IWRA Water Security Task Force – Bureau & Working Groups

About the IWRA Water Security Task Force – Bureau

The IWRA Water Security Task Force was formed to position IWRA in discussions on water security and inform its debates. The Water Security Bureau (WSB) leads the Task Force. The WSB’s role is to govern and lead the IWRA Water Security Task Force, and to identify topics of interest from the IWRA membership at the interface of science and policy, to work in an interdisciplinary way to better understand the issues and develop solutions, as well as to offer policy advice at country, regional, and international levels. The WSB has, therefore, created a number of working groups (WG) that have clear mandates, activities, and deliverables associated with timelines. 

Objectives

Mongolia Chapter objectifies conveying knowledge about urban water security to water professionals and industry, young professionals, students and community representatives at all levels of government, including national and international agencies, in order to facilitate open dialogue on the operational conditions and management of urban water with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge of water security for all. The series of engagement activities raising civic participation on discussion about economic, political and social challenges seeks to promoting solutions and best practices for the water community. We hope to bring about holistic and sustainable impact on the urban communities.

Water Security Bureau Panellists

Dr. Amgad Elmahdi is the Director of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Office of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Dr Elmahdi has over 20 years of working experience in the fields of hydrology, natural resource management, water accounting and assessment and water information management in operational, research, and academic agencies in Australia, Greece, Italy, China, and Egypt. He holds a PhD in Water Resource Management from the University of Melbourne, Australia, a M.Sc. in Land & Water Management from Italy and Egypt with around 100 publications on water related issues and tools. He is also a recognized International Water and Natural Resources Management Expert and the Australian representative for international agencies- ICID- International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. Dr Elmahdi’s mission is to provide evidence-based science solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for water and food security, people’s livelihoods, and the environment. Before joining IWMI; Dr Elmahdi was a senior executives public officer, leading the Water Resources Section, Australia, where he managed and led a four multi-disciplinary teams responsible for delivering high profile government and organisation objectives: 1) Water resources modelling, 2) Groundwater, 3) Urban Water, and 4) Water Analysis to provide water information services across Australia using data collected by about 200 water management agencies and utilities across Australia. These services were formulated the key element of water reforms to provide secure access to water, to address over allocation, and to provide efficient allocation of water through water markets, pricing, and other means. He has received a number of awards nationally and internationally for his Science Impact for Landscape Water modelling and Strategic Excellence Award for Partnership and Watsaving award. More info: www.linkedin.com/in/drelmahdi

Hassan Aboelnga is originally from Egypt, and based in Cologne, Germany.  Aboelnga is renowned young water professional in issues of water security, climate change and sustainable development. Aboelnga is a civil engineer by profession and is currently a PhD researcher at University of Kassel and TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences with a particular interest in urban water security and integrated water resources management. Eng. Aboelnga is a certified project management professional (PMP)®, management committee member of intermittent water supply and water safety plans specialists groups at International Water Association – IWA and advisory board member at Middle East Water Forum MEWF. He is the former board member of World Youth Parliament for Water and he has been an active member of many international networks in issues of water, climate, and sustainable development. Aboelnga holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Mansoura University, and postgraduate studies from Cairo University, Egypt. He has two master’s in integrated water resources management (IWRM) from two universities, Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln) in Germany and University of Jordan. He has gained valuable international experiences in IWRM approach that offers interdisciplinary solutions to the water crisis in linking water to other vital resources and viewing the whole water cycle together with human interventions as the basis for sustainable water management. Aboelnga has published /co-authored many articles, reports, blog articles, books including Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus for policy makers and 3rd State of Water Report in the Arab region. Media links with more information include:

International Water Association: https://iwa-network.org/people/hassan-aboelnga
Middle East Water Forum: www.mewf.de/advisory-boards/pmp-eng-hassan-tolba-aboelnga
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/hassan-a-50243440
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hassan_Water

