The global web of national water security

Zeitoun, Mark (2011) The global web of national water security. Global Policy, 2 (3). pp. 286-296.

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This article explores the reasons efforts to attain water security by states and the international water policy community often fall short of their goals, and suggests a conceptual tool as partial remedy. The main shortcomings of prevailing water security policy and thinking are found to stem from narrow and determinist analysis that is based on a separation of biophysical and social processes of water resources and their use. Undue confidence is placed in physical scarcity thresholds, for example, while distributive issues are ignored. Water resources are also found to be treated in isolation, as if independent of the food, climate or energy security of individuals, communities and states. The ‘web’ of water security introduced here emphasises combined readings of the social and biophysical processes that enable or prevent national water security. These processes are mediated by a socioeconomic and political context replete with power asymmetries, such that water security for some rests on the water insecurity of others. Sustainable national water security in the long term, it is suggested, will be guided by principles of balance between related security areas, and equitability of distribution of resources between the actors involved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 7 - affordable and clean energy ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/affordable_and_clean_energy
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Climate Change
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
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Depositing User: Mark Zeitoun
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2011 13:26
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 01:20
DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-5899.2011.00097.x


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