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Water

Parched prospects: the emerging water crisis in South Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 15, 2014
Abstract in English: 
South Africa is over-exploiting its freshwater resources and water could be a large constraint on the implementation of the National Development Plan. Using the International Futures forecasting system, this paper models and forecasts water demand and supply until 2035, the period covered by the National Water Resource Strategy 2013. The authors’ research finds that the gap between demand and supply increases and that the solutions proposed by the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation will not close the gap without additional, aggressive measures. The authors propose such measures for each sector of demand and each source of water supply.
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16
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The murky future of global water quality: New global study projects rapid deterioration in water quality

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Abstract in English: 
While California’s four-year drought is forcing the most severe mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history, another water crisis is brewing that will affect far more people and a much greater territory – the planet at large.

According to a global study by the International Food Policy Research Institute and Veolia, the world is on a path toward rapidly deteriorating water quality in many countries. The first-of-its-kind study indicates that up to 1 in 3 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution in 2050 from increased amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous. Up to 1 in 5 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution reflected by increased levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

Even using the most optimistic socio-economic models, water quality is projected to rapidly deteriorate over the next several decades which, in turn, will increase risks to human health, economic development and thousands of aquatic ecosystems in developed and developing economies alike.
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12
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Horizon 2020 - Investing in European success

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 8, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Horizon 2020 has a single overarching objective: the achievement of scientific, technological and societal impact based on excellent research and innovation projects. It aims to achieve economic impact by supporting industrial competitiveness, economic growth and job creation. It aims to achieve societal impact by developing the means to respond effectively, quickly and efficiently to the urgent societal challenges (climate change, loss of biodiversity, ageing, etc.) Europe is faced with.

This brochure, which presents examples of research and innovation projects funded through past EU programmes and constitutes a record of impact, shows that the ambitious goals set for Horizon 2020 are fully justified.

From 2014 to 2020, Horizon 2020 brings all EU research and innovation funding together under a single programme with three key objectives:

- Excellent Science: Strengthening the EU’s position as world leader in science and attracting the best talents to work together across Europe;
- Competitive Industries: Strengthening industrial leadership in innovation to get Europe back on the path to growth and job creation;
- Better Society: Innovating to tackle societal challenges shared by all Europeans, across seven key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; Europe in a changing world -inclusive, innovative and reflective societies; and Secure societies – protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
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Global Food Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 25, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The overall risk of food insecurity in many countries of strategic importance to the United States will increase during the next 10 years because of production, transport, and market disruptions to local food availability, declining purchasing power, and counterproductive government policies. Demographic shifts and constraints on key inputs will compound this risk. In some countries, declining food security will almost certainly contribute to social disruptions or large-scale political instability or conflict, amplifying global concerns about the availability of food.
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58
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The challenge of resilience in a globalised world

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The challenge of resilience in a globalised world discusses the concept of resilience from different perspectives and the role of science in the continuous process of building a resilient, stable, competitive and prosperous Europe.

Resilience is a fundamental prerequisite for Europe as the largest integrated economic area in the world and has an important social dimension which requires the active cooperation of all stakeholders; citizens, the private sector, governments and NGOs included.
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76
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to register another year of solid economic performance, expanding at 4½ percent in 2015. This said, the expansion will be at the lower end of the range registered in recent years, mainly reflecting the adverse impact of the sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices.
The effect of this shock will be quite heterogeneous across the region. The region’s eight oil exporters will be hit hard and, with limited buffers, are expected to effect significant fiscal adjustment, with adverse implications for growth. For much of the rest of the region, near-term prospects remain quite favorable, with many countries benefiting from lower oil prices—although, for a number of them, this positive effect will be part offset by the decline in the prices of other exported commodities. Notable exceptions are South Africa, where growth is expected to remain lackluster, held back by continuing problems in the electricity sector, and Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll.
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123
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At the Center of Africa’s Transformation: Strategy for 2013–2022