Emmanuel Akpabio is a geographer PhD (1st Class Hons, 1999), holding an academic position in the Department of Geography and Natural Resources Management, University of Uyo, Nigeria, and currently serving as a MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE Fellow, Department of Geography, Dundee, United Kingdom (2018-Present) – also collaborating as a Visiting Scientist with the ‘Scottish Government Water Industry Team’ at Edinburgh. Emmanuel Akpabio was a Commonwealth (CSC) scholar, Lancaster University, UK (2004-2006); British Academy Fellow, Newcastle University, UK (2008); Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellow/Senior Researcher, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany (2011-2012); a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow/visiting Professor with the Disaster Prevention and Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Japan (2013-2015); and a Visiting Research Associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford (July-August 2014). Akpabio has served in International Panels, including a member in the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Alumni Advisory Panel (2019-2021), and the Akwa Ibom State coordinator, Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni of Nigeria (COSFAN- 2018 to present). Emmanuel Akpabio was one of the Directors in the IWRA Executive Board (2013-2015), and one of the members in the International Scientific Steering Committee for the XV World Water Congress held at Edinburgh, United Kingdom (2015). Akpabio speaks Ibibio, English, and little of German and Japanese. He loves music, reading, travelling and his favourite sports are Karate and Taekwondo.

Amali is an Early Career Researcher with MSc. level in Integrated Water Resources Management from the TH-Köln University of Applied Sciences, Germany and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. He has professional expertise in translating evidence-based research to economic, technical, and political mechanisms, that dispense resources equitably across range of livelihoods. His research interests are in agrohydrological modelling with focus on soil-plant-water relations, ensemble modelling and uncertainty analysis in environmental systems, for reliable prediction of agricultural productivity and enhancement in water management strategies. He uses an array of digital, online, and communication tools to relay agrohydrological information into multilevel decision support for social adaptation, policy development, and improved resilience. Amali is also passionate about capacity development of young professionals in the water sector. In recent years, he was engaged with the ICID in capacities including Coordinator of the ICID Young Professionals Forum and the African Young Water Professionals Forum, as well as secretary of the African Regional Working Group where he organises and coordinates training programs and workshops for Young Professionals with interest or experience in Agricultural Water Management. More information can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/amali-amali 

Dr. Ximing Cai is a Lovell Endowed Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a B.S. in Water Resources Engineering (1990) and a M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources (1994) from Tsinghua University, China, and a Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering (1999) from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of American Geophysical Union (AGU), a member of Science Board of International Water Resources Association (IWRA), and former editor of Water Resources Research (AGU, 2012-2017). His current research areas include coupled human-natural system analysis with an emphasis of human interferences in hydrological processes, water-energy-food system modeling, and sustainable water resources management. He has worked as a consultant with the World Bank, United Nations, and other national and international agencies.

Professor Jan Hofman is Professor of Water Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, where he is the Director of the Water Innovation and Research CentreThe Centre is a campus-wide environment to engage globally in research and policy on water. The centre (~50 academics) comprises multidisciplinary research teams, with contribution from all faculties and departments. It has wide expertise in the natural sciences and engineering, as well as in social, economic, and political sciences, in policy, and in business management. Jan is also co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics Science and Engineering, co-Director of the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability, and co-Director of the GW4 Water Security Alliance. Furthermore, he is Leader of the Working Groups on Urban Water Pollution and Urban Water Security in Water Europe. Water Security is one of Jan’s research interests. His research is focussing on water security in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa. In collaboration with KWR, UNESCO-IHP, IWA and OECD he is developing a platform for baseline assessment of sustainable water management and governance in cities, and roadmaps for creating bankable projects.

Dr. Muhammad Wajid Ijaz has been working in the Environmental Protection Agency, Pakistan, since 2011. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water and has various technical publications to his credit. Muhammad holds a M.Sc. degree in Water Resources Engineering from the Center of Excellence in Water Resources Engineering, Lahore with a background in agricultural engineering. Recently, he has developed a multi-sensor-based framework for the integrated assessment of landscape evolution under regulated fluvial regimes and its effect over hydrogeomorphology and water quality of the Indus Delta system. He also takes part in outreach activities from the platform of Society of Water Managers, Youth Parliament of Pakistan, Radio Pakistan, and special writings in the national newspapers.

