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World Water Congress: Dr. Martin Keulertz Looks Forward to Scotland

WASHINGTON, DC, United States

The XVth World Water Congress of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) will meet in Edinburgh, Scotland, on May 25-29, 2015.

OOSKAnews spoke at the end of last week with Dr. Martin Keulertz, a research fellow at the environmental governance research group at Humboldt University of Berlin, about his participation in the Congress. His  focuses on the accountancy of water use, primarily using market transactions to limit water extraction beyond sustainable limits.

OOSKAnews: Please tell us a little about yourself and your role and place in the world water family.

Keulertz:  Before entering the fellow program, I received my PhD at King’s College London on the role of water in Jordanian and Qatari agricultural investments in Sudan. I worked as a post-doc in the Department for Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University, and also worked at Texas A&M, on water-energy-food nexus issues in the West Asia and North Africa region.

I am currently researching the role of new actors in Asia in the global economy.

OOSKAnews: You are the organizer of a special session at the XVth World Water Congress of the IWRA. Can you tell us what your presentation will be about?

Keulertz: I will be presenting with colleagues, trying to show global changes in the water-energy-food nexus. Personally, I will be presenting on the new agri-business corporations cropping up in Asia that are increasingly challenging Western corporations in water use. Traditionally, Western corporations were trading Asian crops, but this was unsustainable for Asia, so they have now established their own traders. These new corporations are identifying agricultural hotspots with more freshwater to grow more food. This is making water part of an east/west dichotomy.

OOSKAnews: What are your hopes and aspirations for the Congress?

Keulertz: I went to the last one in Brazil and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. There were a lot of academics that had the opportunity to engage with the private sector. And this time there will be even more of a private sector presence. I see this as an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find joint solutions to global water problems.