Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsYou've now completed week three of this course on global water security for people and ecosystems. This week we've looked into the future at some of the most significant trends that will affect water security around the world for us and for natural ecosystems in the decades ahead. We heard from the environment director of one of the UK's largest water companies-- Dwr Cymru Welsh Water-- about how science, evidence, innovation, and investment help his company deliver simultaneously for his customers while protecting the environment on which his business depends. We also heard how a blend of hard traditional engineering and more modern catchment-based solutions are helping his company to take a long and hopefully future-proof view of water security issues.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 secondsThat's a strategy that will have resonance around the world. But how does it compare where you live? We then turned our attention to freshwater ecosystems that are so often in the path of our own uses of water. We considered how a combination of physical habitat degradation, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation increasingly affect lakes and rivers, and are driving freshwater organisms to extinction faster than in any other ecosystem. Another growing set of risks and challenges to water security arise from the complex set of dynamics that we wrap together under the heading of global change. Growing populations need more water directly and for food production. Growing urban centres need to be supplied with water and to dispose of waste.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsIncreasing wealth or expectations and changing patterns of resource use. And all of that takes place in a world made increasingly uncertain by global change. Navigating a clear path and planning for water security against that backdrop is a very real challenge. Finally, we turn our attention to the issue of emergent pollutants, which present new challenges for water security that aren't yet fully understood. We looked at the way pollutants like plastics, drugs, and antibiotics find their way not only into lakes, rivers, and organisms, but also how they create a problem for treatment and removal in our own supplies. Much of what we've presented so far have been about the challenges to global water security for people and ecosystems.

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 secondsBut all of that helps us to understand what it is that we must now do. For however big the challenge, the solution has to be big enough to solve it. So just what are our options? Join us next week to learn more about some of the solutions that we think are available, or that we think we could consider. We'll see you next week.

End of Week 3

In this video, Professor Steve Ormerod gives a summary of the lessons learned and the trends that will affect water security in the future, from growing population to climate change.

Over to you

  • Do you feel personally affected by some of the emerging problems to water security described this week?
  • What is the best way to solve these issues in your opinion?
  • Changes at an individual, national or international level?

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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