Drainage basin security: Prospects for trade-offs and benefit sharing in a globalized world (the World Water Week niche report)

Each year, the World Water Week addresses a theme that fits within a broader niche. This report looks back over the niche on Drainage Basin Security, which covered the years 2003 to 2007. This report reflects on the knowledge, experience and lessons learned over the course of the five years, and offer a set of key messages that emerged from the plenary sessions, workshops, seminars and side events.


This report looks back 2003-2007 niche “Drainage basin security – prospects for tradeoffs and benefit sharing in a globalised world”. The purpose of this report is to consolidate and reflect upon the knowledge, experience and lessons learned over the course of the five years.

In the first section, the niche is defined by answering the question: What is Drainage Basin Security? The key messages that emerged from the analysis of the five year niche are then presented.

The section Reflections and Synthesis are thoughts and ideas that have been formulated by members of the World Water Week Scientific Programme Committee and SIWI experts based on the proceedings and reports from the five World Water Weeks under this niche. They
refer to issues that have been on the agenda for the past few years and to the challenges and opportunities that are emerging or becoming more significant as we approach 2015.

To conclude, the last section provides a look forward towards and beyond 2015.

Lessons learned

  • Drainage basin security requires coordination and integration of policies for biophysical and socioeconomic systems.
  • Considerable scope exists for improving efficiency and balancing demands and tradeoffs.
  • For water short areas, a strategy for water and food security should include considerations of imports of water intensive goods and services.
  • Strategies for sharing benefits generated in transboundary basins should be sought.
  • Policies, management and stakeholder participation should go beyond water.
  • Be aware: doing nothing will cost more in the long run.


Lundqvist, J., Falkenmark, M., Jägerskog, A. 2009. Drainage Basin Security – Prospects for Trade-offs and Benefit Sharing in a Globalised World. Report Nr. 26. SIWI, Stockholm.