Sustainable water resources management is a global challenge of the 21st century. The World Economic Forum ranks water as the first global risk in its 2015 Global Risks report.
Water is essential for energy, food security, public health, and ecosystem services. This vital resource is facing unprecedented challenges, and is more and more linked to insecurity at local and global scale, as illustrated by growing tensions around large dams, mining operations and various conflicts over land and water. However, despite the complexity of the challenges, water can become a field for collaboration.
The Luc Hoffmann Institute research project, Linked Indicators for Vital Ecosystem Services (LIVES), is working in partnership with the Geneva Water Hub, a new initiative of the University of Geneva and the Global Programme Water Initiatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Geneva is a recognized global centre of expertise in several areas relevant to hydropolitics and global water governance. They include peace and security, humanitarian action and human rights, economics and science, health, resilience to climate change and disasters, sustainable development and the environment. In particular, dialogue and mediation capacities available in Geneva will be key to resolving water-related challenges between, public, civil society and private sector actors at both national and trans-boundary levels.
The aim of the Geneva Water Hub is to better understand, prevent, facilitate and mediate water-related tensions between competing uses, between public and private actors, and between political entities.
Their new website offers many open-access educational resources such as maps, publications, videos, and policy briefs that address water governance for students, scholars and professionals in the water sector.
Main image: Elizabeth Kemp / WWF