This paper offers a working definition of water security and aims to capture the constantly evolving dimensions of water-related issues. It offers a holistic outlook on challenges under the umbrella of water security and highlights the role water security plays in policy agendas and possible options for addressing water security challenges.
- Water security can only be achieved if it is supported by an enabling environment that establishes systemic and cross-cutting changes, including integrated policies targeting synergies across sectors, while managing the demand for water by all users and stakeholders.
- Innovative financial mechanisms need to be promoted that contribute towards the goal of achieving water security through a supportive policy environment.
- Good water governance is essential to achieving water security and requires well-designed and empowered institutions with supporting legislative and policy instruments.
- In conflict and disaster zones, threats to water security increase through inequitable and difficult access to water supply and related services, which may aggravate existing social fragility, tensions, violence, and conflict.
- Water security will be compromised by the consequences of climate change, as the vast majority of its impacts will be on the water cycle, resulting in higher climatic and hydrological variability, with important consequences for societies.