News & Events

PWIAS UBC Student Competition

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is running a student competition for arts-based presentations of still images/works or performance/video pieces of 4 to 10 minutes on the topic of water (“the piece”).

• Deadline for proposal or design concept of the arts-based piece: 4:00 pm, April 1, 2013, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, 6331 Crescent Road. The Committee will notify applicants by the end of April if they are being encouraged to create the piece.

• Competition Submissions: August 28, 2013 • Competition Judging, review of actual performance or the piece of visual art: Tuesday September 3, 2013, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

• Preparation workshop for performance: Friday September 13, 2013

• Exhibit/Performance: Wednesday, September 18, 5:45 pm to 7:15 pm, UBC

For more information click here.

Canada-US Boundary Waters IJC

Feb 14th 2013: Professor Karen Bakker will address the members of the Canada-US Boundary Waters International Joint Commission at the invitation of UBC President Stephen Toope, on the subject of Canada-US transboundary water governance.

Contemporary Water Governance in the Global South

Contemporary Water Governance in the Global South edited by Leila Harris (PoWG), Jacqueline Goldin and Christopher Sneddon will be out in May 2013.

The   litany   of   alarming   observations   about   water   use   and   misuse   is   now   familiar␣over   a   billion   people   without   access   to   safe   drinking   water;   almost   every   major   river   dammed   and   diverted;   increasing   conflicts   over   the   delivery   of   water   in   urban   areas;    continuing   threats   to   water   quality   from   agricultural   inputs   and   industrial   wastes;   and   the   increasing   variability   of   climate,   including   threats   of   severe   droughts   and   flooding   across   locales   and   regions.   These   issues   present   tremendous   challenges   for   water  governance.

This   book   focuses   on   three   major   concepts   and   approaches   that   have   gained   currency   in   policy   and   governance   circles,   both   globally   and   regionally scarcity   and   crisis,  marketization   and   privatization,   and   participation.  It   provides   a   historical   and   contextual   overview   of   each   of   these   ideas   as   they   have   emerged   in   global   and   regional   policy   and   governance   circles   and   pairs   these  with  in-­‐depth  case  studies  that  examine  manifestations  and contestations  of  water governance internationally. The  book  interrogates  ideas  of  water  crisis  and  scarcity  in  the  context  of  bio-­physical,  political,  social  and  environmental   landscapes  to better understand  how  ideas  and  practices  linked  to  scarcity  and  crisis  take  hold,  and  become  entrenched  in  policy   and  practice. The  book  also  investigates  ideas  of marketization  and  privatization,  increasingly  prominent  features  of  water   governance  throughout  the  global  South,  with  particular  attention  to  the  varied implementation  and  effects  of  these  governance   practices.  The  final  section  of  the  volume  analyzes  participatory  water  governance,  querying  the  disconnects  between global   discourses  and  local  realities,  particularly  as  they  intersect  with  the  other  themes  of  interest  to  the  volume. Promoting  a  view  of   changing  water  governance that links  across  these  themes  and  in  relation  to  contemporary  realities,  the  book  is  invaluable  for   students,  researchers,  advocates,  and  policy  makers  interested  in water governance  challenges  facing  the  developing  world.

Click here to order your copy.


Water Security article in “Science”

Karen’s most recent article on water security was published in Science on 24th August 2012.

Bakker, K. (2012). Water Security: Research Challenges and Opportunities. Science. 337 (6097): 914-915. DOI: 10.1126/science.1226337

ABSTRACT: An estimated 80% of the world’s population faces a high-level water security or water-related biodiversity risk (1). The issue of water security—defined as an acceptable level of water-related risks to humans and ecosystems, coupled with the availability of water of sufficient quantity and quality to support livelihoods, national security, human health, and ecosystem services (2, 3)—is thus receiving considerable attention. To date, however, the majority of academic research on water security is relatively poorly integrated with the needs of policy-makers and practitioners; hence, substantial changes to funding, education, research frameworks, and academic incentive structures are required if researchers are to be enabled to make more substantive contributions to addressing the global water crisis.


Water Security Guidance Document

The final product of the four-year Water Security Project is now available to download.

The Water Security Guidance Document, is a free document developed for small communities to assess risk to water security in their watershed (but many of the concepts and issues are applicable at larger scales). The Water Security Guidance Document contains a broad range of information for both experts and non-experts. Click here for more information and to download the documents.