Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Water Security and Sustainability

  • Petra SchneiderEmail author
  • Tamara Avellan
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_473


The United Nations (2013) defined water security as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socioeconomic development. Water security aims to ensure the protection against waterborne pollution and water-related disasters and to preserve ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability. As such, water security has a technical and an institutional dimension. The practical dimension covers drinking water and well-being, economic activities and development, water-related hazards and climate change, as well as ecosystems, while the institutional dimension covers all activities of good governance, peace and political stability, transboundary cooperation, and financing. The contribution emphasizes the wicked problem of water scarcity, the resulting disputes and conflicts, and the approaches to conflict resolution through benefit-sharing approaches. The dimensions of resolving water security problems are illustrated by the case study of the Amu Darja and Syr Darja catchment in Central Asia and the related history of the Aral Sea Disaster.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Water, Environment, Civil Engineering and SafetyUniversity of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-StendalMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)United Nations UniversityDresdenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Development (Greens)Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (Unisul)FlorianópolisBrazil