Dr. George Kraft, a professor of water resources and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, will be the keynote speaker for World Water Day, Wednesday March 22 at 7 p.m., at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.

Kraft will be presenting, “Tense Times in Wisconsin Ground Water Management: Lessons from the Central Sands,” as part of the Marvin Pertzik World Water Day Lecture Series, an annual lecture hosted by the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, focused on freshwater water issues.

Kraft holds appointments with both the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin–Extension and is largely dedicated to serving the citizens, communities, businesses, and governments of Wisconsin. He is passionate about outreach in the Wisconsin Idea tradition: “the boundaries of the University are the boundaries of the state.”

Kraft’s outreach involvement includes how lakes and streams have been dried by groundwater pumping, particularly in the Wisconsin central sands, modernizing Wisconsin’s groundwater pumping management policy and laws, nitrate and pesticide pollution of groundwater, and assisting stewardship groups to organize and manage their water resources.

Kraft’s research interests revolve around questions of water resource sustainability, particularly about profitable agriculture and water impacts. He is actively involved in the local community, coaching high-school cross-country skiing and serving as an officer for the Tomorrow River Scholarship Foundation. Other non-work interests include gardening, backpacking, and aerobic sports, especially cross-country ski racing. He has completed twenty-five Birkebeiner ski races and finishes near the front of the pack.

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year’s World Water Day theme is wastewater—raising global awareness about reducing and reusing wastewater.

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