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The water situation in the Mediterranean area is the setting for the perfect storm: limited supplies, pollution, too many demands and deep historic and religious conflicts. To address such issues, Maude Barlow, senior adviser on water to the United Nations and author of "Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water," delivered the keynote lecture at the Water-Sharing and Culture in the Mediterranean conference at Cornell on March 7, 2009.

Barlow discussed principles of water as a common and a public trust, integrated watershed management and restoration, public oversight and local management of water supplies based on local cultures and histories, and the human right to water.

The conference gathered Mediterranean and local water experts, students and others to present research into the water crisis and discuss a strategy for future action and research in the area.