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The Challenge of Sustainable Water Futures event at Newcastle University

Can we manage water sustainably in the face of increasing demand and shrinking fresh water sources?

Can we manage water sustainably in the face of increasing demand and shrinking fresh water sources? Is access to water and sanitation services a public good or a human right? Should water be treated as a commodity? What is the value of water? Is it possible to universalise access to water and sanitation services in poor countries? Do we even have the technology and know-how to tackle the world water crisis? Are we facing the real possibility of international water wars?

These and other important questions will be the focus of a special public event hosted by Newcastle University’s School of Geography, Politics & Sociology and the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIRES) on Thursday 14 July 2011 from 9am to 1pm and 6pm to 9pm.
Leading experts and scientists from the UK, Brazil, Finland, France, Kenya, Mexico, Palestine and Spain, are coming to Newcastle to highlight and debate the main challenges and opportunities facing the international community when it comes to the current global water crisis.

Just looking at one aspect of the global water crisis, 17 per cent of the world population lacks access to essential volumes of clean drinking water and 40 per cent has no access to basic sanitation. The international community has the goal to universalize access to these services by 2025, which means a massive effort requiring increased freshwater withdrawal and inevitably the release of vast volumes of wastewater as a result.

With many countries already experiencing water shortages and heavy pollution of freshwater resources the challenges ahead are overwhelming. The panel of invited water experts and scientists will address this and other aspects of the global water crisis. One of the main messages will be that that the preservation and availability of clean water crucially depends on the development of forms of water governance and management that are grounded on the principles of equality and sustainability.

This means overcoming rigid disciplinary boundaries to bring together expertise from across the social, natural and technical sciences. Experts also see a need to involve non academics in the sharing of knowledge and expertise, to ensure users, communities and citizens are not just passive actors but become involved in the process.


Professor Josť Esteban Castro | talks | www


Date and Time:

14 July 2011 at 9:00 am


4 hours



Newcastle University School of Geography, Politics & Sociology
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne


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Available from:

Please register at http://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=1924.

Additional Information:

6pm session also available. In case of queries, please contact Sue Tatah by email at sue.tatah@ncl.ac.uk.

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