Skip navigation
The Australian National University

About the project

The use of water for irrigation varies greatly in technology, practicality and efficiency.

Simple irrigation is often inefficient – a lot of water is lost from the irrigation system.

Website pulls together global knowledge

The Global Water Forum website has been established to present knowledge and insight from leading water researchers and practitioners.

» read more

The use of water for irrigation varies greatly in technology, practicality and efficiency.

A pivot irrigation system in South Africa.

Water - challenges of availability, access and management

Africa has the largest disparities in water availability and least coverage in potable water supply and sanitation. These women are collecting domestic water supplies from a source a kilometre from their homes in Tanzania, 2012. (c) J Pittock.

» read more

Transboundary Water Governance

Throughout the world rivers are not contained by borders – either country or state. As a result, governance becomes transboundary or 'across borders'.

About the Chair

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that about 3,800 children die every day - almost exclusively in poor countries – as a direct result of unsafe drinking water and lack of proper sanitation.

Africa has the largest disparities in water availability and least coverage in potable water supply and sanitation. Without a fundamental change in how water is managed, scarcity problems will be made much worse with a growing world population and climate change that will increase the frequency and severity of droughts. There is the potential for a calamity in food production in the South, especially Africa.

As the water available decreases, water conflicts will be exacerbated among users. Diverting water from one area or catchment to another is likely to increase in response to water scarcity. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world there are few locations where water is available without imposing substantial costs on users from where the water is being supplied, and also on the environment.

 

The UNESCO Chair addresses three key issues in water scarcity:

  1. the economics of trade-offs across competing users and between water use and the environment to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Water;
  2. the governance of water (especially across regions within states and between states); and
  3. inequalities of water access

The Chair links African and Australian expertise in water economics and governance of to provide:

  1. high-level capacity building (South-South & North-South) in water governance and economics that will help achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
  2. knowledge transfer and exchange between Australia, China and Southern Africa on water governance;
  3. new insights about how to effectively manage water scarcity across boundaries; and
  4. establish a pole of excellence in water economics and governance in Africa to complement the existing programs (MSc and short courses) of UNESCO IHE and WaterNet that are primarily in the sciences, engineering and law.

African and Australian collaboration for better water governance was discussed at a workshop in Canberra, November 2010.

Updated:  4 October, 2012/Responsible Officer:  UNESCO Chair/Page Contact:  Crawford Webmaster