International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Global Water System Project
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The session, jointly organized by International Institute of Applied System Analyses (IIASA), Global Water System Project (GWSP) and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, focusses on the critical role of cooperation among decision-makers in water resource management at different levels in the public and private economic and social sectors.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2010 commissioned a Think Tank on Water and the Future of Humanity. The Foundation sponsored a book containing the reflections of the eleven well-known personalities in the field of water management who were members of the Think Tank, now released by Springer. Representatives of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Think Tank will describe the justification for and findings of their exercise.
GWSP considers water as the preeminent building block of the Earth system and of critical necessity to human prosperity. At the same time, humans are rapidly embedding themselves into the basic character of the water cycle without full knowledge of the consequences. Representatives of the Global Water System Project will discuss water threats and water security and how to make future scenarios more policy relevant. Integrated systems analysis is underway of water needs and availability on the planet now and under the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative under the leadership of IIASA.
Partners in the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative will present their approach to combining the factors described to identify a set of adaptable, resilient and robust solutions
Photo Credit: Via Verde
09:00 Opening Comments and Welcome Speech. Prof. Janos Bogardi, GWSP, Germany
09:20 Water and the Future of Humanity: An Initiative of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Prof. Luis Veiga da Cunha, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
09:40 Water and the Future of Humanity: Key Messages. Prof. Jan Lundqvist, SIWI
10:00 Questions & Answers
10:05 Water Threats, Water Security and a Hippocratic Oath for Water. Prof.Charles Vörösmarty, City University of New York, USA
10:25 Making Scenarios more Policy Relevant: Addressing Governance and Involving Stakeholders. Prof. Claudia Pahl-Wostl, University of Osnabrück, Germany
10:45 Questions & Answers
10:50 Coffee Break
11:20 World Water Scenarios Initiative: Background and Partnership Base. Dr. Olcay Unver, WWAP
11:30 Water Futures and Solutions Initiative. Dr. David Wiberg, IIASA, Austria
11.50 Questions & Answers
12:00 Discussion Panel: How Cooperation will Facilitate and Enrich Way Forward.
Moderator: Prof. Janos Bogardi, GWSP, Germany
The seminar was conceived to address complexities, cooperation and water futures around the key issues of sustainability, water security, human well-being, equity, solidarity and ethical conduct.
The seminar presented several recent efforts to assess what may be called the great acceleration of human enterprise since the 2nd World War and its impact on water and its management. The co-organizing entities are engaged in active collaborative scientific research and efforts to establish fruitful dialogue between scientists and policy makers. The seminar provided the frame to introduce the Gulbenkian Foundation Think Tank on Water and the Future of Humanity, including the official launch of its book.
Among the key messages the need to break the synchronization of water consumption with the growth of GDP, the strengthening of both horizontal and vertical integration in water management can be emphasized.
The Global Water System Project has presented some of the synthesis results of its decade-long research by criticizing the prevailing “develop, impair, and then repair” paradigm of dealing with water resources management. Instead a more holistic and “softer” approach will be needed to provide water security for humans and ecosystems. The critical analysis revealed that little scientific knowledge is used in framing water policy.
The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) is cooperating since the first issue of the World Water Development Report in 2003 with the scientific community. At present this cooperation focuses on the World Water Scenarios Initiative, preparing a coherent framework to assess possible water futures of humanity. The Water Futures and Solutions Initiative of IIASA highlighted the inherent uncertainties and how to consider these in future scenarios. It was emphasized that decision making time frames do not match time frames of water resources management, food and water security.
The speakers of the seminar were finally united into a panel and discussed with the audience. Vivid discussion emerged around the concept of water security.