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Online-Seminar City – Land – Water : Water for all? 24.02 – 18.03.2021











The sustainable use and equitable distribution of water is one of the more urgent problem of our century. For billions of people, the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is still an unfulfilled human right. At the same time, scarce freshwater resources and their associated ecosystems are being overexploited, polluted and degraded all over the world. Over two billion people live in areas with acute water shortages. According to the United Nations, half of the world's population could suffer from water shortages by 2050. The climate crisis with increasing weather extremes, such as droughts, floods, hot spells, and rapidly changing rainfall patterns is massively exacerbating this global water crisis and putting ecosystems and thus human habitats at risk. An increase in violent conflicts over access to water is therefore to be expected for the future, as has already been documented in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, in recent years.

Water scarcity is not a fate, but also a consequence of policy failures. In favour of commercial interests on a global scale, the privatisation of water rights and water services is increasingly restricting the access of the local population in many places. Low-income and disadvantaged people are particularly affected by the consequences. In addition to sufficient drinking water, this is also about water for agriculture and thus food security. Many smallholder families are at risk of being left empty-handed in the intensified competition for water, while the "cash crops" of industrial export agriculture are intensively irrigated. Almost 90 per cent of global water consumption is due to industrial agriculture, mining and heavy industry.


bild_wasserreihe-600x282.jpgWhether water will still be sufficiently available and drinkable in the future, and who will have access to it, depends more than ever on political decisions around water use. However, the influential forums of international water policy are dominated by multinational water corporations and their lobby groups. Instead of human rights-based approaches and distribution issues, technological and market-based solutions are at the centre of the debates there.

 To address water scarcity, the focus must increasingly be on cities, rural regions and water bodies alike. Already today, more than half of humanity lives in cities. They depend on local and regional intact water resources for their drinking water supply. But they also bear global responsibility for their enormous use and consumption of virtual water, which is contained in food, other consumer goods, raw materials and energy.

In a four-part online seminar series, we want to discuss local and global perspectives on water justice in the network of relationships between city, country and environment, highlight the responsibility of Germany and the federal government, and formulate and communicate positions.



SEM1_LAND.jpgSeminar 1: Agriculture – Danger and Solutions for the human right to water in rural regions

Wednesday the 24th of February, 2021 ; 15h30 – 17h

Recording in German and French


SEM02_STADT-300x157.jpgSeminar 2: From flooding to water stress: Water in the city in times of climate change

Tuesday the 2nd of March, 2021 ; 14h – 15h30

Recording in German and English


SEM03_FISCH-300x208.jpgSeminar 3: Hydropower – A wooden path for climate protection and development policy

Thursday the 11th of March, 2021 ; 14h – 16h

Recording in German and English


SEM04_POLITK-300x388.jpgSeminar 4: The role of Germany in protecting the access to water here and worldwide

Thursday the 18th of March, 2021 ; 14h – 16h

Recording in German and English












Sponsored by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL with the financial support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Foundation for Environment and Development North Rhine-Westphalia, the State Office for Development Cooperation of the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations of the State of Berlin, Bread for the World and the Episcopal Relief Agency MISEREOR.




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