Global Water Security: Engineering the Future

  • Roger A. FalconerEmail author
  • Michael R. Norton
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The paper introduces some of the general challenges of global water security, particularly in poverty stricken regions such as Africa, and highlights the likely global impact of climate change, increasing pollution and population growth etc. on water resources, as outlined in recent studies. The nexus between water, food and energy is introduced, along with the concept of virtual water and the impact of the water footprint and the need for society, industry and governments to become more conscious of the water footprint, alongside the carbon footprint. Various practical solutions to enhancing security of supply are introduced and discussed, such as desalination and integrated water management in the form of ‘Cloud to Coast’, together with global actions needed. Finally, some water security challenges and opportunities for developed countries, such as the UK, are discussed, particularly with regard to the need to price water appropriately and the need to appreciate that the price of water should cover more than just the cost of delivery to the home. The paper concludes with the urgent need to raise the profile of global water security at all levels of society and through international bodies, for the benefit of humanity worldwide.


Climate change Water resources Water pollution World population Integrated water management Eco-systems Bio-diversity Desalination Water pricing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Director Hydro-environmental Research Centre, Cardiff School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Halcrow Group LtdSwindonUK

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