Dr. Wendy Jepson is the Associate Director for the Texas Water Resources Institute. She also leads the scientific program for urban water security and sustainability at the AgriLife Research Center in Dallas-Fort Worth. Dr. Jepson holds a University Professorship in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University where she has been on faculty since receiving her Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA in 2003. Since 2016, Dr. Jepson has been a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza (Brazil). Dr. Jepson leads several research projects and institutional initiatives on water security.  Dr. Jepson was a recent Fulbright Scholar (2016-2017) and AAAS Leshner Fellow for Public Engagement (2018-2019).  She also is a recipient of several National Science Foundation grants that focus on water security – examining different aspects of water insecurity in south Texas colonias and urban Brazil.  Dr. Jepson leads the NSF-funded Household Water Insecurity Experiences – Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN), an international community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to advance research and work in the interdisciplinary field of water insecurity.  Dr. Jepson also is the principal investigator for a $1.5M Texas A&M University Presidential Excellence Grant, “Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security: Desalination and Water Reuse.” She has generated over $3 million in grants and awards as lead PI from NSF, private sources, and internal awards to support her research agenda.

Kanokphan Jongjarb is a gender specialist with more than a decade of research experience working on gender-related projects. Her specific focus is on the gender interface with vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, social protection, and women’s economic empowerment. Kanokphan holds a M.Sc. in Gender & Development Studies from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), and the M.Sc. Program, Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security at the United Nation University (UNU-EHS). She has been actively involved with the Stockholm International Water Institute –World Water Week as a member of the Young Scientific Programme Committee in 2017, then as a full member of the Scientific Programme Committee in 2019, to implement the gender and water seminar. Currently, Kanokphan supports gender mainstreaming in agricultural development research projects with Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn, Germany.

Dr Amrisha Pandey is acting as the Assistant Professor (Law) in the School of Maritime Law, Policy and Administration, in Gujarat Maritime University, India. She is enrolled as a lawyer in Indian Bar Council with a lifetime membership. She completed her BA LLB (Hons) in 2011 from the Bhopal University in India and held a Diploma in Dispute Management from the Indian Institute of Arbitration and Mediation, Cochin. She holds a Master’s degree – LLM in International Environmental Law (2012-13) from the School of Law, University of Nottingham, (U.K.). Her PhD is awarded in 2019 from the School of Law, the University of Leeds in the U.K. – the doctoral research is titled the ‘Regulation of Freshwater and the Access to Right to Water in India’. Since early 2019, she has had the opportunity to work in a City-consultancy firm based in London, providing legal advice and research assistance in matters concerning public international law. She participated in Summer Courses on Public International Law in 2017 held in The Hague Academy of International Law, and generously funded by The City of Hague, Netherlands. She is shaping to be an international law scholar with her remarkable presence and academic contribution to international conferences and forums. Her passion for water law in particular has given her the opportunity to work with IWRA and shape her passion for Water Governance and Conservation.

Mary Trudeau is a professional engineer specializing in water resources, urban infrastructure, and climate adaptation. She is assisting IWRA on the topic of Water Security and is a member of the IWRA Smart Water Management Task Force. Dr. Trudeau also works as a consultant providing policy and program advice on a range of water, climate adaptation and strategic issues to government and non-government organizations and she is a part time professor at the University of Ottawa. She has extensive hands-on experience in the management of water infrastructure and watershed monitoring. Prior to consulting, she managed various water infrastructure portfolios for a municipal government over a 15 year period, including responsibilities for potable water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, as well a surface water monitoring program and an accredited analytical laboratory. She is a published author in the Journal of Hydrology and the Ecohydrology Journal, among others. Dr. Trudeau has successfully managed large, multi-disciplinary teams, public advisory committees, multi-stakeholder technical advisory committees, and staff groups of up to 70 persons. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Applied Science (Civil Engineering) and English Literature, a Master of Science (Environment and Management) and a PhD in Physical Geography (Hydrology).

Maya Velis is an environmental scientist and lawyer with professional experience spanning in public policy (including foreign service) and international development finance. Prior to her current role at the World Bank, she served the Dutch national government (Consulate-General in Chicago; Department for Infrastructure & Water Management; Department for Economic Affairs & Climate Policy). She conducted research on the governance of transboundary aquifers at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre hosted by UNESCO-IHE and served on SIWI’s Young Scientific Program Committee for the Stockholm World Water Week in 2018, shaping the scientific seminar on ecosystems and urban development alongside co-conveners. She holds Master’s degrees from the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University and Leiden Law School and a Diploma in Legal studies from Oxford University.

