Scotland’s James Hutton Institute hosted the first of a new series of aquaNOW Audiences 11 September, at the Institute’s spectacular Craigiebuckler campus home of world-leading environmental research.
An eclectic international and Scottish panel discussed opportunities offered by the recent announcement that Glasgow, Scotland, will co-host the 2020 UN Climate Change conference (COP 26, the Scottish COP?); the role of nation states in addressing global water, and water-related challenges; the "value of water"; ways to engage popular and political discourse around water resources management beyond the "water industry".
The theme of the 11 September event was “The Philosophy of a Hydro Nation”.
aquaNOW Audiences are interactive panel discussions engaging international water experts and Scottish expertise in global water-related challenges and solutions, filmed before a live audience and streamed online to a global viewership. Scotland's Hydro Nation vision builds on recognition that water is of central importance to the economy of Scotland, both as a sector in its own right and as a critical resource in Scotland’s manufacturing, agriculture, food and drink, tourism and energy sectors. The aim of the Hydro Nation is to maximize the value of these resources in every sense, whether that be the contribution they make to the economy, or in how the quality of the country’s water environment contributes to citizens’ overall wellbeing and sense of national identity. This approach to water, and climate change is understood to be unique to Scotland.
Panelists at this aquaNOW Audience included:
Professor Bob Ferrier is Director of the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), at the Hydro Nation International Centre, James Hutton Institute. Ferrier has over 30 years’ experience in water resources management, with a particular focus on developing a holistic approach to achieving sustainable solutions to resource management. He has worked globally on issues such as acid rain, diffuse pollution, contaminants, catchment to coast interactions, driven by climate change, land use, and human influences.
Professor Asit Biswas is founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, University at the Lee Kuan Yew School for Public Policy in Singapore, University of Wuhan, China, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar.
He has been a senior advisor to 19 governments, six Heads of the United Nations Agencies, the Secretary General of OECD, and many other international and national organisations.
Biswas has been the author or editor of 81 books and published over 680 scientific and technical papers, with his work having been translated into 37 languages.
Biswas has received the two highest awards of the International Water Resources Association (Crystal Drop and Millennium Awards), Walter Huber Award of the American Society of Civil Engineering and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology from University of Lund, Sweden, and Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Science from University of Strathclyde, Helsinki University of Technology, and Indian Institute of Technology. Biswas received the Stockholm Water Prize in 2006 for “his outstanding and multi‐faceted contributions to global water resource issues”, as well as the Man of the Year Award from Prime Minister Harper of Canada, and the Aragon Environment Prize of Spain.
He is a regular contributor to many national and international newspapers on resource and development related issues and is a television commentator in three continents.
Kathleen Stosch holds an MSc in Environmental Management and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and has collaborated on a number of projects with Scottish Natural Heritage, the James Hutton Institute and The Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust.
The Hydro Nation scholars programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation strategy. The objective of the strategy is to develop the economic, environmental and social value of Scotland’s water resources.
Stosch's current PhD research focuses on quantifying and optimising the multiple benefits that catchments can provide in terms of their ability to support food, water and energy security while at the same time evaluating how attempts to manage these catchment goods and services in light of future environmental change might impact water pollution, biodiversity and livelihoods of catchment dwellers.
Dean Muruven currently holds the position of Global Policy Lead Freshwater for WWF's International Freshwater Practice. He represents WWF at global policy fora connected with UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs) and climate change agendas. Previously Muruven had been the water source areas programme manager for WWF South Africa. The programme was a flagship for the WWF freshwater team in South Africa, achieving national recognition at the highest political level. Prior to joining WWF, Dean held positions as a mining and sustainabiity consultant for a number of mining companies and consultancies working across Africa.
Barry Greig joined the Scottish Government after working as a lawyer and commercial arbitrator in the City of London and has worked in a variety of policy roles including helping establish the Food Standards Agency, and drafting Scotland’s first Sustainable Development Strategy. He leads on "Scotland the Hydro Nation", an innovative policy which seeks to ensure Scotland manages its water environment responsibly and sustainably, maximising its value and contribution to society and the overarching economy and employing its knowledge and expertise effectively at home and internationally.
The aquaNOW Audiences series is convened by OOSKAnews, Inc and chaired by OOSKAnews Founder David Duncan
The aquaNOW Audiences series supports Scotland as a “Hydro Nation” that husbands, manages and develops all of its water resources responsibly, and sustainably, regardless of how plentiful they are, consistent with the view that Scotland should act as a “Good Global Citizen”, and is supported by the Government of Scotland.