Presentation from Tim Aldred - Partners in World Development

Tim Aldred
Head of Policy
Nottingham &
Birmingham University
• Effective governance and participation
• Sustainable environment
• Formerly CIIR / Catholic Institute for
International Relations
• Of the Catholic church, but not in it…
Waterproofing development
or… why food policy wonks need
to think about water
Water – food – energy
• Mulberries or electricity?
• Food or energy – water choices
• Look for the links
Food and Oil
• Ships, lorries, fertiliser,
tractors…need oil
• If oil prices go up – so
do food prices
• Food prices spike when
oil gets expensive
• Look for the links
Planet under pressure…
“by 2030, the world will need at least 50% more food, 45%
more energy, and 30% more water.”
- Caroline Spelman MP (former Environment Secretary)
Over 70% of the freshwater we abstract is used for
agriculture - Planet under pressure conference 2012
The population is predicted to rise from 7 to 9 billion by
2050 (but it could be 8 or 10).
Climate change will exacerbate the pressure
Is anybody listening?
Yemen: Food, water – and fuel…
• Conflict has pushed
up water prices – and
fuel and food prices
A community pump
• I could not afford the
water so I gave up on
the garden – Omar
Yemen – a story from the ground
• Previously we used
to buy vegetables
from the market,
• Community management is
which is 10
essential for sustainability
kilometres from the
and fairness
• Ali’s garden needs 200
– Ali Sagheer
gallons every week
Somaliland: Pastoral
economy (herding)
Increasing water stress
(climate change)
Grazing disappearing
Soil erosion
Food insecurity
Somaliland – pastoral
Pressure on scarce water
resources & climate change –
overgrazing, erosion…food
‘In Somaliland, the backbone
• Water harvesting
of our economy is livestock,
Soil conservation
but we don’t have any food• for
• Inclusive water
the livestock, so we have a lot
of overgrazing.’
• Awareness-raising
Collaboration with
A global or a local issue?
• In Peru: good (short term)
for GDP – promoted by
government and donors
• Water table dropping by 510m / year – long term
economic & social cost
• Supermarket supply chain
• Regulation & corruption
• Our consumption matters
What does a water footprint tell us?
• How much water in my glass of wine?
• Where is it from? (rain, rivers, ground)
• Are you taking out more water than you put in?
(water stress)
• How good / fair / sustainable is the decision
making (water governance)?
Long term thinking needed…
• “Market failure” and
political failure
• Need to plan 30-50
years ahead – for
our grandchildren
Who controls access & decisions?
• Do those affected
by water decisions
have a say?
• PM’s 2015 rhetoric
vs consultation
• On the ground: big
business is often
heard when
smallholders are not
Some Christian responses…
• Prophetic voice: speaking truth to power and
• The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the
better (Fr Richard Rohr)
• The natural world is a gift to be stewarded, not a threat
to be feared
• Solidarity between poor and rich, and with future
Benedict XVI (to the FAO in 2011)
“technical solutions, no matter how
developed, are not helpful if they fail to take
into account the centrality of the human
who, in his spiritual and material dimensions,
is the measure of all rights and therefore
must be the guiding criterion of programmes”
Or if you like…
• Test bright ideas
against the impact
they will have on real
• And the rights and
dignity of the poorest

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