In celebration of World Water Day 2021 (22 March), The water Diplomat will host a live-streamed aquaNOW Audience panel show: "Exploring the Non-Market Value of Water to Society".
Water is essential for human life. For food, energy, our environment and ecosystems, playing a central role in our economies, from agriculture to energy production, and manufacturing to tourism.
But what about those vital Non-Market Values of Water? Artistic and Social? Human Peace? Health and Wellbeing? Spiritual and Philosophical?
aquaNOW Audiences are live-streamed interactive panel discussions engaging international water experts and Scottish expertise in global water-related challenges and solutions. The shows are produced by The water Diplomat in collaboration with the government of Scotland, the Hydro Nation.
Meet your Panelists!
James Curran originally researched in meteorology, oceanography and hydrology. He was previously Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and served on several government groups including climate change, zero waste, hydronation, green growth, biodiversity, and fracking. At one time, he ran his own eco-business and has, on and off, worked in consultancy. He was Chair of the James Hutton Institute and, currently, serves on the Board of the Green Purposes Company, created to oversee the environmental performance of the UK Green Investment Bank when it was privatised; he advises the Isle of Man Government on climate action; and he is chair of Climate Ready Clyde, which is developing the Glasgow City Region climate adaptation strategy.
Jean Willemin is Senior Project Officer at the Geneva Water Hub, an organisation specialised in hydropolitics and hydrodiplomacy attached to the University of Geneva, whose mandate is to promote water as a driver of peace and cooperation. Jean contributes to the development and implementation of Geneva Water Hub global agenda and is in charge of engaging a dialogue on water and peace in the West African region. In that function, the organisation mobilises cultural actors through its platform on Art for water and peace. Jean holds a Master's degree in Sociology and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Water Policy and Management from the University of Geneva. Before joining the Geneva Water Hub, he worked in the field of human rights, both for international organisations and NGOs with an increasing engagement on water governance issues since 2014.
Will Sarni is an internationally recognised thought leader on sustainability, water strategy and innovation. He was ranked as; A Key Player Pressuring Businesses to Care About Water, and one of the Top 15 Interviews In Smart Water Magazine 2019 and is Co-Host of podcast The Stream with Will and Tom. He has been a sustainability and water strategy advisor to multinationals, water technology companies, investors and non-governmental organizations for his entire career. Will works with multinationals on corporate water strategies, water technology innovation and water market entry strategies. His work with water technology companies is as a strategy advisor and investor.
Lesley Banks graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Fine Art from the Drawing and Painting Department in 1984. As the recipient of several scholarships she has spent time painting the canals of Venice and Amsterdam.
Banks works thematically and has undertaken several residencies including Artist in Residence at both Edinburgh Zoo and more recently Scottish Canals. As part of Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 celebrations, she exhibited a body of work entitled 'Landscapes of Water' at Summerlee Industrial Heritage Museum. The coastal work in this exhibition expanded on her previous, Creative Scotland, funded Canal Residency - Gongoozler.
As canals begin and end their journey into the gateway of the sea, she broadened her perspective to include some Scottish coastlines. In contrast to the calm surface water of canals these vast coastal vistas offered a different artistic perspective
Elliot Hurst is a water researcher, engineer, and keen sailor and swimmer. He is currently a PhD scholar at the University of Stirling and UKCEH, with research interests in political ecology, infrastructure and everything watery. He uses interdisciplinary research to imagine and work towards flourishing waterscapes for both humans and other creatures.
Revd Len Abrams is a civil engineer, born in Kenya and grew up in South Africa. Len has spent his professional career working in water and international river basin development in Africa which has taken him to 26 countries on the African continent. After moving to the United Kingdom in 2000 he took up a position with the World Bank in Washington DC in 2003 for several years as a Senior Water Resources Specialist in the Africa Region. In 2009 he returned to England, continuing to work independently in the water sector. His particular areas of interest are transboundary water development, ‘green water’ and conservation agriculture for rural small-scale rainfed farmers, and the political economy of water development. Revd Len was ordained as priest in 2014 in the Church of England and is currently vicar of the small rural parish of Christ Church, South Nutfield in Surrey, where half his time is spent working on water.
Our aquaNOW Audience Moderator David Duncan is Publisher of The water Diplomat, an international news agency specialising in the geopolitics of Water.
The water Diplomat reports where Water challenges intersect with Climate Change; Infrastructure; Investment; Corporate Responsibility and Risk; Human Conflict and Peace; Health; our Environment; Food Security; Energy Security; well, pretty much everything.
David founded The water Diplomat in 2006 after 14 years in publishing, mostly of public policy and business news and intelligence in Europe and the US. He participates as a Panelist and Moderator at international conferences and other events related to Water. David has an Edinburgh University law degree.
"OOSKA"? It is a phonetic spelling of the Scottish Gaelic word "uisge," which means "Water”!
More about World Water Day in Scotland:
What is the true value of water in Scotland and what does it mean to you? On Monday 22nd March, the Hydro Nation International Centre, supported by the Scottish Government and the James Hutton Institute are hosting a free online celebration of World Water Day, bringing together Scotland’s water community to hear their perspectives on the theme of ‘Valuing Water’.
In our water-rich Scotland, water is often taken for granted, but the annual UN World Water Day is a brilliant opportunity to reflect on what it means for a nation to truly value its water. Value means different things to different people, sometimes just purely economic, but many see water through a wider cultural, environmental, and societal lens.
On 22 March participants will be able to join in the conversation, in what is also Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, and hear from representatives from the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, the Scotch Whisky Association, the Scottish Government, the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice Scotland and VisitScotland.
Details of how to tune in to the day's events (not just the aquaNOW Audience) can be found HERE.