UCSB Regent’s lecturer and best-selling author Maude Barlow discussed the threat of a looming world water shortage to an audience in Corwin Pavilion last night.

Barlow’s appearance attracted a crowd of roughly 250 people. In her presentation, Barlow introduced suggestions on how to potentially alleviate the global water crisis.

According to Barlow, global demand for fresh water has been estimated to outgrow supply by 2030. And, she said, the simple fact that most people are uninformed about the scarcity of water is the largest contributor to the problem.

“We know about energy, but we don’t know as much about the water crisis,” she said. “You can live without oil, but you can’t live without water.”

Additionally, she likened the water crisis to climate change, saying there is a fundamental relation between the two seemingly dissimilar global issues.

“I am absolutely convinced that the way we are using and depleting water is contributing as much to the climate crisis as greenhouse gas emissions,” Barlow said.

Blake Criswell, a fourth-year global studies major, said Barlow’s visit to campus helped to further students’ environmental consciousness.

“The world water crisis is a very important issue that is often overshadowed by other environmental problems,” Criswell said. “Her lecture opened a dialogue concerning the issues of water privatization and inequitable access to water throughout the world.”

In addition to authoring multiple books, Barlow is a member of numerous sustainably-minded organizations and the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.