Good Will Hunters Winter Series Podcast: Water for Development

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Date: 21 June – 26 July 2021
Narrated by Michael Wilson, CEO Australian Water Partnership.

 

Water is essential to all life on Earth. And yet, 1 in 3 people globally still don’t have access to water that’s safe to drink. Our planet’s surface may be 71% water but accessible, clean water makes up less than 1%.

Rarely is one basic human need so critical to meeting development needs in almost every other area: health, food security, energy, biodiversity, education, gender equality – even peace!

For its unrivaled importance, water has stayed on the agenda of international leaders and policymakers.

Globally, water scarcity and water security challenges are growing at an unprecedented pace, affecting billions of people. Water is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet progress has been slow and consensus amongst leaders has been lacking. The UN World Water Development Report says that our failure to fully value water is causing political neglect and mismanagement.

The UN has said that in over 300 locations globally, we can expect to see conflict over water by 2025.

More than ever, we need policymakers from every continent to work collaboratively to achieve a future where everyone, everywhere, has reliable access to clean water. We need greater cooperation and problem solving – from government to the private sector, NGOs, science organisations, and universities. We’re all part of the solution.

Australian expertise in sustainable water management is widely recognised around the globe. We are, of course, the land of droughts and flooding rains.

As the global population grows, we also confront the challenges of more water-intensive patterns of growth, increasing rainfall variability, and worsening pollution. The convergence of these factors makes access to water one of the greatest threats to poverty eradication and sustainable development globally.

But what happens if we do nothing? Continue with business as usual?

We’re headed towards a future where water is only accessible to the rich – where the water needed to sustain life for the entire global population simply isn’t available.

We will slowly run out of water.

This Winter, Good Will Hunters, along with the Australian Water Partnership and WaterAid, will bring to you a series of conversations on Water for Development.

The Australian Water Partnership is an international cooperation initiative, supported by the Australian Government, helping developing countries in our region and further abroad to more sustainably manage their water resources.

I’m Michael Wilson, CEO of the AWP, and I’ll be joined by WaterAid Australia CEO and my co-host Rosie Wheen, to talk to the people who are shaping our water future. We’ll look at global water policy, and the looming water for development crisis, through the lenses of human development, security, and global markets.

Ensuring sustainable, secure water resources takes innovation, collaboration, and commitment. Join us this Winter as we dive into our global water future.

Check back here for this six-part Good Will Hunters Winter Series on Water for Development. The first episode will air on 21 June 2021, with new episodes released every Monday.


Episode 1 TileWinter Series Episode 1: Rose Kaggwa and Mina Guli, on the looming water for development crisis

21 June 2021

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Episode 2 Tile

Winter Series Episode 2: Kevin Rudd, on global water leadership

28 June 2021


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Episode 3 Tile

Winter Series Episode 3: Alison Baker and Navara Kiene, on water for human development

5 July 2021


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Episode 4 Tile

Winter Series Episode 4: Malcolm Turnbull and Howard Bamsey, on climate change, conflict, and water scarcity

12 July 2021


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Episode 5 Tile

Winter Series Episode 5: Karen Milward and Tony Slatyer, on innovation and market mechanisms

19 July 2021


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Episode 6 Tile

Winter Series Episode 6: Melita Grant and Duncan Green, where do we go from here?

26 July 2021


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For more stories and insights on water for development, explore the Devex Series WASH Works: Water and the SDGs