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The Challenge of Global Water Security

Cardiff University via FutureLearn


How do we achieve water security for everyone?

Over the next 30 years it is estimated that 80% of the world’s population will live in areas with high levels of water scarcity.

How do we manage this so that we can ensure global water security for both people and ecosystems?

On this course, you’ll have an introduction to the challenges of water security and find out why human activity and environmental issues are putting increasing pressure on our water resources.

You’ll explore the physical, biological and social facets connecting to water security around the globe, where you live, and what can be done to achieve water security for all.

This course is aimed at anyone interested in global water security, but it may be of particular interest to water research professionals and students studying science.


  • What is water security?
    • Introduction to water security
    • Concepts in water security
    • The water cycle
    • Recap
  • Current issues affecting water security
    • Introduction
    • Water quality
    • Extreme events
    • Water footprint
    • Water access & ethics
    • Recap
  • Global uncertainties
    • Introduction
    • Climate change drivers
    • Responses to change
    • Urbanisation and emerging pollutants
    • Recap
  • Emerging problems and solutions
    • Introduction
    • Freshwater ecosystem decline
    • Water infrastructure and innovation
    • Water quality in catchments
    • Recap

Taught by

Isabelle Durance


4.7 rating, based on 15 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 38 ratings

Start your review of The Challenge of Global Water Security

  • Helen C
    I have had a fascination with water all my life, and an appreciation of water as the most valuable resource on earth.

    The course is taught by a university, the people who taught us are knowledgeable, enthusiastic in their teaching, welcoming and friendly.

    The course content was just right for me, I learned about several important factors of global water security, from different regions of the world, that affect us all, and about what people can do to protect water at a local level. I learned much more than I knew at a level slightly higher than my current knowledge.
  • Anonymous
    A well produced course covering a depth of knowledge. Social, governmental and societal responsibilities are recognised and discussed and extended my understanding and knowledge and I do already have experience in the water industry. That's not to say thaat it would be difficult for a beginner in this field since they do present their ideas and thoughts clearly enough for anyone to follow. I recommend this course highly.
  • Anonymous
    I would highly recommend the course because it is well structured and tables all the urgent topics, the current situation and problems worldwide as well as the inevitable upcomming problems. I have learned a lot eventhough I haven´t had any previous…
  • Anonymous
    A very thought provoking course with some very good examples, which demonstrate the complexity and diversty of the challenges. These absolutely contribute to world security issues and will do more so, as climate change and urbanisation continue to apply pressures. It is also brillant to hear that solutions are far from unachievable, with personal demand as demonstrated in Cape Town, where the key workable solution was the 'we are all in in together' messsage. The challenge is ensuring for all of us, we do not get as close to Day 0. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    The course is a great introduction to understanding water security and the issues facing our world today. I really enjoyed it and even felt motivated to research my own country and the water problems we face. If you're interested in the environment I'd recommend this course - I have a much deeper understanding of how water is connected to everything, from the food we eat and the car we drive to the clothes we wear. Very interesting and informative.
  • Anonymous
    I'm a water resources engineer that wants to specialise in water security, and this was a good course to explore more of the topic and confirm that it is what i want to study even more of. I learnt things even as a professional in the water resources field, and it was also good material for people fresh to the topic and industry to follow too. And the more you interact with the discussion forums the more you get out of it!
  • John Cope
    This is a really well thought out and presented online course. And also most enjoyable. It's very well paced, not too fast, but really very thorough. Prof Ormerod has a very easy style but one which is very effective and clear. Tackling the most basic human need it certainly presents the issues but also goes on to discuss some of the remedies. I would recommend this most interesting course.
  • Gordon Insch
    I did enjoy this course on Challenges to Global Water Security.
    It has enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding water and its environment in different parts of the world.
    I would certainly recommend the course to any one who has an interest in environmental issues. Of the need to enhance the quality of drinking water and its ready supply.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course and would highly recommend it. It was both very useful and extremely interesting from a general knowledge point of view, and for me personally as a Geography teacher, it deepened my knowledge of this subject area, particularly with regards water quality. The course is really well put together, accessible and easy to follow.
  • Anonymous
    This course is great, pitched a a good level. There are a range of styles of teaching and learning - videos, articles, links to other articles, discussion with other students. The course covers a wide range of content and is engaging and relevant. Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    The course was well structured and easy to follow. However, it is a shame that when i asked questions they were not responded to. Furthermore, many statistics were given, but never with a source or reference meaning i can then not use these again.
  • Anonymous
    This course was really good. Well presented, good content, a range of teaching styles (videos, articles, links to further articles, quizzes). It was broad ranging but covered a lot of detail about contemporary water issues.
  • Anonymous
    This is a very insightful and complete course that introduces the challenge of water security for people and ecosystems, explaining the most relevant water-related aspects. I really would like to recommend this course.
  • Anonymous
    Outstanding course. Everyone, EVERYONE should take it. Topic and structure are well developed. I learned a lot from other learners from all around the world.
  • Anonymous
    The course was well laid out and the comments provided an interesting perspective and allowed for interesting conversations to occur.

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