measuring shallow groundwater levels in Southern Ethiopia (Bolosso Bombe district)
measuring shallow groundwater levels in Southern Ethiopia (Bolosso Bombe district)

Water Security

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). 

About the SDGs

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.

Páramo river Palace upper basin
Páramo river Palace upper basin

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.

Our collaboratories

A Collaboratory provides a co-creative stakeholder engagement process for solving complex problems.

Our funders

The Hub is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The GCRF is the UK government’s flagship response to the critical development challenges facing the world and forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. In alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the GCRF funds cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that promotes the long-term economic growth and welfare of developing countries.

The GCRF delivery partners are: UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency. 

In December 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) awarded GCRF funding to twelve international Hubs. Through ambitious, challenge-led research programmes, these Hubs are working at scale across the globe to provide a collective response to the world’s most pressing problems.

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