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Home » Addressing Global Water Insecurity: Harnessing the Power of Big Data, Novel Technologies and International Collaboration

Addressing Global Water Insecurity: Harnessing the Power of Big Data, Novel Technologies and International Collaboration


Monday, September 18, 2023


3:30 PM - 5 PM ET

Or register by clicking here:

Join us virtually on Monday, September 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET for a special event for the UNITAR Global Water Academy, co-presented by York University, UNITAR and United Nations University, during the UN SDG Summit with a panel entitled, “Addressing Global Water Insecurity: Harnessing the Power of Big Data, Novel Technologies and International Collaboration.”

Featuring water experts from around the world - live from UN Headquarters - this panel will create a dialogue on how new technologies, large open-access databases, and inclusive international collaborations hold the potential to identify the extent and causes of global water insecurity, particularly in regions where data and resources can be limited.

To register for a livestream of the panel, click here.

Over two billion people do not have safe access to clean water. Yet, quantifying the extent of global water insecurity, particularly when incorporating indicators such as freshwater quality, quantity, value, and governance, can be challenging. Paucity of open-access data resources can often be a limitation in assessing progress. Here, we highlight the power of harnessing open data, novel technologies, and inclusive international collaborations to quantify water insecurity around the globe. Continual advances in remote sensing technologies, inclusive global networks, and increased accessibility of open access data, offer exciting opportunities to further understand freshwaters around the world, including in regions that previously were relatively unexplored or suffer from insufficient access to resources. Remote sensing and open-access data platforms are revolutionizing the field of water sciences by capturing data from lakes and rivers worldwide, and openly sharing data and ideas through collaborations. The movement towards open-access data is essential to democratizing data. By developing inclusive, diverse, interdisciplinary collaborative teams, we will fuel the integration of research disciplines, incorporate new technologies, and spark creative solutions to safeguard our global freshwater resources and work towards a future of equitable access to clean freshwater worldwide.

KAVEH MADANI, United Nations University

Professor Kaveh Madani is a globally recognized scientist, educator, and activist, working on complex human-nature systems at the interface of science, policy, and society. He is currently the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and a Research Professor at the City University of New York’s Remote Sensing Earth Systems Institute (CUNY CREST).

To learn more about Kaveh Madani, click here.

LINA TAING, United Nations University

Dr Lina Taing has over a decade of research, project management and capacity building experience in the WASH and HIV sectors. Her doctoral research unpacked complex challenges that South Africa faced when servicing informal settlements. Lina coordinated and led interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral teams focused on improving basic water and health services for the urban and rural poor, and served as a consultant for governments, parastatals, health providers and NGOs in Southern and Eastern Africa. 

To learn more about Lina Taing, click here.


Michael Jasinski is a Research Hydrologist with the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Assistant Chief for Science Research.

To learn more about Michael Jasinski, click here.


Annie is a public health scientist. She holds a Masters of Public Administration, a Masters in International Educational Development, and a Doctorate in Health Education and Behavior Studies from Columbia University. Dr. Feighery specializes in behavior change, maternal and child survival, modernizing management systems, and data-driven public health approaches.

To learn more about Annie Feighery, click here.

KATHLEEN WEATHERS, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Kathleen Weathers studies ecosystem processes within and among aquatic, airborne, and terrestrial systems. She was co-Chair of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for 10 years, guiding GLEON from its infancy to adulthood. GLEON is a world-wide grassroots collaboration of 800 research partners studying 150 lakes in 53 countries.

To learn more about Kathleen Weathers, click here.

CLAIRE WALSH, Newcastle University Centre for Water

Claire Walsh is Professor of Water Security, and Deputy Head of, the Water Group in the School of Engineering, Newcastle University. Walsh's research interests focus on long-term change in both natural environments and urban systems, with a strong focus on water security and sustainable infrastructure. 

To learn more about Clare Walsh, click here.