Table of contents
Our essential guide to water security looks at how it is, why it is important and its principles, perspectives and practices.
Water security is more important than ever before but also faces increased risks, resulting from climate change, geopolitical conflicts and human activity. Critical to communities, industry and agriculture, the security of water supply underpins society.
A recent report from the World Bank shows that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost regions up to 6% of their GDP, spark conflict and spur migration.
Yet, how do you define water security?
This was the definition proposed by the UN-Water back in 2013 to open international talks on global water security.
While that definition by the UN-Water is comprehensive, what does water security mean?
Water security is designed to safeguard all aspects of water, from our everyday water use to water in our ecosystems, to even political and transboundary conflicts that may arise over water.
"The idea of water security is that it is achievable through mass collaboration from every country, industry and sector in the hopes the one day we can have water security."
When discussing water security it can be easy to think of it as a set of rules or guidelines that countries should be adhering to keep their water safe and secure. In reality, this is not the case. The idea of water security is that it is achievable through mass collaboration from every country, industry and sector in the hopes the one day we can have water security.
Water security at its core is the idea that there is enough clean water to meet current and future demand for human well-being and social-economic development while ensuring the safeguarding of the environment and reducing the risk of pollution and water-based diseases.
It also seeks to establish good governance of water and transboundary co-operation from countries that share a water source. Water security also looks to exempt itself from human conflicts to ensure that our global water infrastructure is never compromised and that there is enough finance to allow for development and innovation.
In truth, the concept of water security is extremely broad and is designed to cover everything about water in regards to how we use it, how we manage it and how we ensure that there will still be acceptable water in enough quantities for years to come – which is where smart water comes into play.
Further topics in the essential guide:
- What is smart water security?
- How does smart water security work?
- Why is water security important?
- Water security: principles, perspectives and practices
- Food and water security solutions