Rachael McDonnell provides water expertise at Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Court
Dr Rachael McDonnell was an invited speaker at a workshop on ‘Policy options for food insecure countries’ held in Abu Dhabi on 19-20 November 2012. The event was hosted by the Crown Prince Court and organised by the policy think tank Chatham House.
McDonnell’s paper contributed to important discussions on the role of innovations in science/technology and policy for improving water management in food production systems. She examined the contribution of marginal waters, saline and treated wastewaters, and discussed how these can be better leveraged to relieve the pressure on freshwater resources.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a hotspot for food vulnerability. Rapid increases in water demand and population growth are compounded by extreme weather events and droughts leading to volatile food commodity markets.
The meeting brought together regional and international experts to discuss issues related to food security, including resource scarcities, crop breeding science, water efficiency strategies, environmental change and implications for policy. Other speakers included representatives from the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission, and the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Rachael McDonnell is a Senior Research Scientist at Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, and a Scientist (Water Policy and Governance) at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture.