World Water Week is an annual conference on global water issues organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The conference features participants from a variety of backgrounds on water-related topics ranging from food security and health to agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and the climate crisis.
At this year’s World Water Week, Dr. Sera Young was featured as a speaker and panelist in a session titled “All Aboard? Water for inclusive health and food security.” The session offered an update on water management opportunities and investments to achieve multiple development ambitions on SDG2 (Zero hunger), SDG3 (Good health and wellbeing), and SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation). Dr. Young specifically spoke on benchmarking water security experiences globally and the implications for health and food security.
In another session, Dr. Wendy Jepson participated in a speed debate on whether small-scale irrigation can improve socio-economic resilience. Her session, titled “Irrigation and socio-environmental resilience: Finding confluence between strategy and disaster,” broadly looked at how irrigation influences social resilience through the stabilization of food production, generation of employment and incomes, and improvement of household water security. The session further investigated how this is complicated through adverse effects of irrigation on ecological resilience as it depletes and pollutes water, fragments habitats, and hastens ecological disasters. The combination of positive and negative impacts requires investigation of systemic solutions through socio-technological innovation bundles, sustainable financing, and continued dialogue and cross-sectoral efforts.