Water security in a changing world: coping with threats
International and regional crises and conflicts, and changes in the environment and climate, are threats to water security and sustainable growth. Massive political and economic consequences accrue from regional tensions in transboundary basins, in part resulting from human pressure on finite water resources. Conflicts at the national level often relate to water resources (among others) and climate variability, which becomes even more apparent in situations of weak governance.
The effects of climate change risk increasing the problems. The outcome of the UNFCCC COP 21 will therefore be important for future management of these threats. Resilience to climate change goes beyond mere adaptation measures and into the core of societies. What mechanisms can promote growth under situations characterized by conflict and change? How do transboundary and domestic challenges differ? What type of water management is required to promote economic development?
The seminar will address challenges to achieving water security under situations of crisis and change, with particular focus on water. This includes sustainable growth in conflict zones, climate change adaptation, knock-on effects of crisis situations beyond the country/region and achieving resilient water management in conflict and crisis areas.
Please find the posters connected to the seminar under Resources.
Threats to water security: context and crisis
Chair: Dr. John Matthews, AGWA
Moderator: Hussam Hussein, University of East Anglia
Dr. John Matthews, AGWA
14:05 Water Security in a changing world – risks and opportunities for
the water sector and beyond
Dr. Susanne Schmeier, GIZ
14: 20 Water security in protracted crises: A threat to future stability
and sustainable development
Michael Talhami, ICRC
14:35 The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and challenges of
Mina Michel Samaan, Technical University of Braunschweig
14:45 Can third parties resolve transboundary conflicts in the
Paula Hanasz, Australian National University
14:55 Water Scarcity and Violent Extremism in Nigeria,
Dr. Marcus King, George Washington University
15:05 Water stewardship in securing our shared water future,
Sibusiso Xaba, Department of water and sanitation, South
15:07 Offshore Aquifers: Enhancing Water Security or Creating
Renee Martin-Nagle, University of Strathclyde
15: 09 The International Water Security: an approach for multilevel
Dr. Kleverton Melo de Carvalho, Federal University of Sergipe
15:11 Managing Adaptation within International Rivers: The Role of
Dr. Sabine Blumstein, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental
Research – UFZ and Adelphi
15:13 Interactive discussion
On the 28th of August, 2016, the seminar “water security in a changing world: coping with threats” took place. The first session of the seminar, entitled “understanding water insecurity”, introduced the concept of water security, contextualizing it in our current changing world, in terms of both political and physical aspects. The presenters provided an overview of the international and regional crises and conflicts, changes in the environment and climate, which are contributing to create situations of water insecurity. In particular, this session outlined the inter-linkages between conflicts and crisis with water insecurity.
The second session, entitled “threats to water security: context and crisis,” further analysed the different types of threats to water security. This session explored what we can see as threats to water security. It contextualized this with other threats coming from changing conditions, such as conflict, forced migrations, and climate change. The presenters showed the political and economic consequences that accrue from regional tensions in transboundary basins, in part resulting from human pressure on finite water resources. Conflicts at the national level often relate to water resources (among others) and climate variability, which becomes even more apparent in situations of weak governance.
The third session, entitled “achieving water security,” addressed solutions to achieving water security in a changing world. It discussed different overviews of how potential solutions may look like, what are key ingredients to increasing resiliency, what makes them sustainable, discussing whether they could be applied in conflict zones.
The main messages that emerged from this seminar are:
- Water security is crosscutting across the world: developing countries are affected as well as developed countries. However, they face different kind of challenges.
- Water security is generally more difficult to achieve in fragile contexts, but it can also be more costly to fail in these contexts.
- Enhancing resilience necessitates a shift from a solely “reactive” mode of support to also include a “proactive” component, whereby bridging short term with medium to long term responses are necessary to secure “development holds” that withstand development reversal.
Some highlights that emerged during the seminar are:
- The international communities working with crisis management and those working with water management often work independently of one another; more dialogue between them could enhance sustainable development under changing conditions.
- Recent work included compiling an inventory of crimes related to water, which is another type of threat seldom considered.
- Actively pursuing the 2030 Development Agenda and complying with the COP21 Paris Agreement should contribute to achieving water security, but implementation through innovative approaches that enhance community and regional resilience is needed.
Managing Adaptation within International Rivers: The Role of International Donorshttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=A5-64-66-6E-03-9F-73-8E-9C-64-14-97-49-F2-DF-CB
International River Basin Organisations (RBOs) are increasingly facing challenges of environmental change within the river basins they govern and therefore have to provide for adaptation in order to address these environmental alterations. The paper addr
Water Services to assist decision makers in Africahttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=17-F9-E1-08-3C-56-41-BF-5E-5C-0C-47-2D-34-3F-79
Droughts and floods are becoming recurrent phenomena in many African countries and are causing threats to their economic development and growth.
Climate, Drought, and Drinking Water: Survey Results from California Utilitieshttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=BC-4B-50-66-8C-DE-4D-14-C9-FB-D1-04-D5-6C-EF-43
A survey of California water utilities responsible for drinking water provision revealed the extent to which respondent utilities perceived that the current drought impacted water supplies and quality.
Drought relief and bulk water distribution strategies for South Africahttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=6F-D0-13-3C-D9-0F-48-81-C3-A4-AC-B0-AA-87-AB-DF
South Africa presents a unique socio-economic environment of rural and developed areas. The arid natural environment requires effective bulk water distribution to ensure sustainable development. A combination of tailored strategies is developed to augm
Civil society engagement in sustainable transboundary water governancehttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=3D-AD-3D-A0-8B-4F-77-F2-CB-B4-44-5B-B2-A9-FA-84
This study aims to identify opportunities and barriers civil society actors face when engaging themselves in the governance of trandboundary rivers. The research analyzes how formal and informal rules and norms influence advocacy strategies of NGOs over
WATER STEWARDSHIP IN SECURING OUR SHARED WATER FOR FUTUREhttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=37-22-1F-1C-DC-E9-A5-C4-31-1F-20-95-12-17-23-44
World Economic Forum Global Risk Report2015,water crisis is ranked as number one risk facing the global economy in terms of its impact. In order to ensure the availability, water supply at national level, facilitate equitable and sustainable socio-econo
Groundwater under the pressures of humanity and climate changehttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=35-F0-64-2E-28-A1-27-26-3B-80-23-3E-4B-F2-51-7B
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Hydrological Programme (IHP) initiated the Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC) project in 2004 to bette
World Water Security: an approach for a governancehttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=71-B1-F9-D8-9D-92-3E-B9-16-98-CB-58-7D-1B-40-00
Since Beck said that the planet does not control the hazards generated modernity anymore (Beck, 2008), ensuring security is the corollary of the risk society. It is urgent the implementation of organizational joints that encourage sustainable development
Offshore Aquifers: Enhancing Water Security or Creating Unseen Problems?http://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=BB-4F-42-22-E9-C9-02-6A-26-4D-98-CF-9E-99-64-EF
Offshore aquifers have been discovered under continental shelves around the world, and scientists predict that vast quantities of fresh to slightly brackish water are waiting to be developed. However, key issues need to be addressed, such as governance
Water related crimes and threats in Europehttp://worldwaterweek2016.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=DB-7E-59-8B-16-1C-F9-EB-06-C1-ED-8C-EF-CE-9A-26
Presenting the results of ongoing studies on offences, risks and criminal threats related to water resources in Europe, based on judicial cases, current investigations, and CSOs reports on environmental crime across European Countries.