Partnerships for the Goals

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Water Security

  • Jorge Tarifa-FernándezEmail author
Living reference work entry


Water security can be understood as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of water of an acceptable quality to sustain livelihoods, human well-being, and socioeconomic development, to ensure protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and to preserve ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability (Water, U.N. 2013). The United Nations are very optimistic in the definition of water security as they try to capture its dynamic dimension and offer a holistic outlook to address water challenges. This implies considering water-related issues under the umbrella of water security, as it offers a means to consider them holistically (Water, U. N. 2013).


Water takes on special relevance as it cannot be replaced for most of its uses. In a general sense, water is a renewable resource; however, available freshwater supplies are limited. In addition, the renewal of water changes over time and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Antolin-Lopez R (2018) Water crisis. In: Kolb RW (ed) The SAGE encyclopedia of business ethics and society, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks. ISBN 978-14-83381-52-7Google Scholar
  2. Asian Development Bank (2016) Asian water development outlook 2016: strengthening water security in Asia and the Pacific. ADB, MandaluyongGoogle Scholar
  3. Engelke P (2017) Asian water security: a present and future test. In: Strategic security analysis. Geneva Centre for Secure Policy, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  4. European Union (2010) Water scarcity and drought in the European Union (August). Accessed 10 Mar 2018
  5. General Assembly resolution 18/22, Human rights and climate change, A/HRC/RES/18/22 (30 September 2011). Available from
  6. Gleick PH (2003) Water use. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28(1):275–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. James LD, Shafiee-Jood M (2017) Interdisciplinary information for achieving water security. Water Secur 2:19–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jepson W, Budds J, Eichelberger L, Harris L, Norman E, O’Reilly K, Pearson A, Shah S, Shinn J, Staddon C, Stoler J, Wutich A, Young S (2017) Advancing human capabilities for water security: A relational approach. Water Security 1:46–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kummu M, Guillaume JHA, De Moel H, Eisner S, Flörke M, Porkka M, Siebert S, Veldkamp TIE, Ward PJ (2016) The world’s road to water scarcity: shortage and stress in the 20th century and pathways towards sustainability. Sci Rep 6:38495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mekonnen MM, Hoekstra AY (2016) Four billion people facing severe water scarcity. Sci Adv 2(2):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Norman ES (2014) Locating the border in boundary bay: non-point pollution, contaminated shellfish, and transboundary governance. Placing the border in everyday life. Ashgate, Surrey, pp 67–92Google Scholar
  12. Srinivasan V, Konar M, Sivapalan M (2017) A dynamic framework for water security. Water Secur 1:12–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Swaithes A (2015) Why partnerships are key to water security in Africa. World Economic Forum. Accessed 17 July 2018
  14. Tarifa-Fernandez J, Antolin-Lopez R (2018) Waster. In: Kolb RW (ed) The SAGE encyclopedia of business ethics and society, 2nd edn. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks. ISBN: 978-14-83381-52-7Google Scholar
  15. Toppa K (2016) Dry dams, leaky pipes, and tanker mafias – Karachi’s water crisis. The Guardian. Accessed 17 Feb 2018
  16. UNESCO (2018) Supporting water security, in UNESCO. Accessed 24 July 2018
  17. United Nations (2017) Report of the secretary-general: progress towards the sustainable development Goals. E/2017/66. Economic and Social Council, United NationsGoogle Scholar
  18. United Nations (2018a) Clean water and sanitation: why it matters. Accessed 30 Mar 2018
  19. United Nations (2018b) The sustainable development agenda. Accessed 30 Mar 2018
  20. Varis O, Keskinen M, Kummu M (2017) Four dimensions of water security with a case of the indirect role of water in global food security. Water Secur 1:36–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Vogl AL, Goldstein JH, Daily GC, Vira B, Bremer L, McDonald RI, Shemie D, Tellman B, Cassin J (2017) Mainstreaming investments in watershed services to enhance water security: barriers and opportunities. Environ Sci Pol 75:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Water, U. N. (2013) Water security and the global water agenda: a UN-water analytical brief. UN University, HamiltonGoogle Scholar
  23. Water, U. N. (2018) The United Nations world water development report 2018: nature-based solutions for water. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  24. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2017) The global risks report 2017. WEF, Geneva. Figure 2Google Scholar
  25. World Bank Group (2017) Global water security & sanitation partnership. Accessed 18 May 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economy and BusinessUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monica Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public Administration and School of Business AdministrationUniversity of International Business and Economics & China University of PetroleumBeijingChina