Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsSo you've now completed week one of this course on global water security for people and ecosystems. During the week, you've built the foundations for understanding water security through insight into the global water cycle. That's a hugely important need for understanding all aspects of the distribution, availability, and use of water. You've also heard some of the definitions of water security, ranging from there being enough water of the appropriate quality in the right place through to definitions that embrace cultural, economic, and political dimensions of water. And we've also recognised that water security issues aren't just in the here and now, but they stretch out to reflect the needs of future generations to whom we have a responsibility.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsYou've seen that there are several elements raising the profile of water security around the world. They include the rising demand for water, a growing appreciation of the limits on the amount and quality of water that is accessible on the surface, or underground, and the associated need to reduce the quantity of water we use, either by consumption or for the dilution and disposal of waste. Both the use of water and the issue of water pollution will come up again when we look at the challenge of protecting fresh water ecosystems. Many parts of the world, and many people face a lack of water security at some point in time.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 secondsIf it were not for our ability to control, store, and transport water, the problems would be even greater. It's important, then, that we have the capacity to manage water, based on sound principles. But even then, levels of water security can differ, even in the same place or in the same regions, depending on who has access to the water available. So from all of this, it's clear that global water security is a complex notion with different facets and competing demands. I wonder what you think are the most important elements of water security in the area where you live. Are they about people, or ecosystems, or both?

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsNext week, we'll be turning to some of the major current issues that affect water security for people and ecosystems, whether this is chemical or biological factors that affect the quality of water, the impact of flooding or drought, or just the sheer amount of water we use. These are just some of the things that put water into the headlines around the world. But what lies behind those headlines? Join us again next week to find out.

End of Week 1

In this video Professor Steve Ormerod summarises what we’ve covered so far.

This week you’ve built the foundations for understanding water security. The following weeks will build upon this and look more closely at the concepts introduced this week.

Next week, we’ll be looking at some of the major current issues that affect water security.

Over to you

Think about the most important elements of water security in the areas that you live.

  • Are they about people, ecosystems, or both?

Let us know in the comments.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Challenge of Global Water Security

Cardiff University

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