Skip to 0 minutes and 15 seconds Securing water globally for human well being, while sustaining the Earth’s natural ecosystems for future generations is among the most complex and urgent challenges of the 21st century. Across the world we use over 50% Across the world we use over 50% of all of the freshwater resources that are accessible and renewable. We store more than five times the total volume of all the Earth’s rivers behind dams and we release their equivalent volume of wastewater each year.
Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds Over two billion people lack basic sanitation and by 2050 it’s likely that more than four billion people won’t have enough water to grow the food they need. The resulting pressure on rivers and lakes means that freshwater plants and animals are declining, even become an extinct faster than anywhere else. Yet we need undamaged freshwater ecosystems for survival. Whether it is flooding that leads to too much water in the wrong place, or droughts leading to too little water where it is needed most, water insecurity makes the news. More often though water insecurity is less visible, experienced daily by individual households as they seek water for their daily lives or by farmers who need water for irrigation and livestock.
Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds It’s not just about the amount of water of course the quality of the water available can also affect people lives and health, whilst causing serious damage to ecosystems. But do you ever wonder what lies behind the pictures what water security means in different contexts, and how our changing world might influence this in the future. About how you might be affected or what you might do yourself. If you do then this course is for you. Over four weeks we will introduce the concept and different dimensions of water security and the forces driving the insecurities we witness. We will examine issues around the amount and quality of water available to people and ecosystems in a changing and more risky world.
Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds Using case studies and examples we will explore the complex trade-offs that can occur and the stories of the people and the ecosystems affected. In the final week we’ll then consider the thorny question of how the world’s scarce water resources are governed and the challenges to be addressed if we are to create a more water secure future. By the end of the course you’ll have a new appreciation of the water security challenge across the globe and we hope a willingness to contribute to solving this most intractable of problems.