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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Water Security: Global, regional and local challenges

Around the world, global water problems continue to grow, adversely affecting people, prosperity and national security. This policy brief examines the scope of the problem and identifies a number of important policy considerations for addressing the issues related to this complex matter.

While the management of the world's water resources takes place primarily at the local level, this paper focuses on more complicated issues relating to the international management of trans-boundary water resources, an area of water security that does not currently receive enough attention in the literature.

The paper begins with an overview of the current global water problem, considering it from social, economic and environmental perspectives, and focusing on the challenging issue of trans-boundary waters. A second section considers the global policy framework in place to address the issue of water insecurity, before a final section evaluates various policy alternatives, including rule of law initiatives that might help to strengthen this framework.

This policy brief is one of a series supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

For information on the work of ippr's Commission on National Security in the 21st Century please go to www.ippr.org/security