Ever since conducting field work in Luzon, the Philippines in 2012, Ms. Velis has been addressing the issue of water security at the science-policy interface. She considers reliable access to fresh water as one of the key enablers of development across all scales: it is crucial to quality of life, agricultural and industrial productivity, and even peace and stability. She published on the linkage between groundwater security and human development in the context of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition to water security, she specializes in numerous aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Currently, she is core to the World Bank effort’s to develop the next generation Climate Change Action Plan for the Middle East and North Africa Region. During her tenure at the Dutch national government, she led upstream sectoral policy conversations on climate mainstreaming in the budget of the European Union.

A member of IWRA’s Water Security Task Force since 2019, Maya Velis is leading the Water Security Podcast Working Group.

Dr. William R. Jones serves as Senior Science Advisor and Director of the Senior Science Advisor Staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). He previously served as the Principal Deputy Director for Food Safety Science and Policy and prior to that as the Director of CFSAN’s Office of Food Safety (OFS). He had also served in each of the three Deputy Office Director positions in OFS, after having served as director of other divisions within several different offices.  He joined the FDA in 2001, originally serving as the Center’s expert on aquaculture, then Chief of the Seafood Policy Guidance Branch. He received his B.A. in Biology from Towson University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland. He conducted post-doctoral research in microbial pathogenesis at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, before being appointed to the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Department of Medicine at the National Military Medical Center. There he directed the hepatitis E virus research and vaccine development program before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute’s Center for Marine Biotechnology (now the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology). He subsequently moved into an administrative role there as Head of Educational Programs as well as Senior Scientist, overseeing environmental biotechnology research programs. He also has experience in the private sector as a founder and owner of four successful businesses, including biotechnology research and manufacturing company Athena Environmental Sciences, serving as President as well as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for eight years before joining the USFDA.

Water Security Working Groups

The Global Water Security Issues (GWSI)

To document relevant research on water security issues, the Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) series is an annual publication by i-WSSM UNESCO in collaboration with and coordinated by IWRA. The Working Group therefore provides independent assessments and comments on draft manuscripts to assist IWRA in ensuring the GWSI publication is informative regarding a range of water security issues.

Urban Water 

Security

A rapidly urbanising world means existing freshwater sources and water infrastructure projects need to be adapted to address emerging challenges of urban water insecurity. Through webinars, workshops, research papers, guidelines, policy briefs and dialogues, the Urban Water Security Working Group aims to advance knowledge on water security related issues to improve the operational conditions and management of urban water.

Water Security 

Podcast

Too much, too little, or too polluted – the global water crisis confronts us with a range of challenges compounded by climate change, biodiversity loss, and socio-economic pressures. This Working Group aims to use the medium of podcasting to facilitate a global conversation on water security at the science-policy interface. The podcast series will feature experts who reflect on pathways to water security from a range of perspectives and explore solutions developed in different contexts across the world. 

IWRA Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) Working Group

Panellists

Mary Trudeau is a professional engineer specializing in water resources, urban infrastructure and climate adaptation.

She is assisting IWRA on the topic of Water Security and is a member of the IWRA Smart Water Management Task Force.

Dr. Trudeau also works as a consultant providing policy and program advice on a range of water, climate adaptation and strategic issues to government and non-government organizations and she is a part time professor at the University of Ottawa.

She has extensive hands-on experience in the management of water infrastructure and watershedmonitoring.

Prior to consulting, she managed various water infrastructure portfolios for a municipal government over a 15 year period, including responsibilities for potable water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, as well a surface water monitoring program and an accredited analytical laboratory.

She is a published author in the Journal of Hydrology and the Ecohydrology Journal, among others. Dr. Trudeau has successfully managed large, multi-disciplinary teams, public advisory committees, multi-stakeholder technical advisory committees, and staff groups of up to 70 persons.

She holds Bachelor Degrees in Applied Science (Civil Engineering) and English Literature, a Master of Science (Environment and Management) and a PhD in Physical Geography (Hydrology).

