Seminar: Dr Rob Hope, "The paralyzed frog, water supply services and sustainable cities"

Past Event

19 October 2010, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Said Business School
Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP

Speaker: Dr Rob Hope, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
Commentator: Ramin Keivani, Research co-ordinator, Real Estate and Construction Management, Oxford Brookes University

Any notion of a sustainable city is premised on a secure water supply for human, productive and ecosystem demands. With global urban residents now out-numbering rural dwellers, urban water delivery systems are creaking and leaking under decades of under-investment, new competitive demands, reduced revenue streams, and increasingly scarce and variable water resources. The political economy of water supply means decision-making is challenged by balancing social, political, economic, technical, legal, financial and environmental concerns which often leads to paralysis. In the absence of effective reform and action, millions of people in developing countries are left without adequate water services resulting in avoidable but high daily and life-cycle costs. We examine institutional innovations and new financial models piloted by cities to secure water supplies whilst protecting water ecosystems and how progressive reform may hit the elusive and moving targets of increasing supply coverage rates, at reduced cost and lower water volume delivery.

About the speaker:
Dr Rob Hope is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, UK. He is Course Director of the MSc Water Science, Policy and Management and teaches across water-related areas of economics, policy and development. His research interests focus on the political economy of ecosystem services, and the dialectic between public policy and societal choice. He has held grants from ESRC, NERC, DFID, World Bank, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for research projects in Africa, south Asia and Latin America. He is currently working on projects on Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) in west Africa and India (NERC) and Smart Water Systems in Kenya and Zambia (DFID).