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DHP P252: Global Water Security Perspectives

Course Description

This is a seminar-style course to introduce students to the concept of water security. Water security is a relatively new term in the field of water science and policy, and it is a concept with multiple interpretations. One definition by the Global Water Partnership is “Water Security, at any level from the household to the global, means that every person has access to enough safe water at an affordable cost to lead a clean, healthy, and productive life while ensuring that the natural environment is protected and enhanced.”  Since the early 2000s, the term has been used in increasing popularity often as justification or informing technical or policy solutions to the world’s water challenges. How the term is applied in these situations depends on its interpretation, making a solid understanding of the underlying concepts of water security important for decision-makers. Ultimately, water security is a concept that allows us to consider the risks associated with water, such as the risk of a lack of access, risk of poor quality, or risk of flood, and to develop solutions to address these risks, thereby ensuring one’s water security. However, water security is often conflated with the idea of securitization, which has the potential to encourage a securitized approach to water resources management, when interdependence and cooperation are often what is needed to ensure water security for all.
This course will take a deep dive into the main concepts and theories underlying the term water security. We will use the Web of Water Security (Zeitoun 2011) as a framework for understanding how water relates to climate, energy, food, human, and national securities, plus consider the economics of water and address environmental water needs. This course aims to help students build an understanding of water security as a concept so that they can use it as a tool to evaluate and inform sustainable and equitable water solutions to the global water crisis we are currently facing.

Course faculty: Melissa McCracken
Course duration: Full semester
Credits/Units: 3.0

Spring 2021

Day(s): Friday
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Final Exam

Consult instructor for exam details