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Confronting a Groundwater Crisis in the West: The 2017 Knight-Risser Prize Symposium

'When the Well Runs Dry' Event Poster
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 4:15pm
Paul Brest Hall West
555 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford University

A complete report on the symposium with photos and video playback is now available on our website.

Please join us on January 25th as we celebrate the 2016 Knight-Risser Prize winner Ian James and his colleagues at the Desert Sun and USA Today. Their report, “Pumped Dry”explored groundwater overdraft in the American West and worldwide, revealing a looming crisis.

A hidden reservoir, groundwater sustains Californians through otherwise crippling droughts, and enables a way of life on the Great Plains. After a century of heavy use enabled by deep wells and powerful pumps, western aquifers are being drawn perilously low. As groundwater reform takes hold in California and other communities grapple with shortages, will we be able to save this resource?

At the symposium, Ian James will joined by a distinguished panel of western water experts and journalists for a conversation about the future of groundwater in the West.

The event will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

Screen capture from winning story, 'Pumped Dry'
The severity of groundwater overdraft in global hotspots is shown here in an animated visualization of data from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The Desert Sun

Panel Discussion, Award Presentation and Reception

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017
Paul Brest Hall West
555 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford University
(View map:Stanford | Google)


Dawn E. Garcia, Moderator
Director, JSK Journalism Fellowships
Stanford University

Ian James
Reporter, The Desert Sun
Winner, 2016 Knight-Risser Prize for "Pumped Dry"

Felicity Barringer
Writer in Residence
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Stanford University

Leon Szeptycki
Executive Director
Water in the West Project
Stanford University

The discussion will be followed by a public reception. Please RSVP using the form below by January 18.


Parking on campus is free after 4pm. View a map of walking directions from Wilbur Field Garage.



Registration is free and open to the public

Event Sponsor: 
Bill Lane Center for the American West and the JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford
Contact Email: