The report from the first International Conference on Water Security, Risk & Society – identifying research priorities, gaps & opportunities, emphasising linkages across science, policy & enterprise.
Oxford University hosted the first International Conference on Water Security, Risk and Society on April 16-18th, which brought together over 200 of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners from relevant science, policy and enterprise communities. The conference took place at a key moment of wider reflection on uneven progress and future action towards meeting sustainable development and human development goals to create fairer and more open societies and economies. The conference was ambitious in seeking to advance and refine the concept of water security as a framework to i) cross the common divides of water resources and water services, ii) span the range of scales from local to national, regional and global, and iii) integrate the perspectives of all actors, from the family, farm and firm to governments and inter-governmental bodies.
The specific aims of the conference were to i) assess the emerging evidence base about the status of and pathways to water security, ii) debate a risk-based framework as an approach to understand and achieve water security across scales and contexts, and iii) provide the foundation for collective global action by science, policy and enterprise communities to achieving water security.
This synthesis reflects a wide-ranging debate and significant convergence on key cross-cutting themes – a debate that will be sustained. This note identifies international development research priorities, gaps and opportunities based on conference findings to inform the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) thinking in relation to the international agenda of the UK Water Research and Innovation Framework, emphasising linkages across science, policy and enterprise.