Institutions join forces for World Water Day

The Centre for Sustainable International Development at the University of Aberdeen and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute will be joining forces on Tuesday March 22 to mark the United Nation’s World Water Day.

The theme this year is “Water and cities” given that half of the world’s population now live in cities.  This figure is forecast to increase to 60% within the next two decades: 95% of the expansion will take place in the developing world. 

The rapidly expanding urban population creates unprecedented challenges for the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.  The current situation is that one in four city dwellers world wide (789 million people) live without access to improved sanitation, 27% of urban dwellers in the developing world do not have access to piped water and the urban poor pay up to 50 times more for a litre of water than their richer neighbours.

Five speakers will address critical issues of water in developing countries.  Hilary Homans (Director) and Brendan Dineen (Associate) of the Centre for Sustainable International Development will set the scene by explaining How water runs through the Millennium Development Goals and how these goals cannot be achieved without access to safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care. Building on this, Collette Jones also of the University of Aberdeen, will look at historical and contemporary Health implications of safe water.  Issues of Rights and governance relating to water will be addressed by Antonio Ioris, lecturer in Geography and Environment, University of Aberdeen.  The final speaker will be Simon Langan of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen who will focus on Environmental concerns.

The meeting will be chaired by Chris Soulsby, Head of School of GeoSciences, University of Aberdeen and the closing remarks will be made by staff from the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen.

All are welcome to attend the event which will be held in the Auris Lecture Theatre, 23 St Machar Drive, Old Aberdeen, from 12noon to 2pm on Tuesday March 22 2011.