Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Achieving water security: global concerns and local realities

Time (GMT +00) 17:15 18:45
Hero image description: Orke Otta walks with a jerrycan full of clean water, Abba Roba, Konso, Ethiopia Image credit:WaterAid/Anna Kari Image license:ODI given rights


Tom Slaymaker - Deputy Head of Policy, WaterAid

Fekahmed Negash - Director, Boundary and Transboundary Rivers Affairs Directorate, Ministry of Water and Energy, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Roger Calow - Head of Programme, Water Policy, ODI


Guy Howard - DFID


John Butterworth - Senior Programme Officer, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre


Why does water security remain an elusive goal for many countries, in spite of the clear benefits of investing in water, sanitation and hygiene? What factors make it difficult to sustain services and manage resources effectively at scale? How do rural households experience water insecurity, and are current policy responses adequate? 

This launch event, seminar and photo exhibition held in partnership with WaterAid and the International Water and Sanitation Centre will launch two major research outputs which examine these questions using detailed field level evidence.  In particular, we ask how emerging evidence on the complexity of local water security can be brought to bear in national and global policy debates.

After our speakers and discussants have spoken an informal discussion will engage members of the audience in exploration of the implications of these findings for national and global policies on water security.

After the meeting participants will be invited to enjoy refreshments and view a photo exhibition documenting rural life and water security in Ethiopia. Note that the exhibition will also be open from 4.45pm, before the main event.

  • Achieving water security’ (eds Calow, Ludi and Tucker) is the outcome of five years of in-depth research in Ethiopia under the RiPPLE programme. Based on extensive field research, this book provides insights into what water security means for different stakeholders, from policymakers to communities. It sheds light on how policies and plans for delivering and sustaining services for poor people can be strengthened in the face of multiple pressures, including climate change.
  • 'Voices from the source’ (available soon) explores household water security in agricultural and pastoral regions of Ethiopia. This report reveals the complex ways in which households secure water access for domestic and productive purposes under climate variability, by drawing on social relations as well as physical assets. It explores the many livelihood-related trade-offs which they must make in doing so and identifies key implications for policy.

This event is part of WPP’s ongoing exploration of different perspectives on water security. Future events planned for 2013 will examine the place of water security within global policy debates and frameworks, and the opportunities and challenges of accelerating private sector engagement on water security and risk.