Global Issues ProjectWater Issues Expert RoundtableWATER FOREsight David Harries, PhD, P Eng Royal Military College & Foresight Canada
Outline • Water • Futures • Foresight • Water Foresight • Water Facts
WATER • Security • Safety • Sufficiency …So many • Shares challenging factors • Science with complex relationships • Substitutes • Settings
WATER SECURITY Security of source systems infrastructure access people funding
WATER SCIENCE Science (and technology) for Production >>> for Performance >>> for Preservation >>>
WATER SETTINGS Water in changing - Climates - Seasons - Politics - Demands - ……
FUTURES • 1988 (-20) ! • 2008 (now) ! • 2028 (+20) ? • Predictions • ‘Accidents’
1988 USSR, Cold War, Berlin Wall ‘search engines’ ? ‘personal’ computers ? Magnetic resonance? Global warming ? ‘brick’ phones Human Genome project? ‘Nano-’ ? ‘Cyber- ? Oil at US $10-20 per barrel
2008 ‘The world is getting better and better, worse and worse, faster and faster’. The problem with life is there are no rehearsals; life is live.
GREATPREDICTIONS • Heavier than air flying machines are impossible - Lord Kelvin, President Royal Society 1882 • The horse is here to stay, the automobile is a novelty - Bank Manager to Henry Ford 1908 • There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom - Robert Milliken, Nobel Prize in Physics 1923 • Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? - Henry Warner, Film Producer 1927 • There is a world market for about five computers - Thomas Watson IBM 1943 • We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out - President Decca Records, rejecting the Beatles 1962
“ACCIDENTS” - Serendipity Viagra ATMs Frisbee Gelatin Microwave Post-it Slinky Superglue
FORESIGHT • What it is • Definition, description and elements • What it offers • Why it is needed • A way it is done
FORESIGHT IS… • Definition - process and ability to prepare better, sooner for the (uncertain) future • Description - process and ability to anticipate; to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent and functional forward view.. • ‘Elements’ - ~ three dozen; ~ one dozen key ones
Foresight is NOT ‘futures studies’; not in a/the future
FORESIGHT OFFERS… HELP -examining developments out 5-25 years -understanding ranges of factors and drivers -accommodating risk, diversity -anticipating multiple plausible futures -highlighting emerging opportunities, threats -designing rehearsals -creating transition strategies for preferred outcomes
FORESIGHT IS NEEDED BECAUSE… …assumptions, biases, organizational structures, the rewards paradigm, and the urgency of the present ‘fog’ the fact that the future WILL NOT be what, today, we prefer it will be. …S.W.O.T. in 2008 WILL NOT be S.W.O.T in 2028
A FORESIGHT PROCESS 1. Define project topic 2. Review current situation 3. Identify key lenses 4. Answer challenge questions 5. Identify change drivers 6. Select critical drivers 7. Design scenarios 8. Populate each scenario 9. Back-cast to today 10. Synthesize and recommend (action)
a Foresight process for WATER Define project topic safe water Review current situation <this workshop> Identify key lenses security Answer challenge questions trends? Identify change drivers climate Select critical drivers technology Design scenarios not 3, not too many Populate each scenario write the 2028 story Back-cast to today 2028> ?? > 2008 Synthesize and recommend action now
WATER FORESIGHT Water issues • Now • 2028? Water Competence • Now? • 2028? 2028 Water Scenarios
Now ! 2028 ? WATER ISSUES Security Safety Sufficiency Shares Science Substitutes Settings The same list? The same order of importance/magnitude? The same relationships? WHAT DO WE PLAN FOR, AND, THEREFORE WHAT DO WE HAVE TO BE COMPETENT AT IN 2028?
Now ? 2028 ????? WATER COMPETENCE IN TERMS OF WATER ISSUES, DO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE COMPETENT IN TODAY? DO WE KNOW THE COMPETENCES WE HAVE NOW THAT WE ‘SHOULD’ BUILD ON, AND THOSE WE ‘CAN’ LET GO? WHAT STRENGTHS WILL WE NEED TO COMPETENTLY DEAL WITH THE THREATS TO AND EXPLOIT THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WATER IN 2028 ? … AND WHAT WEAKNESSES MUST WE AVOID ?
2028 WATER SCENARIOS • Water Wars • UCC • Pipeliners • Bottle Borders • OWEC • Leisure Caps • PWGSC • Sovereign Waters • Happy Humanity
WATER FACTS Water is today a strategic material in every sense of that term. It is impossible to imagine it being less so in 2028. Some of each of all the water scenarios will have happened by, be happening in, or be about to happen in 2028. We can neither predict which or when ‘some’ will happen, nor the relationships and consequences of them, in 2028 or thereafter.
Water Foresight Facts Foresight on water is a process that, done well, offers: • a means to focus on – to explore - the most important plausible water scenarios; the worst case one and the best case one and those between • support for development of options for the future • a foundation for more confident, better decisions (and not) to shape water realities future.