SENSE Workshop on Water Scarcity

4 September 2017

On 1 September, Research School SENSE organised a workshop on water scarcity hosted by the Institute for Environmental Studies (VU Amsterdam). The invited speakers provided different perspectives on water scarcity taking a physical, economic and insurance point of view. The workshop was attended by 40 researchers from different universities.

Ted Veldkamp (Vrije Universiteit, IVM) opened the workshop with a very comprehensive overview of water scarcity risk analysis. Dr. Rupert Holzinger (IMAU, Utrecht University) highlighted the effect of aerosols on our climate and the hydrological cycle. Dr David Zetland (Leiden University College) gave a very insightful talk about water economy and policy.

Plenary. Photo: Nadia Bloemendaal

The plenary session, facilitated by Dr. Ralph Lasage (Vrije Universiteit, IVM), was followed by two  break-out sessions in which the participants further discussed the various topics.

Diverse perspectives

The broadness of perspectives provided some interesting insights. With a more mature climate science, water and climate risk modelling is becoming more and more multidisciplinary, including a larger range of parameters, and moving from the local and regional scale, to the global.

Break-out session with Dr. David Zetland. Photo: Nadia Bloemendaal

Break-out sessions

During the breakout sessions, diverse topics were brought to the table, from questioning the relevance of geo-engineering, to the issue of corruption associated with the commodification of water.

Break-out session with Ted Veldkamp. Photo: Nadia Bloemendaal

The discussion also led to the question of how to move from knowledge to action. If informed scientists are not even making the necessary changes in their daily lives themselves (are we not flying to conferences?), how can the public be expected to do so.

Break-out session with Dr. Rupert Holzinger. Photo: Nadia Bloemendaal

BBQ and drinks

The workshop was concluded with a vegetarian BBQ and drinks, where discussions were continued until the early evening and plans for a follow-up workshop were made.

A thank you to all speakers and participants and to the three IVM PhD candidates that organised the workshop: Nadia Bloemendaal, Marleen de Ruiter, Lars de Ruig.

Published by  IBED Water