Multiple uses of water services (MUS) for individuals and households are gaining attention for the potential to mitigate and cope with crises. ILSSI is collaborating with UN-FAO and the Household Water Insecurity Experiences Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN) to reexamine multiple-use water services. The initiative seeks to identify the interconnected and co-benefits of MUS and focus our attention on the relevance of MUS for (1) nutrition and food security amid water stress related to demand and pollution; (2) nutrition-sensitive household and homestead agricultural water management (linking irrigation with WASH investments for synergistic nutrition outcomes); (3) nutrition- and food-security sensitive water management at the homestead and household scale; and (4) gender empowerment.
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We have initiated a workshop series seeks to draw on new insights in water security research to advance conceptual and methodological approaches to multiple-use water services that can guide international development policy and investments. In addition, we have also organized panel discussions in a webinar format.
Our first webinar, slated for November 3, 2022, at 11am (CST), will host a panel of experts on MUS, food security, health, and household water security to discuss the potential benefits and avenues of resiliency MUS offers for rural communities in LMICs. Dr. Wendy Jepson, Texas A&M University Professor and Director of the HWISE-RCN, will guide Dr Nicole Lefore, ILSSI Director, Dr. Stef Smits of IRC-WASH, and Mr Matt Stellbauer, ILSSI Associate Director and Doctoral Candidate, in an hour discussion on revaluing MUS for the next wave of resilient development investments. We will consider how MUS may directly and indirectly enhance water security and nutrition outcomes, as well as consider how current practices may limit or truncate more beneficial pathways to well-being for rural communities. Our forward-looking conversation will contribute to a framework for a new MUS agenda. The initiative will inform FAO programming that supports rural communities and small-scale farmers, at a time when building resilience to crises is urgently needed.
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