WLRC presented at the 8th Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub Assembly held from October 22-28, 2023 in New Delhi, India. The Assembly aimed to showcase how systems approach established through the Collaboratories in Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia, and the UK that can help to address water security challenges in a locally meaningful way. In the Hub Assembly, activities that help to achieve further integration and impact in the project are also identified and agreed to communicate the impacts and outcomes of the project.

In the welcoming session, the contributors of the ECN book, one of the key integrative outputs of the project, updated their progress on the book project aimed to reach a coherent consensus on the key themes of each co-author and identify the spotlights together. The book entitled “Pushing the paradigms of global water security: Transnational perspectives for the next generations” is initiated by the ECN of the hub on areas of Justice, Governance, Quality, and Proactive Management. One of the contributors Dr. Adey Nigatu from WLRC presented an overview and updated her contribution on this transnational and multidisciplinary book where she is co-leading the fourth chapter, Proactive Management of Water Resources. She identified four spotlights of the proactive Management principle: Sustainable water systems that respond to long term changes; the use and application of artificial intelligence to proactively manage water risks and enhance resilience; understanding water as food through nature-based solutions; and adaptation and reconfiguration of a two-fold approach to proactive water-use management.

In the Assembly stakeholder panels, presentations, and a visit to the sites are included. In the panel discussion, the deputy director of WLRC Dr. Tena Alamirew shared the Ethiopia collaboratory effort to implement the project objectives in relation to water security issues in Abbay, Awash, and Central Rift Valley Basins. In this joint panel discussion, the Ethiopian experience is well articulated and presented.

WLRC also presented on Hub Outcomes and Integrated Research Impact, including a research impact and innovation showcase. The Ethiopia GCRF project manager Dr. Bitew Kassaw delivered a presentation on Ethiopia impact pathway that focused on transposing research into impact to meet Hub outcomes. In his presentation, Dr. Bitew showed the key integration activities enabling the synthesis of research done by WLRC at the Abbay, Awash and Central Rift Valley Basins and their impact at local, national and international levels. Dr. Bitew and Mrs Rachael (from Colombia) also presented on cross-cutting research presentations; relational socio-ecological systems work in Ethiopia and Colombia Collaboratories. Their presentation highlights the interdependencies between water security, food security, and health in both Upper Awash and Cauca River Basins. In addition, Dr. Ermias and Dr. Gerg from WLRC and Newcastle University respectively presented the application of CAMELS database for water resource management during the innovation showcase session and it got more attention by the assembly participants. Furthermore, Dr. Alazar in with collaboration with the India team presented the progress of water sensitive planning work in the Akaki catchment.

As a part of the Assembly, the participants visited Madrasi, Ambedkar, Priyanka, Hanuman, Indra Kalyan Vihar, Nehru Ekta and Barapulla sites. The 17 participants from WLRC were assigned to different sites and coin experience on the problems observed and the possible solutions in relation to the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub project objectives.