On 29 January 2020, the Working Group Water Security organised a workshop on Quantitative Assessment of Water Security. The workshop was hosted by KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands. The co-leaders of the Working Group, Jan Hofman (University of Bath and KWR) and Blanca Antizar (Isle Utilities) chaired the day. Over 20 participants from different places in Europe came to Nieuwegein to join the workshop which was focused on developing a methodology for the assessment of water security.
The Working Group was able to line up a great panel of high level keynote speakers from key global organisations working on water security. After their keynote speeches, a panel discussion followed, with Blanca Antizar as moderator, during which the complexity of Water Security was further underlined, as were the wider connections with other sectors such as agricultural and industrial and the general economic development. It was mentioned that already some assessment methodologies are available and the panel considered it important to investigate how these assessments are implemented and whether they can form the basis for further development. A key item was the actual application of a Water Security assessment framework. Often political leaders develop long-term goals as an incentive for improvement, but in many cases the actual concrete actions to achieve them are missing, as well as the metrics to determine if they have been achieved or data availability might be an issue.
The afternoon programme included interactive sessions where the participants could contribute to the development of indicators for evaluating water security. The break-out groups were aligned along the main themes of water security: availability of water, biodiversity and ecosystems, protection against water-related disasters and socio-economic factors. The results of the workshop will be used for developing a white paper, a task the Working Group ‘Water Security’ has set for itself. The importance of the white paper is to put ‘Water Security’ on the agenda for the future. What initiatives are taken to assess water security? How will they be used to provide guidance on the development of water governance and a pro-active approach for improving water security? Where are gaps in knowledge requiring further research? The answers to these questions are important to deliver a Water Smart Society and for the positioning of the European water sector around the Green Deal.
To download the keynote presentations, please click here.