Kelleher, A., (various) in Cosgrove, C.E., and Cosgrove, W.J., 2012, Ethics, Society and Culture, The Dynamics of Global Water Futures: Driving Forces 2011-2050, Report on the findings of Phase One of the UNESCO-WWAP water scenarios project to 2050: 23-25, 37-38, 60-61, 68-75, 87-89 (synthese en Francaise), UNESCO Paris.


Because water is central to socio-economic development, insight into water futures (resource availability, reliability, and the evolution of demand in response to external pressures) provides a valuable tool for decisionmakers traditionally perceived as being outside the water domain – those in areas such as food security, health, energy and land development planning.

New water scenarios are needed because existing global water scenarios don’t necessarily incorporate driving forces such as climate change, globalization and security issues, and information used needs to be updated. WWAP is undertaking a project, ‘Global Water Scenarios to 2050’, to explore alternative futures of the world’s water and its use to 2050. The objectives of the project are to:

  1. Develop a second generation of global scenarios to support linkages between socio-economic anticipatory decision-making and the global water system, including the identification of major risks and opportunities and alternative futures, and to provide a perspective for individual national and subnational scenario building.
  2. Provide an interdisciplinary articulation of the current scientific understanding of the global water system, including major uncertainties and principal areas of agreement, using qualitative descriptions and quantitative projections, expert opinion and analysis of available information.
  3. Support scenario building at the national and subnational scales, which will inform the global process and stimulate the interchange of experiences, mutual learning and reciprocal capacity-building among the interested groups working at these scales, as well as enable a scenario tool box and other training material to be developed.
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