Conference on “Climate Change and the Future of Water”
- 14 October 2014
The conference on “Climate Change and the Future of Water,” co-organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research and the University of Maine, addressed one of the most urgent issues facing the region and the world. As a result of global demographic growth, demand for fresh water for agriculture and human consumption is growing whilst water quality is declining. Climate change adds additional uncertainty that may severely curtail water supply, especially in areas that are already water-stressed.
Conference participants offered multiple perspectives for understanding and solving the impending water crisis. Keynote speakers discussed the current situation, policy, and planning in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Paul Mayewski, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, talked about how climate change in the region is affecting water supply today and in the near future.
A panel on “Sustainable Water Policies and Climate Change” covered policy and engineering approaches to solving the water crisis and provided a regional perspective on maintaining a sustainable water supply in Abu Dhabi. An innovative panel on “Water and Education” detailed the work undertaken with students at high school, university, and post-graduate levels to provide innovative solutions to the water crisis.
Another panel addressed the “Future of Water in the Gulf” in the face of climate change, and how to ensure the sustainability of water supplies in this region. As water supply and quality are increasingly imperiled, water security may become the next significant threat to survival. The final panel discussed “Water Security in a Changing World,” both from local and global perspectives.