Water Manifesto: How Scotland Can Champion Global Change

Water Manifesto: How Scotland Can Champion Global Change

The 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Elections will take place on the cusp of transformational global change. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it. The climate crisis has deepened its grip on the world’s most marginalised communities. Tackling the global water crisis is imperative to strengthen people’s ability to withstand these crises. Ahead of these crucial elections, WaterAid Scotland and Water Witness have revealed their Water Manifesto: How Scotland Can Champion Global Change

You cannot wash your hands without clean water. You cannot self-isolate if water needs aren’t met at home. You cannot build back better when COVID has decimated your economy, and as the climate emergency takes hold and weather becomes more erratic, you need to build flood defences, combat rising sea-levels or prepare for drought. Combating the combined crises of the pandemic, water access and climate impacts must be top of the global agenda this decade.

With its unique expertise in water, Scotland has an important role to play in this, standing up as a good global citizen.  By harnessing its skills and experience in water, Scotland can increase its support to communities on the frontline of crisis, and stand up for climate justice, and in doing so, the next Scottish Government can dramatically increase its contribution to a fair and just world. 

Ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections, building on the Cross Party Group session on water, WaterAid Scotland and Water Witness are pleased to share with you our Water Manifesto: How Scotland Can Champion Global Change ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections.  This is a short document outlining key asks for the next Scottish Government in terms of water, complementary to the Alliance manifesto.

We are calling on the next Scottish Government to:

  • Significantly increase Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund to at least £10m per year
  • Champion priority issues of ‘Global South’ at COP26, especially finance for adaptation and loss and damage.
  • Convene “Glasgow Dialogues” with key global south representatives in advance of COP26, including thematic discussions on water and other priority areas.
  • As a responsible global citizen, establish the impacts on communities and their water security of the water Scotland uses to produce our clothes, food, consumer products and commodities produced in the ‘global south’ through commissioning a study to calculate Scotland’s water footprint.    It is important to ensure our wider policies do not inadvertently deprive people of their basic human rights. 
  • Commit to new action on importers of this ‘embedded water’ to ensure credible water stewardship in supply chains and trade which is based on fair, resilient and sustainable resource use.
  • Stand up as a leader in ethical finance, promoting a progressive financial system that prioritises social, environmental and economic justice.


The full document is available to access here. If you would like to work with us or discuss this paper further, we would be delighted. Please do get in touch with either Ben Wilson at WaterAid Scotland on BenWilson@wateraid.org or Dorcas Pratt at Water Witness on dorcaspratt@waterwitness.org