World Water Forum Session: Are Water Deficits & Extreme Events Increasing Migration & Displacement?

A session at the 9th World Water Forum will discuss links between water and migration, and identify knowledge gaps.

- Africa/Dakar

This thematic session of the 9th World Water Forum will provide the latest data, evidence, and insights on links between water and migration, and identify knowledge gaps to be addressed by future research programmes and projects. Kensuke Fukushi (Academic Programme Advisor, UNU-IAS) will deliver a presentation on the relationship between economy and water, and its influence on migration.


There is growing evidence that water scarcity, changes in precipitation patterns, and extreme weather events combined with socioeconomic vulnerabilities are contributing to migration and displacement. In 2020, climate and weather-related disasters were responsible for displacing 30 million people. Gathering statistics, data, and information on migration, its drivers, and its potential for facilitating adaptation, is key to supporting the development of evidence-based policies, programmes, and investments to effectively manage migration.


The event will be held in Dakar, Senegal, and is open to participants of the World Water Forum. It will be held in Room 4 Expo (session code 2F2).


This event will be conducted in English and French.


The event is organised by UNU-CRIS in partnership with UNU-IAS, FAO, IOM, and the African Climate Migration Initiative.


Opening Remarks

  • Eugène Rurangwa (Land and Water Officer, FAO Subregional Office for West Africa)

Keynote Presentation

  • Hind Aïssaoui Bennani (Specialist at IOM – UN Migration): Water and Migration: a General Overview


Regional Perspectives

  • FAO speaker (TBC): The role of migration as climate change adaptation strategy in the Near East and North Africa region 
  • Kensuke Fukushi (Academic Programme Advisor, UNU-IAS) with Nidhi Nagabhatla (Senior Research Fellow, UNU-CRIS): Trends of water and climate crisis in Asia and Africa and spillover impacts such as migration / displacement
  • Sarah Rosengaertner (African Climate Migration Initiative): Future scenarios modeling on climate mobility in Africa


Panel Discussion

  • Country representative (TBC)
  • Carolina Tornesi MacKinnon (President, World Youth Parliament for Water)
  • UN representative (TBC)

A detailed event programme is available.

Exhibition (poster presentation)

UNU-IAS will also present its research in the exhibition Challenges for Water Reuse in Japan, held on 21–26 March 2022 at the forum. The exhibition is organised by Japan Water Forum in collaboration with UNU-IAS, IGES, JICA, and private companies.

The rapid increase in water demand in fast-growing urban areas and the effects of climate change are accelerating localised freshwater resource shortages, negatively impacting human health and economic activity. As an alternative water source, wastewater reuse has been attracting attention due to its lower energy demand compared to water transportation and seawater desalination. Potable reuse has been used in areas where freshwater resources are scarce. Even in areas with enough freshwater resources, wastewater could be an important water resource because of the increasing annual instability in available water resources and the increasing drought risk.

The poster presentation aims to provide an overview of the status of water reuse in Japan, and identify challenges for further promotion of water reuse.