Water Security in a Changing World

Jeffrey M Levengood, Ari Hörman, Marja-Liisa Hänninen, Kevin O'Brien

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Two key components of water security are water quality and water quantity. Safe drinking water is essential for public health and linked with adequate sanitation. At global level the access to safe drinking water has improved to the point where more than 91% of world's population has access to safe drinking water. However, at the same time the target level set for sanitation improvement by the UN's Millennium Development Goals has not been obtained, consequently, drinking water is still an important source of gastroenteric diseases. In addition, environmental toxicants such as cyanotoxins, pharmaceuticals and toxic disinfection by?products continue to provide treatment challenges. Designing and ensuring the safe drinking water supply systems is a multi? and interdisciplinary challenge, where close collaboration and cooperation between veterinary, public health and medical professionals together with experts on security and quality, water engineering and communication is essential. Water is vital not only for drinking, but also for agricultural production, electricity generation, and manufacturing. Accelerated global population growth combined with the acceleration of Gross Domestic Product growth has placed significant stress on global water supplies. The concept of water/energy/food nexus highlights these stresses in an effort to mitigate the risks associated with stressed global water supplies. Ignoring these risks can have catastrophic consequences from both social and economic perspectives. The water / energy / food nexus provides a major challenge at a global scale, yet it must be addressed at a regional level with region?specific solutions. It requires coordination across utility and market sectors that have limited coordination in the past. Failure to coordinate this effort will not only impact economic growth, but could ignite civil unrest. As indicated by the World Bank (2016b) in their report: ?water management will be crucial in determining whether the world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity.?
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBeyond One Health
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Recognition to Results
EditorsJohn A Herrmann, Yvette J Johnson-Walker
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781119194521
ISBN (Print)9781119194491
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Publication series

NameWiley Online Books


  • ISTC
  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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