10 November 2015

Webinar on Water Security in the Nile, Mara, Mekong, and Amazon Rivers for American Water Resources Association

A few months ago I gave a webinar for the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) on Water Security. In the talk, I give examples of development changes to water security from the Nile, Mara, Mekong, and Amazon River basins. You can listen to the talk here. The entire file, including Q & A, is about an hour long; just a warning.

The content: I touch upon the what, who, where, why, and how of water security as an analytical tool. I see it as a versatile lens through which one can view water resources adept at including the voiceless water system and environmental system, as well as the underrepresented subsistence communities, or groups without agency or voice in decision-making, in a way that the controversial and outmoded integrated water resources management (IWRM) pointed to - for inclusiveness. Although IWRM has not been the magic bullet for water management, it does have some thoughtful and valueable ideas that can lend themselves to advising water management for shared water resources.

Water security is, in my opinion, so versatile and interdisciplinary, it helps to capture the complexity of shared water resources. I also find that water security, as a concept, is a backbone for understanding and describing water sustainability, a term I used to avoid, but now embrace when it is presented within a context and with practical application. Water security being interdisciplinary, requires multiple methods both qualitative and quantitative in origin - without the need to weight one over another. This helps to consider multiple scale, geography, time, people, values, as well as how all the component parts work together and form a complex water resources-based system. I am currently piecing together a paper about these concepts in the Nile, Mekong, and Amazon with a colleague that I hope will publish early next year.

Please feel free to leave any feedback you feel is appropriate and can help me conceptualize things better!