Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Water Security Sustainable Development Hub

Water is essential for human life.  It is necessary for food and energy security, health and well-being, and prosperous economies and therefore water security underpins all sustainable development. For example, 70% of water abstractions are for food security, in 61 countries women are responsible for water collection in 80% of households preventing schooling and other activities, 1.4bn jobs directly rely on water, and 81% of companies rely on freshwater for their operations.   
 
Despite billions of dollars/pounds of global investment, some 80% of the world's population live in areas with threats to water security; the impacts of which cost over a half a million lives and over $500bn a year.  Progress in ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG6) has been slow and in May 2018 the United Nations reported that “The world is not on track to achieve SDG6”.  
 
"It is a huge privilege to be working with such an excellent international team of researchers and partner organisations who are highly committed to tackling this global challenge.” – Professor Richard Dawson, Newcastle University, UK (Hub PI)
 
Between 1990-2015 more than 1.6m people died, and 5.5bn people were affected by water disasters, causing direct damages of US$2.5tn; whilst some 61% of the global population still do not have access to safely managed sanitation and 28% cannot access safely managed drinking water, resulting in over half a million deaths per year.  
 
The GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub takes an integrated view of water systems and is embarking upon a significant international and interdisciplinary endeavour. Bringing together leading researchers from Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia and the UK, the Hub will enable a global capacity building programme delivered through a Water Collaboratory in each international partner country. 
 
It provides a participatory forum, open to all stakeholders, to jointly question, discuss, and construct new ideas to resolve water security issues.