The global water crisis is considered by many to be the greatest human ecological crisis of our time. By 2030, demand for fresh water is expected to exceed supply by 40 percent. Because most of us were raised with the myth of water abundance, we have been slow to come to terms with the enormity of the threat of a world without water.

On Tuesday, May 11, Regents’ Lecturer Maude Barlow, an internationally renowned activist and expert on global water issues, will outline the nature of the crisis — including the one facing California — and offer practical principles that could lead to a water-secure future.

Her talk, titled “The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water,” will begin at 7 p.m. in UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion. It is free and open to the public.

Barlow, who serves on the board of directors of Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., is the national chairwoman of the Council of Canadians. She is also an executive member of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization and a councilor with the World Future Council in Hamburg.

Barlow has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award and the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”). In 2008-09, she served as the senior adviser on water to Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, president of the 63rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.

In addition, Barlow is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates and the author or co-author of 16 books, including Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Barlow’s lecture is part of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Oil + Water series, which examines the cultural and environmental importance of oil and water to the history and culture of California and the world.

The Regents’ Lecturer program at UC was established in 1962 to encourage rare and valuable interaction between gifted nonacademics and the university community. Since then, the program has continued to provide campus residencies in sponsoring departments for people with distinguished achievement in the arts, sciences, humanities, business, politics and international affairs.

For more information about the event, contact Laura Devendorf at 805.893.2004 or