Humanity’s Big Challenge: Water Wars

Water, so vital for human life, covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. Yet despite huge progress in technology and modern development, water scarcity is one of the great challenges facing humanity today.  The provision of water has even become a problem for advanced globalised societies, with the South East of England potentially facing drought and ongoing contaminated water crises in Flint, Michigan and in California.  Are the real problems a lack of investment and political will, or will counter-crisis measures such as rationing become the norm?  Does a focus on drought and rainfall distract us from a discussion about water as a man made resource like any other?  What innovations would help avert an upcoming crisis?

Filmed at the Battle of Ideas 2016, the speakers are Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent The Guardian; Dr Sarah McCath, head of strategy, Thames Water Utilities Ltd; Dr Caspar Hewett, lecturer in civil engneering, Newcastle University.  The Chair is Rossa Minogue, online media producer, Institute of Ideas.