We are pleased to announce the release of a collection of materials based on the results of the round table «Water Strategy for a Water Power», held online on July 8, 2021 with the organization of the Center for Integrated European and International Studies of the Higher School of Economics Research University (HSE CCEMI) and Lake Baikal Foundation. The purpose of the round table was to initiate a dialogue on the development of a new Russian water strategy, commensurate not only with the pressing (and growing) problems of the water sector, but also with the potential of Russia’s water component in the international system.
The collection of materials contains the texts of the reports of its participants: representatives of science and education from the Institute of Water Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, HSE, Moscow State University, MGIMO, Irkutsk State University, representatives of the business and non-profit sector, representatives of international organizations: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Institute of Water Resources Management (IWMI), the International Committee on Lake Problems (ILEC), the International Association of Lake Regions (MAOR), the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), foreign experts on water resources management from France, Australia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The reports of the participants, on the one hand, draw attention to both domestic problems, including narrowly sectoral ones, and issues of integrated water resources management on a national scale and beyond. In addition, experts offer solutions to the voiced problems.
The participants of the discussions agreed on the lack of political attention to the water agenda within the country, while, on the one hand, the problems associated with the shortage of drinking water and the consequences of climate change will become relevant around the world in the near future, and on the other hand, Russia has a huge potential to become a world leader in the water agenda.
Meanwhile, irrational management of natural resources (for example, deforestation, including along coastlines, excessive fishing), uncontrolled anthropogenic impact on water bodies (lack of monitoring and control, outdated equipment, lack of treatment facilities) and lack of coordinated work of relevant departments lead to degradation of aquatic ecosystems.
Participants stressed the importance of long-term planning and an integrated approach to water resources management, which would also take into account aspects of forest management, food security, energy, the importance of biodiversity conservation, climate change and environmental problems associated with pollution. Therefore, in order to prepare the next water strategy, it is important to involve all representatives of society, including science, education, business and the non-profit sector in the discussion.
Taking into account the interest of the participants in the round table, the relevance of the topics discussed, the counter-proposals of the speakers, we plan to organize a series of discussions on the problems of water resources management in the near future.
We would like to thank the participants of the round table for the their work.
Materials on the results of the round table «Water Strategy for a Water Power» are available for download via the link.