Dr Michael Gilmont
Research Fellow in Water Security, University of Oxford
Dr Michael Gilmont is a Research Fellow in Water Security at the University of Oxford (Environmental Change Institute, and Institute for Science Innovation and Society). His research interests span the political processes of water policy reform, the impact of hydro-climatic variability on economic growth, and the ‘decoupling’ of water resource needs from economic and population growth. Drawing upon the concept of resource decoupling, enabling circumvention of national water resource limits, Michael coordinates an international partnership researching the technical and policy pathways for enhanced water resource decoupling in Jordan. Michael’s PhD (King's College London), examined the political process in developed economies involved in transitioning from water policies geared to supply augmentation, towards policies prioritising sustainable water use, environmental allocations and non-conventional supply development. The work developed an understanding of how ‘politically sustainable’ policy change can be negotiated across competing water interests under conditions of extreme water scarcity and environmental stress. He also holds a BA in Geography (University of Cambridge), an MSc in Hydrology (Imperial College London), and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
11:30-13:15 10 November
V. C Science for Cultural Relations – Past, Present and Future
We present our experience of recent multi-lateral research funded by the British Council’s Institutional Links ‘STREAM’ fund, led by the University of Oxford through partnerships with Jordan’s West Asia North Africa Institute, and EcoPeace Middle East. Our research aimed to understand the potential to improve water allocation by drawing on regional best practice in the ‘decoupling’ of national water supplies from economic and population demands. The research findings suggest significant potential for improved allocation of future resources within jurisdictions in the Jordan basin. This analysis was only possible through gathering comparable datasets by each project partner. In delivering this project we encountered a number of challenges relating to political and cultural differences, which were successfully circumvented in processes involving compromise in operation and shifting boundaries of perception of the ‘possible’ by different partners. The project and its findings have highlighted pathways for future research and policy engagement, as well as the power of non-regional partners in acting to convene cooperative research.