Water Security and Environmental Impact Assessment: A Study for Developing Economies


† Muhammad Bilal 1 , Muhammad Usman 1 , Mehwish Nadeem 2 and Syyed Adnan Raheel Shah 3,*

1 Department of Agriculture, Forest and Range Management, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 66000, Pakistan; bilal679.edu@gmail.com (M.B.); usmanisrite@gmail.com (M.U.)

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 66000, Pakistan; mehwishnadeem@piet.edu.pk 3 Department of Civil Engineering, NFC-Institute of Engineering & Technology, Multan 66000, Pakistan * Correspondence: syyed.adnanraheelshah@uhasselt.be; Tel.: +92-300-791-4248 † Presented at the 7th International Electronic Conference on Water Sciences, 15–30 March 2023;

Available online: https://ecws-7.sciforum.net/.


Both ecosystems and human societies acknowledge the importance of water. The impact of human activities on both land and water has become more apparent due to various global changes. These include climate change, urbanization, socioeconomic development, and population growth. Although it is widely believed that water security is the key to sustainable development, studies on its evolution and various environmental factors are still in the early stages of development. This study aims to provide an overview of the concept. This concept aims to provide all people with safe water. It goes beyond merely providing adequate supplies to every person in the world, and it also aims to ensure healthy and productive lives. Despite the technological advancements being made in the water resource management industry, the lackadaisical approach to addressing the various challenges associated with water security continues to be a major issue globally. This study will provide an overview of the various facets of the water security concept and its evolution in developing countries due to the environmental changes that have occurred. It also explores the multiple sustainable methods that can be used to address these issues.

Keywords: water security; water scarcity; climate change; socioeconomic changes; sustainable development

1. Introduction

Water is essential for everyone and the basis of life. Global freshwater is under tremendous anthropogenic strain [1], which is primarily caused by human population expansion and climate change. Freshwater availability and distribution, as well as the effects of water-related disasters such as floods and droughts, are projected to change because of climate change, which will also likely increase the demand for river water [2] and have an effect on groundwater availability [3]. Water security, a perennial human problem, has consequently emerged as a crucial area of policy for the Anthropocene [4,5]. Whether originally seen from a biophysical or sociological standpoint, the concept of “water security” is complicated, contentious, and dynamic. To define and realize it, complex and dynamic thinking or adaptive thinking is required. As part of the transition from water government to water governance, adaptive approaches to water management and governance have been pushed for at least three decades [6].

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