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Avoiding the ‘Perfect Storm’: Water-Food-Energy Security Professor Dragan Savić Director, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter WORKSHOP, 24-25.

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Presentation on theme: "Avoiding the ‘Perfect Storm’: Water-Food-Energy Security Professor Dragan Savić Director, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter WORKSHOP, 24-25."— Presentation transcript:

1 Avoiding the ‘Perfect Storm’: Water-Food-Energy Security Professor Dragan Savić Director, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter WORKSHOP, JULY, EXETER

2 ‘Perfect Storm’ & Security Background and Intro Civilisation Challenges Decision-Making, Modelling, Science and Society Aims of the Workshop Identify Science Challenges/Gaps Build Foundations for a UK Project(s) Outline

3 ‘Perfect Storm’ An event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically An actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude Not the film!

4 Global human society must now attempt to solve a set of complex, interrelated problems that are fundamental threats to human civilisation Context for a ‘Perfect Storm’ Many of these issues are directly related to the areas of water, food and energy Security, prosperity and equity

5 Risk Interconnection Map 2011 WEF (2011)

6 6 Breaking news…. The report highlights five key factors that could threaten future stability - severe income disparity both within and between countries, fiscal imbalances across the globe, greenhouse gas emissions, cyber attacks and a water supply crisis. Source: World Economic Forum Global Risks 2012

7 Security is about understanding and managing risks (and uncertainty), tradeoffs and synergies What is WFE Security? Physical, economic and reliable access to required quantity/quality of WFE (for health, livelihood and production) with acceptable level of risks to individuals, environment and society

8 The Perfect Storm of 2030! J. Beddington (UK government’s science adviser), Business as usual projections: Climate Change, Conflicts, Economic Growth The world's population ↑ from 6bn to 8bn (33%) Demand for food ↑ by 50% Demand for water ↑ by 30% Demand for energy ↑ by 50%

9 Water for energy Cooling Extraction of fuels Hydropower Biofuels Emissions scrubbing Energy for water Pumping Desalination Treatment Water efficiency Agricultural organisation Virtual water Subsidies Biofuels Pump efficiency Fertilizers Food supply chain Transport Stakeholders

10 Civilisation Challenges: Water-Food-Energy

11 All three areas have many billions of people without access (quantity or quality or both) Limited or No Access

12 Rapidly Growing Global Demand 12 Source: McKinsey and Co (2011) Source: US EIA (2012)

13 WFE Resource Constraints

14 All are ‘‘global goods’’ and involve international trade and have global implications All have different regional and temporal availability and variations in supply and demand All have strong interdependencies with climate change, population dynamics and environment All have deep security issues as they are fundamental to the functioning of society Other Challenges (1) Adapted from: Baziliana, Rogner, Howells, Hermann, Arent, Gielen, Steduto, Mueller, Komor, Tol and Yumkella, Energy Policy, 39 (2011),

15 All operate in heavily regulated markets All require the explicit identification and treatment of risks and trade-offs Due to the vastness of the individual areas and the difficulty of considering all three together, there is little work focusing on how to support decision-making at the WFE ‘nexus’ Other Challenges (2) Adapted from: Baziliana, Rogner, Howells, Hermann, Arent, Gielen, Steduto, Mueller, Komor, Tol and Yumkella, Energy Policy, 39 (2011),

16 As a result, policies and regulations can often inadvertently create sub-optimal signals to economic, national security or environment concerns or even ‘unintended consequences’ Other Challenges (3) Adapted from: Baziliana, Rogner, Howells, Hermann, Arent, Gielen, Steduto, Mueller, Komor, Tol and Yumkella, Energy Policy, 39 (2011),

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19 Modelling, Science and Society

20 Modelling - a critical translation point between science and society between the physical aspects of WFE security and societal solutions to engage stakeholders and achieve shared vision Modelling for WFE Security ‘Predict and Plan’ Approach?

21 International Atomic Energy Agency (2009) Schematic of Ethanol production and energy-water-food interactions

22 Complexity and Systems Science Approach Modelling for WFE Security WFE Security – ‘Wicked Problem’ Relationships are intimately linked, physically, socially and economically Difficult or impossible to solve Governed by complexity and feedback mechanisms that cannot be reconciled by studying each component separately

23 Can modelling help us make better decisions and policy? Modelling for WFE Security Not only incremental improvements Long-term, transformative thinking Systematic, rather than in one area only To underpin the innovation process To learn as we go along “at least we should be making new mistakes”

24 System Dynamics Modelling System Dynamics Approach Source: Proust et al. (2007) Climate, energy and water : Accounting for the links, Fenner School of Env and Society

25 Objectives/Aims of the Workshop?

26 Develop New Knowledge Develop understanding of the kind of futures that are possible and kind of decisions we need to make to get to desirable futures Develop the ‘Human Dimension’ To help manage whole ‘landscapes’ (“when nature meets culture”) Science Challenges

27 ‘WFE Nexus’ needs to be tackled in a trans- disciplinary manner, by involving various R&D providers, e.g.: Natural & ecological scientists Engineers & Technologists Social scientists (policy, economics, psychology, etc) Science Challenges

28 To increase levels of understanding Institutional capacity to act on the complex interactions Among stakeholders (engagement, empowerment) To identify technological and management opportunities To develop and apply modelling tools that can support integrated decision-making Science Challenges

29 Thank you Project?


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