News & events


An innovation-based, sustainable and inclusive water policy research agenda: The Uruguayan case

20 February 2018
12:00 - 14:00

Isabel Bortagaray, PhD, Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Indicators, HSRC & Institute for Sustainable Development, Innovation and Social Inclusion at the University of the Republic, Uruguay*

Date: 20 February 2018      
12h00 – 14h00 
Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, PE and Sweetwaters

Water is one the fundamental pillars of socio-economic development at all levels. It is essential for life, health, food, energy, employment, as well as for protecting the environment. Water security is of concern in almost all corners of the world, and constitutes one of the main global risks in terms of its impact on development in general, and on the achievement of the SDGs in particular. The complexity and uncertainty related to water and climate change, and the pervasiveness of water throughout the different SDGs call for a policy rationale in which innovation is prioritised along with sustainability and social inclusion. Innovation is called to play a crucial role in these processes—not only because water services are still missing for large groups of the population, but also because water quality and water management impose fundamental technological and institutional challenges. The role of innovation is even greater when taking into account the urgent need to place sustainability at the core of the design and implementation of solutions.

This seminar aims to contribute towards a research agenda on water policy in relation to inclusive and sustainable development. In particular, it focuses on the case of water policy in Uruguay, examining three key issues: the recent launch of a national water plan by the Executive, an irrigation law that is under scrutiny as it embodies the tensions between the economic use of water, and the social and environmental dimensions of water that are prioritised by the Constitution. 

*Isabel Bortagaray holds a PhD in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2007), and has an extensive research trajectory in the field of innovation, science, and technology policy in developing countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panamá, and Uruguay.

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact : Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town. Contact : Carmen Erasmus, Tel: (021) 466 7827, e-mail:

Durban: The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001. Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel: (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786, e-mail:, or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail
Sweetwaters : Old Bus Depot, Mbubu Road, Sweetwaters. Tel: (033) 324 5000

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST

Kindly note that seminars can now be accessed via the Vidyo link: