Research and innovation missions to transform future water systems

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The United Nation 2023 Water Conference offers a critical opportunity to catalyse actions and innovations that bring increased water security to vulnerable communities across the globe. Researchers have an important role in supporting the delivery of needed on-the-ground impact, but their work must be informed by the priorities and necessities of Global South implementors.

Too many of the images on our news feeds show the destructive power of water as droughts and floods ravage communities across the globe. The super-charging of the hydrological cycle from increased atmospheric greenhouse gas levels is adding stresses to water resource systems that are already challenged by over-exploitation, degradation and rising demand (Fig.1). Societies everywhere aspire to ‘water security’1, in which our management of water resources meets the diversity of human health, livelihoods, nature, and production needs, while reducing water risks to acceptable and manageable levels. The urgency of overcoming the gap between aspiration and the reality of water insecurity for billions of people was recognized by heads of government and heads of state who took part in the High-Level Roundtable on Water Security convened at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022. They called for increased global cooperation, ramping up of investment, and higher political priority for water. Governments, for the first time, agreed explicitly at COP27 2 on the critical role of water systems in climate action.

Source: Resources -

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