Professor Ian Barker seminar 13th October 2017: “the myth of water scarcity”

Professor Ian Barker, Managing Director of Water Policy International, delivered an engaging seminar to Cohort 4 students on “the myth of water scarcity“.

Abstract:  The World Economic Forum considers water crises to be in the top three global risks in terms of impact. Both in the UK and globally, there are ominous predictions about the risk of running out of water and how this threatens economic and social stability.  However, are these predictions based on fact, or merely fiction of a worst case scenario? Does a water scarcity crisis actually exist, or is the real crisis a consequence of our inability to manage water resources effectively?  What does this mean for international approaches to water management?  And in the UK, how are we doing in managing our own water crisis, and planning for an uncertain future?

Biography:  Professor Ian Barker is Managing Director of Water Policy International Ltd, an independent consultancy and commentator on water management, regulation, policy and governance.  Ian is an expert advisor to the OECD, advising them on water governance, regulation and policy and is a founding member of their global water governance initiative.  He is also Vice-President Environment, Fellow and Director at the Institute of Water; a Council Member at the Society for the Environment; a Director of the Water Industry Forum and a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems.

Ian has over 35 years’ experience in the water sector, including having had overall responsibility at the Environment Agency for water planning, regulation and management, as well as fisheries, biodiversity and land management, across England and Wales.  At the EA Ian worked closely with Defra and was responsible for specifying the water companies’ programmes of environmental investment totalling £1 billion pa.  He also had oversight of their long-term plans for water supply security and drought management, and the management of all abstractions and discharges by all sectors.   He now works with the OECD, UNESCO, governments, regulators, water companies and major consultancies.