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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Global Water Regulation Workshop

22 March 2010

Values, Costs and Environmental Stewardship: who pays, whose responsibility?

This event was sponsored by Northumbrian Water and the Durham Institute of Advanced Study (IAS).

The aim of the workshop was to bring together key thinkers and decision makers from around the world to articulate a new water regulatory framework that is appropriate for areas undergoing radical change or uncertainty; whilst recognising that any such framework, when applied, will need to be responsive to local legacies, challenges and capabilities. Water is becoming an increasingly scarce and precious commodity but remains a basic necessity or entitlement for life. At this workshop we wanted to develop a new regulatory framework between market and state that is able to respond to the diverse values held on the right of access to water, to the need to underwrite costs and adequate economic returns, and to the need to safeguard future sustainability.  A position statement was produced by Professor Ash Amin (Durham Institute of Advanced Study) and Professor Esteban Castro (Newcastle University) following the workshop (see below).

25 international experts came together and debated critical policy questions raised in a position paper commissioned from Professor Esteban Castro. The aim, under the Chatham House Rule, was to seek to develop a common perspective that is responsive to diverse stakeholder opinion and interest.  

The day began with three keynote presentations from renowned individuals in the field (see the Global Access to Water webpage for further details of these lectures), which acted as a further prompt to discussion in the workshop that afternoon. The aim of these plenary lectures, which were open to the public, was to invite an opinion on the changing global context, and three very different positions on the above regulatory dilemma.

Workshop Participants

Undala Alam - Consultant

Tony Allan - School of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London

Ash Amin - Executive Director, Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University

Asit Biswas - President of the Third World Centre for Water Management

Rutgerd Boelens - Irrigation and Water Engineering Group, Wageningen University

Tim Burt - Department of Geography, Durham University

Reinhold Castensson - Department of Thematic Studies - Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University

Esteban Castro - School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University

Anthony Cox - Head of the Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate

John Cuthbert - Managing Director, Northumbrian Water Ltd

Jackie Dugard - Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa

Eran Feitelson - School of Public Policy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Lorenzo Galbiati - Catalan Water Agency

Dipak Gyawali - Research Director, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation

Louise Hunter - Head of Corporate Responsibility, Northumbrian Water Ltd

Ceri Jones - Regulation and Scientific Services Director, Northumbrian Water Limited

Antonio Miranda - International Secretary of the Brazilian National Association of Municipal Water and Sanitation Utilities

John Mowbray - Director of Corporate Affairs, Northumbrian Water Ltd

Ayman Rabi - Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group

Muhammad Saidam - Director of the Environment Monitoring and Research Central Unit, Royal Scientific Society

Miguel Solanes - Senior Researcher, Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies

Clare Twelvetrees - Partners for Water and Sanitation

Timeyin Uwejamomere - Urban Senior Policy Officer, Water Aid

Mike Woolgar - Director of Water Management at WS Atkins

Patricia Wouters - Chair of the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science

Position Statement