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Foreign Policy Forum

Climate Change: When Water Bankruptcy and Human Security Collide


Kaveh Madani, Director, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health

May 15, 2024

Event begins at 5:30 PM

Unfortunately, this event is canceled. Dr. Madani has been unexpectedly called to a meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme. We apologize for any inconvenience.

As we learn more about the impacts of climate change, water is a key human resource threatened by our evolving climate. Water shortage is the major environmental problem of the 21st century. We are experiencing water bankruptcy at the global level – water resources are currently insufficient to meet demand – and water is intimately linked to food security, energy production, urbanization, and development more broadly. As a result, pressures from water shortages are underpinning social and political challenges around the globe. Conflict over water has increased significantly in the past decades. And the poor of the world suffer the most from water bankruptcy, another stark reminder of global environmental injustice.

The question is how to understand these complex, interlinked challenges so that we may land on the right solutions to ensure the sustainability of humans and their environments, and safeguard life on our planet. How much is climate change contributing to water bankruptcy? How much are water shortages due to reversible human decisions? It is important to distinguish the factors contributing to water shortages and to develop a narrative that invites positive action to mitigate the problems.

Join us as Dr. Kaveh Madani addresses these questions. Dr. Madani is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. He is a globally recognized environmental scientist, educator, and activist, working on complex human-natural systems at the interface of science, policy, and society. He has over 200 publications worldwide on issues such as water management, environmental policy, energy systems, food security, climate change impacts, and environmental security, diplomacy, and justice. He is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).



Members $15; Non-Members $25; Students admitted free with support from the Dr. and Mrs. Wael and Sawssan Khoury Students’ Fund.



The Union Club

1211 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44115


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