Objectives

The mission of the Working Group is to provide independent assessments and comments on draft manuscripts to assist IWRA in ensuring the GWSI publication is informative regarding a range of water security issues. Given the complexity and range of topics on water security, a theme is selected each year to provide a focus for the GWSI Paper Series.

New challenges to water security are emerging since climate change is manifesting through the water cycle, resulting in dramatic changes in precipitation patterns on local to continental scales. There is an urgent need to conduct research on emerging and future global water security issues in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. To document relevant research on water security issues, UNESCO Headquarters and  UNESCO i-WSSM (International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management) are annually co-publishing the Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) Paper Series. The Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) series is, therefore, an annual publication by i-WSSM UNESCO in collaboration with IWRA.

Activities, Deliverables & Timeline

The Working Group undertakes peer reviews of the draft chapters planned for each annual GWSI publication. The final product is, therefore, a GWSI publication that has been vetted by peers with water security expertise.

In 2019, the theme was: Water Reuse within a Circular Economy Context.  Access this publication with leading contributions from IWRA by clicking here! The 2020 GWSI has also been peer-reviewed and currently in its final phase before publication. The 2020 GWSI has also been peer-reviewed and currently in its final phase before publication. The theme of the 2020 GWSI was: The role of sound groundwater resources management and governance to achieve water security. The 2021 theme will be: Water Security and Cities – Integrated Urban Water Management.

The GWSI is scheduled for early in the calendar year with a call for proposals in the first quarter of the year. Peer review of manuscripts from accepted proposals is planned for mid-year. Due to various factors, the schedule may vary from year to year including call for peer reviewers.

 

Latest News

The Global Water Security Issues Paper Series

There is an urgent need to conduct research on emerging and future global water security issues in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. To document relevant research on water security issues, UNESCO Headquarters and UNESCO i-WSSM (International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management) are annually co-publishing the Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) Paper Series. IWRA is assisting with the GWSI Paper Series publication.

Given the complexity and range of the topic of water security, a theme is selected each year to provide a focus for the GWSI Paper Series. In 2019, the theme was: Water Reuse within a Circular Economy Context Access this publication with leading contributions from IWRA by clicking here! In 2020, the theme was: The Role of Sound Groundwater Resources Management and Governance to Achieve Water Security. Access this publication by clicking here! In 2021, the theme is: Water Security and Cities – Integrated Urban Water Management, due for publication in early 2022.

IWRA Urban Water Security Working Group

Panellists

Hassan Aboelnga is originally from Egypt, and based in Cologne, Germany.  Aboelnga is renowned young water professional in issues of water security, climate change and sustainable development. Aboelnga is a civil engineer by profession and is currently a PhD researcher at University of Kassel and TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences with a particular interest in urban water security and integrated water resources management. Eng. Aboelnga is a certified project management professional (PMP)®, management committee member of intermittent water supply and water safety plans specialists groups at International Water Association – IWA and advisory board member at Middle East Water Forum MEWF. He is the former board member of World Youth Parliament for Water and he has been an active member of many international networks in issues of water, climate, and sustainable development. Aboelnga holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Mansoura University, and postgraduate studies from Cairo University, Egypt. He has two master’s in integrated water resources management (IWRM) from two universities, Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln) in Germany and University of Jordan. He has gained valuable international experiences in IWRM approach that offers interdisciplinary solutions to the water crisis in linking water to other vital resources and viewing the whole water cycle together with human interventions as the basis for sustainable water management. Aboelnga has published /co-authored many articles, reports, blog articles, books including Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus for policy makers and 3rd State of Water Report in the Arab region. Media links with more information include:

International Water Association: https://iwa-network.org/people/hassan-aboelnga
Middle East Water Forum: www.mewf.de/advisory-boards/pmp-eng-hassan-tolba-aboelnga
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/hassan-a-50243440
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hassan_Water

Professor Jan Hofman is Professor of Water Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, where he is the Director of the Water Innovation and Research CentreThe Centre is a campus-wide environment to engage globally in research and policy on water. The centre (~50 academics) comprises multidisciplinary research teams, with contribution from all faculties and departments. It has wide expertise in the natural sciences and engineering, as well as in social, economic, and political sciences, in policy, and in business management. Jan is also co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics Science and Engineering, co-Director of the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability, and co-Director of the GW4 Water Security Alliance. Furthermore, he is Leader of the Working Groups on Urban Water Pollution and Urban Water Security in Water Europe. Water Security is one of Jan’s research interests. His research is focussing on water security in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa. In collaboration with KWR, UNESCO-IHP, IWA and OECD he is developing a platform for baseline assessment of sustainable water management and governance in cities, and roadmaps for creating bankable projects.

