June 28 | 1:00PM CEST
Water tenure is a recent concept. A working definition of water tenure is “The relationships, whether legally or customarily defined, between people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources”. The concept of water tenure embraces and interconnects various SDG goals, and hence is useful for achieving the Agenda 2030, in particular through the inclusion of the most vulnerable through enhancing equitable access to water, increasing water security and improving climate resilience.
FAO has been continuously working to define the concept in line with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, unpack its core elements and explore its practical implications. The project "Knowing water better: towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources - KnoWat" has proposed a water tenure assessment methodology to map the diversity of coexisting water tenure arrangements and is testing the methodology in Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Senegal. In the North African region, the project “Water efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the NENA regions” is also working to strengthen water governance approach.
About the event
Dr Lopez Gunn will present the results from the Proof-of-concept study undertaken in 2015 in Spain to evaluate the usefulness and validity of the concept of water tenure. The study was part of a 3-country FAO global initiative (along with South Africa and India) to road test water tenure as a useful conceptual device to help us understand better current complex problems around water management and governance. This also included the underlying political economy of water use (and misuse). The study will present the methodology developed based on the SOAP approach that combined rich qualitative data with quantitative water accounting and auditing, to provide an in-depth assessment on water use.
The study purposefully selected two particularly intractable and challenging water use problems in Spain, the modernization of irrigation systems and the intensive use of groundwater in two Spanish basins (the Duero and the Guadiana). The main conclusion is that the water tenure lens provides rich insights and inroads to help tackle these complex socio-ecological problems, as a complementary and powerful concept to water rights (and wrongs).
About the webinar series
The Water Tenure Mondays webinar series creates a forum for building a stronger water tenure concept and pursues FAO’s efforts in broadening the knowledge base of its application to achieve a more equitable and secure access to water, even in conditions of scarcity. It aims to refine our understanding of the water tenure concept and contextualize its various elements with a series of case studies, review ongoing initiatives and methodologies applied. The series is targeted to policymakers, water professionals, and researchers from all over the world.
About the speaker
Dr Elena López Gunn is founder and director of ICATALIST. She is IPCC Lead author of Working Group 2 on Adaptation in Chapter 4 on water. She is a geographer by training, with a Masters in Environment and Development (Cambridge), a PhD in Geography (Kings College) and a Master in investigative journalism, and data visualization (Rey Juan Carlos I with El mundo newspaper). Elena is particularly interested in the development of natural assurance schemes that give value to positive externalities from healthy functioning ecosystems, as protection from increasing water risks. She is committed to structure real projects together with end users to help accelerate the uptake of more sustainable systemic solutions to current socio-ecological challenges. She collaborated with organizations including UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, EU DG RTD, universities, river basin agencies, cities and regional governments, as well as the private sector. She is currently involved in several EU funded research projects.
The webinars are held in English with simultaneous interpretation to French.