Northwestern Events Calendar


COP28 Event: If climate change is a shark, water is its teeth: How water insecurity data can mobilize action

When: Monday, December 11, 2023
6:00 AM - 7:15 AM CT

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Trienens Institute   (847) 467-1475

Group: Trienens Institute

Sponsor: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Co-Sponsor: Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Academic, Global & Civic Engagement, Environment & Sustainability


Sera Young, Associate Professor of Anthropology, will lead a conversation during in this official side event at the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This side event will take place at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pavilion in the Blue Zone. This event and all events at the IUCN Pavilion can be livestreamed. Sera Young organized this event with the support of the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy.

Date and time: Monday, December 11 from 16:00–17:15 GMT+4 (6am CT)
Recording link:

Abstract from IUCN

Water insecurity -- too much, too little, or poor quality water-- is a global crisis that is exacerbated by the effects of climate change, including changing temperature and precipitation patterns. However, traditional measurements of water insecurity have not captured human experiences with water access and use, but have instead measured “provider-side” indicators (e.g., per capita water availability). As such, many of the impacts of climate on human well-being have been invisible. With the advent of the first globally suitable “user-side” water indicator, the Water InSecurity Experiences (WISE) Scale, we can better see how climate change shapes problems with water access, use, and reliability.

In this session, we will reveal the first-ever picture of how water insecurity experiences covary with climate events, using the first nationally representative geospatial data on water insecurity from 25 countries in the Gallup World Poll. We will lay out a framework for how climate change and water insecurity impact mental health, physical health, and nutrition, using burgeoning evidence from around the world. We will conclude by describing how water insecurity data have been used to advocate for policy and infrastructural change, using examples from Australia, Kenya, and Mexico.

We will have presentations by:

Dr. Sera Young, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Global Health, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA

Rupa Mukerji, Director, Advisory Services, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation 

Alona Bachi, Middle East Bureau, Acting Team Lead for Environment, Science and Technology, USAID

Tom Iseman, Water Scarcity and Drought Resilience Director, Water Security Team; Senior Advisor and Food-Water Lead, Regenerative Food Systems at The Nature Conservancy


Dr. James Dalton, Head - Water and Land Management Team, IUCN

Dr. Jay Famiglietti, ASU Global Futures Professor, School of Sustainability

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