While water research and practice have traditionally been divided into two separate areas – water services for domestic use and water resources more broadly. ‘Water security’ is an approach that bridges this divide.
We work in Africa and South Asia, focusing on the under-researched linkages between: drinking water supply, water for livelihoods, water for economic growth and water ecosystem risks.
Our research looks at how water security risks impact poor women, men, girls, boys and marginalised groups, to inform better policies and practices that benefit all of these groups.
Water security is linked to poverty in many ways, for example:
Access to safe and adequate drinking water and sanitation improves public health by reducing water-related disease. Better health and time saved from fetching water enable better prospects for work or education.
Extreme and sudden climate events, such as floods or droughts, can cause huge economic damage and have impact on vulnerable groups, deepening poverty or triggering major human displacement.
Water ecosystem damage or loss in wetland, river or lowland environments can have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable livelihoods that depend on these environments.
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