Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsAll of us here in Cardiff are delighted that you've now completed week two of this course on global water security for people and ecosystems. This week, we've been exploring water quality from different perspectives reflecting chemical pollution and the transmission of infection and non-native species through fresh waters, looking where we could at the relative balance of these problems in different parts of the world. We've also examined the impact of extreme floods and droughts on water security and the complex interactions that arise between flood hazards to people, drought risk to supplies and to ecosystems, and the possible influence of climate change that we'll come back to next week.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsAmong the current issues of global water security is also the question of our water footprint. As individuals, as communities, and as populations of people in cities, we've illustrated how much of the water that we use is embedded in the goods that we consume or the lifestyles that we lead. We introduced the idea of green water, blue water, and grey water, and ask you to think about your own water footprint and its global implications. Finally, we introduce water ethics as a developing field, whose themes include the different ways in which water is perceived across cultures, through to recent agreements on the human right to water. We ask whether this only applies to humans, or whether rivers, for example, also have rights.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 secondsEthics is about making decisions. And one of the fundamental questions this session raised is that of who should choose. Ethical considerations will become increasingly significant as tensions around global water security increase. In next week's part of the course, we'll examine some of these emerging challenges, from the long term vision of water companies through to the global changing challenges of growing human populations, urbanisation, global climate change, and the problems of emerging contaminants, such as microplastics. How might these global trends affect your water security? Join us next week to find out.

End of Week 2

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

This week we’ve looked at water quality from different perspectives, the impact of extreme events, our water footprint, and the ethical side of water security.

Next week we will look at

  • infrastructure
  • ecosystem decline
  • climate change
  • demographic change
  • emerging new pollutants.

Over to you

  • Which of the current issues affecting water security discussed this week do you think is most relevant to your country or region?

Let us know in the comments.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

The Challenge of Global Water Security

Cardiff University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: