REACH: Improving water security for the poor

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

ECI lead: Prof Jim Hall

REACH is a global research programme to improve water security for the poor by delivering world-class science that transforms policy and practice.

Living in poverty often means a struggle for water security. Rapid urban growth, unregulated pollution from industry, extreme floods and droughts, lack of reliable and safe drinking water, and increasing damage to water ecosystems threaten economies and undermine the lives of the poor.

Our work

Improving water security is an important pathway to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. However, better evidence is needed to guide institutional and infrastructure investments which unlock growth opportunities and help people move out of poverty.

The REACH programme improved water security for over ten million poor people by:

  • Generating new evidence on water security through an innovative, interdisciplinary, risk-based approach
  • Establishing science, practitioner and enterprise partnerships to ground research in approaches that will benefit the poor
  • Building capacity and networks for the next generation of water managers and scientists in Africa and South Asia.

Find out more from the REACH Water website

Water security for climate resilience report

A synthesis of published and ongoing research which explores the relationship between water security, climate and climate adaptation decisions, drawing on findings from REACH research in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The report demonstrates:

  • The unequal impact of climate on water security, and on people’s lives and livelihoods, which can be counter-intuitive to broad narratives around resilience and adaptation.
  • The impact of seasonal fluctuations in weather on surface and groundwater quality and quantity, and show that water security risks evolve with shifting climate conditions, water use behaviours, and policy decisions.
  • A deepened understanding of location- and context-specific climate issues and dynamics, revealing a pressing need to consider and plan for different distributional impacts of climate and climate change.

More about Water security for climate resilience on the REACH website