Water Security in a Changing Environment: Concept, Challenges and Solutions


Water is of vital and critical importance to ecosystems and human societies. The effects of
human activities on land and water are now large and extensive. These reflect physical changes to
the environment. Global change such as urbanization, population growth, socioeconomic change,
evolving energy needs, and climate change have put unprecedented pressure on water resources
systems. It is argued that achieving water security throughout the world is the key to sustainable
development. Studies on holistic view with persistently changing dimensions is in its infancy. This
study focuses on narrative review work for giving a comprehensive insight on the concept of water
security, its evolution with recent environmental changes (e.g., urbanization, socioeconomic, etc.)
and various implications. Finally, it presents different sustainable solutions to achieve water security.
Broadly, water security evolves from ensuring reliable access of enough safe water for every person
(at an affordable price where market mechanisms are involved) to lead a healthy and productive
life, including that of future generations. The constraints on water availability and water quality
threaten secured access to water resources for different uses. Despite recent progress in developing
new strategies, practices and technologies for water resource management, their dissemination and
implementation has been limited. A comprehensive sustainable approach to address water security
challenges requires connecting social, economic, and environmental systems at multiple scales. This
paper captures the persistently changing dimensions and new paradigms of water security providing
a holistic view including a wide range of sustainable solutions to address the water challenges.

Binaya Kumar