(Contributed by Charles Martin.)
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