What do we mean by water security?

Water Security

The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability. (UN-Water)


Drought refers in general to a period of water shortage, but there are many types of definitions, including:

  • Meteorological – when precipitation departs from the long-term normal
  • Agricultural – when there is insufficient soil moisture to meet the needs of a particular crop
  • Hydrological – when deficiencies occur in surface and subsurface water supplies
  • Socio-economic – when human activities are affected by reduced precipitation and related water availability.

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity can mean scarcity in availability due to physical shortage, or scarcity in access due to the failure of institutions to ensure a regular supply or due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. (UN).