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- 2012 - May - 28th -

Water, water everywhere, but strategist says not enough

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Global economist and market strategist Joseph Quinlan says that if there is no water, there’s no business.

Quinlan referred to water that is usable for consumption and for personal, commercial and agricultural uses, and he contends that water is a “huge political stress point” globally.

Quinlan is managing director and chief market strategist at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. He is an author and a contributor to media outlets.

Quinlan closed out the 2011-12 program year for the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville Tuesday at a Global Business Luncheon at The River Club Downtown.

The council and The Gate Governors Club co-host the events. The final program drew 140 participants.

Quinlan cited four macro trends in the global shortfall of water: Urbanization, the emerging middle class markets around the world, the industrialization of emerging markets and the underpricing of water.

All lead to the increasing demand for water worldwide. “Without water, there’s nothing else to talk about,” he said.

Quinlan told the group to review three references that outline the issues: The “Last Call of the Oasis” documentary film, the National Intelligence Council Water Research briefing report and the April 2010 National Geographic special issue about water.

“Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and, hobbling economic growth,” reports the National Intelligence briefing.

“During the next 10 years, water problems will contribute to instability in states important to U.S. national security interests,” it said.

“You and I continue to use it as if it’s free,” Quinlan said. “It’s not free.”

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville has 1,000 members. Its programs include the luncheons and the Global Issues Evenings at the University of North Florida University Center as well as other events.

The 2012-13 program year is expected to be announced at the June 12 annual member celebration.

So far, the council has scheduled:

• George Grayson, a senior adviser on Mexican affairs for the Capital Insights Group in Washington, D.C., “Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?” 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the UNF University Center.

• Academic WorldQuest 2012, 5:30 p.m., Nov. 13, UNF University Center.

• Burt Rutan, Virgin Galactic spacecraft designer and founder of the Scaled Composites aerospace research firm, “Inspiration for Innovation and the New Race for Space,” 7 p.m., Nov. 27, UNF University Center.

• Alice Rivlin, economist and former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board and former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, “The Future of Health Care Spending,” noon, Jan. 8, The River Club, and “The Current Outlook for the Economy,” 7 p.m., Jan. 8, UNF University Center.

• David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., a special evening of dialogue with council sponsors and Ambassador’s Circle members, 6 p.m., Feb. 11, and “Russia: After the Reset,” 7 p.m., Feb. 12, UNF University Center.

• Robin Wright, author and foreign policy analyst, “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” 7 p.m., March 12, UNF University Center.

kmathis@baileypub.com

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