GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub---------

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

A reliable and acceptable quantity and quality of water, and managing water-related risks for all is considered by the United Nations to be "the critical determinant of success in achieving most other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".

Water is essential for human life, but also necessary for food and energy security, health and well-being, and prosperous economies. However, some 80% of the world's population live in areas with threats to water security; the impacts of which cost $500bn a year. Progress in meeting SDG6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), has been slow and in May 2018 the United Nations reported that "The world is not on track to achieve SDG6". Improvements that increase access to water or sanitation are undone by pollution, extreme weather, urbanization, over-abstraction of groundwater, land degradation etc.

This is caused by significant barriers that include: (1) Insufficient data to understand social, cultural, environmental, hydrological processes; (2) Existing service delivery / business models are not fit for purpose - costs are too high, and poor understanding of local priorities leads to inappropriate investments; (3) Water governance is fragmented and communities are engage with, and take responsibility for, water security; (4) Pathways to water security are not adaptable and appropriate to local context and values.

These barriers are inherently systemic, and will require a significant international and interdisciplinary endeavour. The GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub brings together leading researchers from Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia and the UK. Each international partner will host a Water Collaboratory (collaboration laboratories) which will provide a participatory process, open to all stakeholders, to jointly question, discuss, and construct new ideas to resolve water security issues.

Through developing and demonstrating a systems and capacity building approach to better understand water systems; value all aspects of water; and strengthen water governance we will unlock systemic barriers to achieving water security in practice.

Planned Impact

The UN estimates the annual costs of damage from flooding, inadequate water quality, sanitation, hygiene, and water scarcity to be US$500 billion. Some 2.1 billion people worldwide lack clean accessible water. By 2025, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas. The ultimate reach of the Hub's research is potentially huge. However, the main immediate beneficiaries are:
- International agencies (e.g. UN Habitat) who shape international policy, monitor SDGs, manage processes such as the World Water Data Initiative;
- Local and national government responsible for improving water security;
- Local NGOs and community groups who represent local citizens' interests in water security;
- Utilities responsible for designing, operating and maintaining water infrastructure;
- Charities and industry (e.g. Oxfam, Arup) who deliver water projects around the world and also influence policy and practice;
- Investors (e.g. World Bank) who can influence financial policy and unlock funding to enable water security;
- Technology SMEs (e.g. EnviroWatch) who are developing innovative technologies e.g. sensors, that have the potential to transform innovation in the water sector; and,
- Professional bodies and networks (e.g. ISPRS, WATERLAT) who set international standards and connect across entire industries or groups, and are able to disseminate to the groups that they represent.

Impact and collaboration with partners will be managed by a dedicated Impacts and Communication Officer, to ensure we maximise opportunities and reach. An International Advisory Board, chaired by Prof. Leo Heller (UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation), with representatives from key end users will help to steer the research and enhance dissemination and uptake.

Our Pathways to Impact and Theory of Change have been developed in consultation with our project partners, and are organised around five impact priorities:
1. Leading an integrated agenda for Water Security in partner countries through our Water Collaboratories.
2. Catalysing change, building partnerships and international cooperation - to unlock investment and improve integrated water management.
3. Accelerating innovation in water security policy and practice - working with businesses to speed up knowledge transfer.
4. Interdisciplinary research leadership in Water Security - adding value to other international research, and helping to sustain a healthy global research base.
5. Advocacy and education - raising awareness of, and support to tackle, water security issues.

Our Collaboratories provide a key vehicle for impact as they convene relevant water security stakeholders. Over 45 partners have indicated their support for the Hub so far. Through our collaboratories we will build capacity and foster an inclusive approach to water security using mechanisms such as co-creation workshops, capacity building using e.g. serious games, and training in the use of new techniques.
Many of the partners highlighted in their letters of support that their focus on delivery limits their time and opportunities to engage in research. Therefore, a key knowledge transfer mechanism will be to embed researchers into partner organisations on long term secondments. This provides both the skills and time to create strong, long lasting, partnerships and build long term capacity.

A regular newsletter, public website, twitter, blog, webinars, stakeholder day at our annual assembly, and other mechanisms will provide regular updates to our project partners. We will also present our work at international conferences, hosting side events and sessions where possible. The Hub will hold a one off conference in its final year to showcase and disseminate our work in depth.

We have a total flexible funding allocation of £3.6m, which can be accessed for impact activities.

Organisations

People

ORCID iD

Richard Jonathan Dawson (Principal Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3158-5868
Cat Button (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2858-9331
Zainura Zainon Noor (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7028-9773
Azmi Aris (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4409-5000
David William Graham (Co-Investigator)
Maggie Roe (Co-Investigator)
Weng Wai Choong (Co-Investigator)
Tena Alamirew Agumassie (Co-Investigator)
Lata Narayanaswamy (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1172-0583
Anna Mdee (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8260-1840
Katrina Jane Charles (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2236-7589
Taye Alemayehu Hulluka (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9122-9692
Alan Nicol (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7237-8825
Luis Dario Sánchez Torres (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5173-4440
Dustin Evan Garrick (Co-Investigator)
Dhanya C T (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0206-5193
Fabian Mendez (Co-Investigator)
Apolinar Figueroa Casas (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3586-8187
Mariela Garcia (Co-Investigator)
PANDURANGI S N RAO (Co-Investigator)
Barbara Elvy Evans (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9815-3141
Polly Wilding (Co-Investigator)
David Werner (Co-Investigator)
Miguel R. Peña-Varon (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1192-2134
Cheryl Doss (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8292-3295
Michaela Goodson (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6148-135X
Nor Azimah Mohd Zain (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6010-3568
Jim William Hall (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2024-9191
Claire Walsh (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4047-1216
Amare Tekle (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5237-9006
T P Curtis (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9009-1748
ZULKIFLI YUSOP (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5508-190X
Mark Adam Trigg (Co-Investigator)
Jon Philip Mills (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5304-7935
Amare Bantider Dagnew (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9619-9306
Salmiati Salmiati (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8914-4048
Robert Adrian Hope (Co-Investigator)
Rakesh Khosa (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2790-9049
Meredith Giordano (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2701-8177
Geoff Parkin (Co-Investigator)
Jaime M. Amezaga (Co-Investigator)
Graham Morgan (Co-Investigator)
Ashok Kumar (Co-Investigator)
Gete Zeleke Eshetu (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6698-2455
Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2962-1698
Mario Alejandro Perez (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2628-2360
Ashvani Kumar Gosain (Co-Investigator)
Pauline Dixon (Co-Investigator)
Rabidyuti Biswas (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9867-1026

Publications

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