Page 63 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation     63

                                                       WATER SECURITY

building mechanisms have been put         But there are (few) good examples          I would conclude by quoting Peter
in place to manage water but few use      to follow. In Pilbara, a vast desert       Bakker, President and CEO of the
risks as entry point. Yet this would      region in Western Australia (see           World Business Council on Sustainable
allow a constructive dialogue between     photo), a risk matrix allows managing      Development, in his statement at the
parties well aware of their own risk.     tradeoffs between groundwater uses         Stockholm Water Week 2013, “I would
                                          while protecting aquifer integrity.        suggest defining water as an issue in
Bad practices are plentiful. Putting      The acceptable level of groundwater        terms of risk. The scientists can give
irrigation interest first has led to the  abstraction is set considering             us risk indicators, the policy makers
shrinking of the Aral Sea, once the 4th   tradeoffs between the risks to             can define water in terms of risk and
largest inland sea, due to massive water  environmental, cultural and social         business people are trained to do
pumping in its feed rivers. Conga,        groundwater-dependent values (“in          nothing but measure, manage and act
potentially the largest single mining     situ values”) and the opportunity cost     on risks. That would combine us.” l
investment in Peru’s history, was halted  of not abstracting water for use in
by lack of knowledge on water risks;      mining, the main economic activity           Contact details:
the project would turn several small      in Pilbara (“development risk”).             Gérard Bonnis
Andean lakes into reservoirs or tailing   The maximum allocation from this             Principal Administrator
ponds. Hydropower development on          process was estimated at up to 70% of        Climate, Biodiversity and Water
Chile’s Maipo River is sparking mass      recharge. That is, setting aside at least    Division
protests based on perceived (but          30% of the estimated recharge protects       Environment Directorate
unassessed) risks to Santiago (the        the resource from the risk of saltwater      Tel: +33 1 45 24 79 10
capital city) water supply.               intrusion.
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