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Africa is now the world’s second fastest-growing continent. In this decade of seismic shifts in the global economy, Africa has defied the pessimists, accelerating its economic pulse and seeing significant improvements in its Human Development Indicators. But these positive developments have been tempered by a crisis in jobs, youth unemployment and growing inequality. These are now the challenges. Growth must bring jobs and opportunities for all. That will happen if growth is sustained and leads to the structural change and economic transformation that will enable the continent to join global value chains. It will do this by closing the infrastructure gap, speeding up economic integration, dealing with conflicts old and new, and developing human capital.
This is what makes the next decade so decisive. This is what makes this new Bank Strategy for 2013–2022 so vital.
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44
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Natural Resources in 2020, 2030, and 2040: Implications for the United States

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Based on the general contention that the world is entering an intensified period of resource stress, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) asked Chatham House in July 2011 to conduct research to identify the most important natural resource trends affecting US national security over a 2020, 2030, and 2040 time horizon. The requested analysis covers water, fuel, food, and metals (also referred to as materials). The identified trends—which include patterns of demand, supply, availability, price levels, and price volatility—are shaped and influenced by emerging climate changes, evolving demographic patterns, increasing economic development, and human induced environmental degradation. The result is this report which considers how local and global availability of natural resources will affect US security interests in the medium term (to 2020) and long term (specifically 2030 and 2040). The 2020 date was selected to identify the most pressing policy relevant issues; 2030 was selected to support development of the NIC’s longer-range Global Trends series; and 2040 to support ongoing NIC projects exploring the national security impact of global food, water, and energy security.

The major assumption underpinning this analysis is that mounting prosperity in both the developed and the developing world will continue to drive increased consumer demand for key resources. At the same time, constraints in energy, water, and other critical natural resources and infrastructure, together with socio-economic shifts, will bring new and hard-to-manage instabilities. There will be an increasing risk of discontinuous and systemic shocks to 2040 as a consequence of these factors.

This report identifies potential natural resource stresses (in terms of aggregate availability, absolute prices, or rapid price changes) and analyzes their likely impact on the United States and states/regions of interest to the United States. The report also explores how these stresses will interact with one another and other pre-existing conditions, including poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. Summary tables (Annex A) provide an overview of key resource-related threats and their potential impact on the United States and other major economies. The risk assessments are based on a continuation of today's practices and trends; alternate policy choices, market actions, and technology developments will likely change future risk assessments.
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112
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Agricultural Outlook, 2013-2022

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The nineteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, and the ninth prepared jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), provides projections to 2022 for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. Notable in the 2013 report is the inclusion of cotton for the first time and a special feature on China.

Higher costs and strong demand are expected to keep commodity prices well above historical averages with a high risk of price volatility given tight stocks, a changeable policy environment and increasing weather-related production risks. China is projected to maintain its self-sufficiency in certain key food commodities while increasing its trade and integration in world agricultural markets.
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119
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What China wants Analysis of China's food demand to 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Abstract in English: 
China’s economic growth and process of urbanisation are bringing about profound changes to China’s agrifood sector. With demand for agrifood products projected to double between 2009 and 2050, China’s agricultural sector is poised to contend with the challenges of depleting natural resource and rising input costs to maintain or improve productivity growth of most
major agricultural commodities.

With the population of China expected to increase to about 1.38 billion in 2050, the nature of food demand will depend on a number of factors, including income growth and urbanization. To investigate these developing trends, this study considers demand across three different income groups: urban high income, urban medium income and rural households. An updated version of the ABARES agrifood model (Linehan et al. 2012a) was used for the analysis. This model is an economic simulation model of global agricultural production, consumption and trade. In this report, agrifood products include primary agricultural products and lightly transformed agricultural products, such as flour and meat, but exclude highly processed food items. While it is projected that the majority of China’s future food demand will be met by an increase in domestic production, there are significant challenges with which the Chinese agrifood sector will need to contend to maintain or increase productivity growth. Investment in the industry is ongoing and required to ensure the degradation and availability of land and water resources, and rising costs for intermediate inputs, do not impede production growth.

The opportunities that Chinese demand growth will provide to food producers and exporters to 2050 are significant. To fully realize those opportunities, it will be important for Australian industries to utilize the working relationships with different agents in the food supply chain in China. For example, supermarkets and hypermarkets, which have an increasing presence in
urban food retailing in China, are playing an important role in meeting the demand for high‐value products by urban consumers. With higher incomes, urban consumers are also expected to increase their expenditure on convenience foods, fast food and restaurant food. Australian industries will need to be responsive to these changes if they are to successfully compete in the
Chinese market over the long term.
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36
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