IAHS Scientific Assembly 2017
10–14 July 2017
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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Session 1

Water security and the food-water-energy nexus: drivers, responses and feedbacks at local to global scales
Convener: Graham Jewitt  | Co-Convener: Barry Croke 
Supporting commission(s) / organisations: ICWRS, Panta Rhei, Waternet

Water security -- i.e., the capacity of people to safeguard sustainable access to water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development -- is an important issue, with water crises highlighted by the World Economic Forum as the major global risk to society in 2015. Water security varies in time. Climate change, population growth, industrialisation and agricultural activities can impact on the quantity and quality of available water, thus impacting on the availability of water, food and energy, which are interconnected (food-water-energy nexus). Moreover, water security varies in space. Management of the water resource must include societal, economic and governance aspects, all of which interact at a wide range of scales, from local to national and multi-national, which are also interconnected. The challenge to the hydrological community is to include in their research also social, economic, biophysical, institutional and political aspects, including the feedback mechanisms among these.

Contributions are invited that investigate water security and more broadly the food-water-energy nexus. More specifically, the following research questions are of interest:

- What are the key considerations of a water resources management framework to achieve water security?
- What are the temporal (slow/fast dynamics) and spatial (local/global scales) drivers and feedback mechanisms (biophysical, social, economic, political, …) that should be investigated to properly characterise water security?
- How should the coping-capacity of society? evolve in order to maintain or improve water security in a changing world, and what is action is needed to aid this evolution at local, national and regional scales?
- What are the peculiarities of water security in relation to food (e.g., agriculture), energy (e.g., hydropower), and health (i.e., water supply)?
- What is the role of hydrologists in education at village through to Government levels?

We encourage contributions that discuss developing world issues, particularly from an African perspective.