Upcoming Events


Gerald Lacey Lecture 2021: Land and Water Management for Food Security – The Broad Picture

irrigation-fields17th May 2021, 6pm

Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London – and online 

Register here.


Recent estimates of food demand, based on median projections of growth, call for a 50% increase in the global demand figure. Linearly proportional increases in the allocation of land and water resources towards increased food production are not realistic given the trends in competing uses for these resources. Besides, our natural resource base is already giving alarm signals for increased exploitation. The pandemic also revealed the vulnerabilities in our food value chains.

The speaker will discuss the response options available to the policy makers, based on most recent figures about the state of the resources and the trends, and both the need and the opportunities for cooperation across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries.

About the Speaker

Our 2021 Gerald Lacey Lecture will be delivered by Dr Olcay Ünver. Olcay is a global leader in water policy. He is currently Professor of Practice at Environmental and Resource Management Program at Arizona State University, Industry Fellow at Australian Rivers Institute, and member of Water Policy Group. He served as Vice Chair of UN-Water from 2018 to 2020. In his public service career spanning three decades, he led FAO’s water programs and activities, UN-Water’s World Water Assessment Programme, and UNESCO’s Program Office on Global Water Assessment.

Prior to joining the United Nations, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio and President of the South-eastern Anatolia Project in Turkey, where he transformed a large infrastructure project into a sustainable socioeconomic development program. In 1999, he was listed among the 19 “European Visionaries” by Time Magazine and was featured in New York Times for his efforts towards sustainable, human-centred development. He served as Secretary General and Vice President of IWRA, and Governor and Treasurer of World Water Council. He has served on boards and committees involving water, sustainable development, sustainable food and agriculture systems, and water cooperation and policy.

Olcay holds civil engineering degrees that include a Ph.D. in water resources planning and management, a master’s in urban hydrology and a bachelor’s with hydraulics focus. His areas of competence include water and food security; bridging across global frameworks; governance of water-land-soil resources, and water cooperation.

Olcay is an associate editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, and on the editorial boards of Water Security Journal (Elsevier) and Future of Food Journal (Kassel University, Germany). He is a NATO Scholar, IWRA Fellow, and a TUBITAK (Turkish Scientific & Technical Research Council) Honour Fellow. Among his many awards and recognitions, he is the recipient of World Water Council’s Special Service Award and IWRA Millennium Award.

Mekong River Basin

November 2021, Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London – and online

Originally planned as our November 2020 meeting, we have decided to postpone this meeting until 2021 to allow us to hold it as a physical meeting. More details to follow.