Objectives

The objective of the Urban Water Security Working Group is to research and advance knowledge in issues of water security to water professionals and industry, utilities and young professionals, and community representatives at all levels of government, including national and international agencies, to improve the operational conditions and management of urban water with the goal of providing water security for all.

Devoted to promoting solutions and best practices for the water community, the WG seeks to develop a series of engagements that facilitate dialogues to address the pressing social, economic, and political challenges. We hope to facilitate debates around possible solutions that attend to issues faced by urban communities in diverse economic and political circumstances to have a holistic and sustainable impact.

Activities, Deliverables & Timeline

Activities within the WG seek to facilitate key dialogues on the strategic goals and questions around sustainable water transitions and achieving urban water security for sustainable development. through webinars, workshops, research papers, guidelines, policy briefs and dialogues, among others.

This would be addressed by answering key questions as,

  1. How are sustainable water systems defined? What are differences across regions and economies? What are the implications for governance, policy, development, and financing?
  2. To what extent have, urban areas adopted a new paradigm of sustainable transition toward water secure cities and urban water systems incorporated or adopted processes and practices of sustainability?
  3. How can meaningful change towards sustainable urban water transitions incorporate values of equity and civic participation and what are the implications for urban systems?

This would help in better understanding urban water security (what does it mean, how we can assess urban water security, what are key challenges and opportunities), distil good practices and existing challenges of achieving urban water security, as well as defining the priorities of countries and /regions towards urban water security at different scales.

The WG has developed quarterly milestones for each calendar year with plans to produce one tangible output per year.

IWRA Water Security Podcast Working Group

Panellists

Maya Velis is an environmental scientist and lawyer with professional experience spanning in public policy (including foreign service) and international development finance. Prior to her current role at the World Bank, she served the Dutch national government (Consulate-General in Chicago; Department for Infrastructure & Water Management; Department for Economic Affairs & Climate Policy). She conducted research on the governance of transboundary aquifers at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre hosted by UNESCO-IHE and served on SIWI’s Young Scientific Program Committee for the Stockholm World Water Week in 2018, shaping the scientific seminar on ecosystems and urban development alongside co-conveners. She holds Master’s degrees from the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University and Leiden Law School and a Diploma in Legal studies from Oxford University.

Ever since conducting field work in Luzon, the Philippines in 2012, Ms. Velis has been addressing the issue of water security at the science-policy interface. She considers reliable access to fresh water as one of the key enablers of development across all scales: it is crucial to quality of life, agricultural and industrial productivity, and even peace and stability. She published on the linkage between groundwater security and human development in the context of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition to water security, she specializes in numerous aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Currently, she is core to the World Bank effort’s to develop the next generation Climate Change Action Plan for the Middle East and North Africa Region. During her tenure at the Dutch national government, she led upstream sectoral policy conversations on climate mainstreaming in the budget of the European Union.

A member of IWRA’s Water Security Task Force since 2019, Maya Velis is leading the Water Security Podcast Working Group.

Objectives

The Water Security Podcast Working Group aims to use podcasting to facilitate a global conversation on water security at the science-policy interface.

The quarterly podcast series features experts who reflect on pathways to water security from a range of perspectives and explore solutions developed in different contexts across the world.

Activities, Deliverables & Timeline

The WG convenes 4-5 times a year to define the scope & format of the podcast pilot and provide inputs on draft outlines/scripts and positioning strategy. 

In parallel, the episodes will be developed in separate work streams under the coordination of a content lead. The Working Group aims launch a pilot podcast series comprising 3-4 episodes by the end of 2021. Currently, the Working Group is exploring thematic episodes to focus on the following facets of water security: nature-based solutions for water security; water diplomacy to share transboundary water resources; water pricing and market-based instruments; smart and digitally enabled water management; urban water security.