Water security is a defining global challenge. Absent or unreliable water and sanitation services, unpredictable floods and droughts, and degraded ecosystems threaten the lives of many of the world’s population, and pose increasing risk to businesses and governments. Rapid changes such as climate change, population pressures, urbanization, and financial crises are presenting new challenges to the goal of achieving water security.
The water debate has been shifting from understanding our global water crisis in terms of physical scarcity, to one deeply rooted in the mismanagement of our water resources. Although water is scarce, there is enough to provide water security for all - but only if we manage it adequately. Good water governance requires the involvement and integration of all sectors: public, private and non-profit.
The objective of the assignment was think through a specific subset of water management. Analytical approaches such as scenarios, systems dynamics and ecosystems thinking were encouraged as tools for approaching the project. By thinking through the landscapes of the challenge, students were asked to draw out market opportunities and possible future levers of change as they considered how this challenge could be tackled.