Water Security Frameworks, Assessment Tools and Indicators to inform Water Governance
Convener: Stefanos Xenarios | Co-conveners: Björn Klöve, Eduardo Araral, Paolo Perona, Pieter van Oel, Jürgen Mahlknecht, Saket Pande
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

The notion of water security has been interpreted in a variety of ways through engineering, socioeconomic, geophysical, and integrated modeling approaches. The social disciplines emphasize on human welfare and security, while the natural sciences focus more on hydrological balance and natural hazards. In all cases, water security is perceived as a very complex concept where both hydrological and social components interacting with each other, which makes the definition of security notion challenging.

Various indicators were developed at different scales for global or national assessment and with different thematic focus, but all of them were criticized for being biased concerning certain aspects, not well-founded with data, or oversimplifying complex water-society interrelations. The suggested approaches often represent water security in a fragmented manner, while the relevant indicators cannot fully attribute security status at a country or regional level. This can result in misinterpretation of the water security situation in policy dialogues, also affecting bilateral and multilateral relations among countries.

Often, water security is perceived through the water-for-food governance framework to sustainably manage locally scarce water resources. This requires performance indicators that somehow reflect spatiotemporal variations, different interests and perspectives. Examples of such indicators include water footprints of food consumers, crop water productivities, basin-level water accounts and irrigation efficiency. Insights from agricultural water management, water resources management, socio-hydrology and other fields can be used to develop and interpret performance indicators to better inform actors in water-for-food governance, all the way from the field to the fridge.

In this session, we invite contributions of different approaches and indicators toward water security assessment and its reflection on policy making aspects. We are interested on original and review studies focusing on inter-disciplinary conceptualization of water security by including different dimensions like hydrological, socio-economic, environmental parameters among others. We also welcome studies on the interpretation of water security into risk management assessments, governance aspects, and development of early warning and forecasting systems