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KNOXVILLE — In partnership with the Tennessee Clean Water Network, the Knox County Public Library and the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy will hold four events to highlight national and regional water issues.

Increasing demands for water in energy production, agriculture and development create pressures on this critical and finite resource. The recent move by the Georgia Legislature to redraw the state border between Tennessee and Georgia to take part of the Tennessee River illustrates this.

The programs will include a documentary film showing, a brown bag book discussion, a lecture by author and activist Maude Barlow and a roundtable discussion. All events are free and open to the public.

Jan. 31 — Documentary film showing

A free showing of the film “Blue Gold: World Water Wars,” winner of many national and international awards, begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium. Light refreshments will be served.

Acknowledging that past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management, the film suggests that, as water enters the global marketplace and political arena, it is feasible that wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today. Various entities vie for control over our water supply, which spurs protests, lawsuits and, in some cases, revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to a resource that is basic to survival.

Feb. 2 — Brown bag, green book discussion

The public is invited to bring their lunch for the Brown Bag, Green Book series and discuss Maude Barlow’s book, “Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.” The event will be held from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center’s Auditorium, located at 601 Gay St.

The discussion will be led by Renee Hoyos from the Tennessee Clean Water Network; Joanne Logan from the UT’s Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science; and Tiffany Foster from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Feb. 3 — Barlow lecture

Maude Barlow will speak at 7 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium.

She is the author of numerous books, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, as well as senior adviser on water to the United Nations where she provides counsel to Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, president of the General Assembly. She also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a councilor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Barlow was one of the “1000 Women for Peace” nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. In the same year, she received the prestigious Lannon Cultural Freedom Fellowship as well as the Right Livelihood Award. Known as the “Alternative Nobel” and given by the Swedish Parliament, the Right Livelihood Award cited her “exemplary and longstanding worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental right to water.” She also won the Citation of Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Canadian Environmental Awards, Canada’s highest environmental honor.

Feb. 9 — Roundtable discussion on water

Students, faculty and regional experts will gather at 4:30 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium to discuss issues presented during the past week’s programs and their implications for water policy in the region.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,