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Alex Bell to talk at Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is “the largest public celebration of the written word in the world.” Started in 1983, it now occurs annually and is taking place this August from 10th-26th. With 700 events involving over 800 writers and thinkers from across the globe, it is expected that over 220,000 visitors will attend.

This year, the advisor to Scottish First Minister and global expert on water stress and its consequences, Alex Bell will join Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson, to discuss ‘Energy and the Environment: too much hot air?’ As the author of Peakwater, the first book to link the history of civilisation with the control of water, Alex will explain why water shortages remain a key threat to world political stability.

Click here for more information on the Festival

Click here for tickets to hear Alex

China: Economic Growth Despite Water Shortages

The article ‘High and Dry’ in today’s Financial Times describes the “devastating water shortages” in China which appear at odds with Beijing’s high spending. “In the face of China’s rapid economic expansion and growing presence on the global stage, it is often forgotten that the country is running out of water.”

Water scarcity is causing social, political and economic problems, which are becoming more urgent with the country’s rapid urbanisation; more than 300 million people are predicted to move into cities by 2030. Click here to read the article in full.

Many speakers are experts on relating issues:

Alex Bell is an expert on water stress and its consequences, particularly the economic and social impact of water shortages

Stanley Johnson is an expert on global environmental issues who has published ten books on the subject

Matt Ridley‘s book ‘The Rational Optimist’ (2010) takes on contemporary pessimism to argue that, in spite of disasters and reverses, the world has been getting better and better for humanity over the last two centuries

Laurence C. Smith is an advisor to Congress and the UN on climate change who gives science-based projections on how the world will look in the future

To find out more about these speakers, or to book them as speakers for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.


Is there enough water for everyone?

The rising threat of water shortage is a national as well as a global issue. In the UK, how to avoid a “water crisis” is frequently discussed, a recent article by the BBC can be read here. The worldwide water situation is analysed on the UN’s website where it has been estimated that the number of people who currently suffer from water scarcity will rise from 700 million to 1.8 billion by 2025.

Alex Bell is a leading commentator and consultant on the future geopolitical, economic and social impact of water shortages. As the issue becomes a more vital and pressing matter for political and economic agendas, Alex’s predictions for the implications of the world’s struggling water supply are ever relevant. Watch a video of Alex here.

Alex Bell: expert speaker on the consequences of global water shortage

Alex Bell is a thought-leading author, commentator and consultant on the future geopolitical, economic and social impact of water shortages. He argues that booming global populations and thirsty habits will lead to a crisis in the world’s water supply, with huge implications for our politics, our health, the way we plan cities, develop technology and do business.

In 2009, Alex published Peakwater, the first book to link the history of civilisation with the control of water. The book tells the story of water from a global perspective in order to drive home the seriousness of the issue, and the need for a debate on the solutions. He was subsequently hired by the Scottish Government to develop a world-leading water policy, which looked upon water both as a necessity and a potential economic asset. That led to a wider brief in Scotland, as the Head of Policy across government.

To book Alex, please contact Alex Hickman on +44(0)207 792 8001

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