Farm to tap? Resilient cities and rural livelihoods in a water stressed world

Dr Dustin Garrick, Co-director of the Smith School’s Water Programme, discusses the impact of water stress on urban-rural tensions at World Bank Water Week.

The World Bank Group’s Water Global Practice held its annual Water Week at the University of Maryland from March 13-16, bringing together over 500 participants from the Bank and beyond, to promote dialogue and learning around the theme of Delivering a Water-Secure World for All.

The event hosted a number of technical sessions around the Bank’s five practice areas – 1)Water Supply and Sanitation and Water Quality; 2) Water Security and Water Resource Management; 3) Water in Agriculture; 4) Water, Poverty, and the Economy; and 5) Hydropower and Dams – in addition to a series of plenaries.

This year, Dr Dustin Garrick, Lecturer in Environmental Management at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE), and Co-Director of the SSEE’s Water Programme, represented Oxford University in a plenary exploring water scarcity and climate change. World Bank Chief Economist for Climate Change, Marianne Fay, chaired the session which included representatives from Columbia University, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Dr Garrick’s presentation, entitled ‘Farm to tap?  Resilient cities and rural livelihoods in a water stressed world’, explored how water stress and severe drought have placed cities under pressure, threatening the engines of growth and strategic national interests. Dr Garrick began his presentation by framing the water resource allocation challenges facing cities competing with agriculture for scarce water supplies to enhance resilience to climate shocks.

After a summary of the hotpots and dynamics of rural-urban competition for water globally, Dr Garrick surveyed the rapid innovations in allocation policy, infrastructure governance and digital water solutions to measure and manage water risk. These experiences from fast growing cities and rural towns of Africa and Latin America illustrate the challenges and opportunities for innovation to sustain growth, reduce inequality and enhance freshwater resilience.

Dr Garrick’s participation in World Bank Water Week marks a continuation of Oxford University’s long-standing relationship with the World Bank. Recent notable collaborations include the high-level panel hosted by the Oxford Water Network at the Martin School in January.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *