Water security – a sustainable and adequate quantity and quality of water – is essential to human life, food and energy security, health and wellbeing, and economic prosperity. Yet nearly eighty per cent of the world’s population live in areas where water security is thwarted by pressures such as climate change, conflict, ecosystem damage, extreme weather, gender inequalities, land degradation, over-abstraction, pollution, poor governance and uncontrolled urbanisation. The Hub brings together an international team to address these threats and contribute towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
In May 2018, UN Water reported that “the world is not on track to achieve SDG6” by 2030.
Tackling water security will require a more integrated approach to a wide range of activities including water supply, wastewater treatment, flood management, sanitation, catchment management, pollution, maintenance, funding and finance. To achieve this, the Hub will develop and demonstrate a transformative systems approach. This recognises the complexity, interactions, and interdependencies between the people, institutions, natural environment and infrastructure involved in water security.
Where we work
The Hub is a significant international and interdisciplinary endeavour. Our place-based research focuses on four countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, India, and Malaysia. Known as Collaboratories, each country faces different development transitions that illustrate the global challenges to sustainable water security. The Collaboratories provide an inclusive space for all stakeholders to meet on an equal basis to share ideas, formulate activities, and apply interventions according to their development needs.
A Collaboratory provides a co-creative stakeholder engagement process for solving complex problems.
The Hub is explicitly built around principles of equality, diversity, inclusion, and transparency. Over 100 staff from twelve institutions are engaged in the project, including early career researchers, established academics, and a team of operational staff. Partner organisations include community groups and local charities, global non-profits, government ministries and municipal departments, and utilities companies.