Circle of Blue Director Appointed to World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security

J. Carl Ganter is director of Circle of Blue, a global water research organization at the heart of the Great Lakes.

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — The World Economic Forum, the Geneva-based organization best known for convening global leaders through its annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, has appointed J. Carl Ganter, co-founder and director for Circle of Blue, to its Global Agenda Council on Water Security.

According to the Forum, the Global Agenda Councils represent “the world’s foremost interdisciplinary brain trust of innovative thinking and idea exchange on global issues.”

“The availability and management of clean water is the most important challenge we face today for our health, economy, energy, food, and our future,” Ganter said. “The position on the Council offers a rare opportunity to work with some of the world’s most passionate, talented people who are coming together to help solve very complex problems.”

Established four years ago, the Global Agenda Councils act as a catalyst to monitor and address key issues, including water, energy, food, climate, trade, and nuclear security. Each council has between 15 and 20 members, providing insights and recommendations for world leaders in business, technology, and government.

Ganter is an award-winning photojournalist, reporter, and broadcaster who is widely credited with helping to shape the multimedia era. He co-founded Circle of Blue 10 years ago when he first saw the need for a trusted, central source of information on the global water crisis.

More than five million people die each year due to a lack of safe drinking water, and the United Nations estimates that 5.5 billion people will lack adequate access to fresh water in the next 20 years. Water scarcity and pollution have emerged as serious threats to peoples and businesses around the world. Agriculture and energy production are the leading users of water worldwide.

Over the past year, Circle of Blue has completed unprecedented, in-depth reporting about the struggles between water and energy, which have profound global implications on everything from food prices to adaptation to climate change. From the coal mines of West Virginia to hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells in Michigan, Circle of Blue began exploring the “choke points” in U.S. energy production in June 2010.

In December 2010, the choke point coverage expanded to the northern coal fields of Inner Mongolia and the rivers of southern China’s hydropower region. In both countries, Circle of Blue documented striking similarities between the increasing demand for energy and the decreasing supplies of freshwater sources that are crucial for energy production.

“Water security needs to be defined in the broadest sense,” Ganter said. “It means healthy Great Lakes, which supply water to 30 million people. It means access to safe drinking water in fragile states like Yemen and the Middle East. It means water to grow food in famine-stricken East Africa. We all have to roll up our sleeves — these aren’t easy challenges.”

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences wrote in 2010, “Circle of Blue is filling a niche by providing specialized content that is considered essential by an audience of shared interests but that can’t be found in such detail anywhere else. In many ways, it is reflective of a shift in how we define journalism, or at the very least, in how we go about producing and sharing it.”

Circle of Blue, a nonprofit organization and affiliate of the California-based Pacific Institute, is funded by donations from individuals and foundations that believe informed policy makers and the public make better decisions. Click here to support Circle of Blue’s reporting.

About Circle of Blue
Circle of Blue is the international, nonpartisan network of leading journalists, scientists, and designers that reports and presents the information necessary to respond to the global freshwater crisis. It is a nonprofit affiliate of the Pacific Institute, an international water, climate, and policy think tank, and it publishes WaterNews, the daily go-to source for global water news and data.

About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization, committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional, and industrial agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan, or national interests.

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