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Scholar to talk about household water insecurity

CHICAGO — Northwestern University’s Sera Young will discuss the development of the first scale to measure household water insecurity at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Young led the scale development within the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Research Coordination Network, a multidisciplinary collaboration of 40 scientists from four continents.

Although the need for water is universal, the study of water security has been bounded by disciplinary, sectoral and geographic silos, such that there has been no standard metric for assessing household water insecurity.

Young’s presentation is included in the group of Flash Talks, “Technological Advancements,” which describes ways that science and technology have been used to expand an understanding of the world and improve people’s lives.

Young, assistant professor of anthropology and global health in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and faculty fellow with the University’s Institute for Policy Research, uses a biocultural approach to study the impacts of food and water insecurity on maternal and child health. She will present “Development of a Transdisciplinary Scale to Measure Household Water Insecurity.”

“The 12 questions of the HWISE Scale will transform how we understand the prevalence, causes and consequences of one of our most precious resources: water,” Young said. “The research and policy implications of such data are tremendously exciting.”


More information here on Northwestern’s AAAS presenters.

(Source contact: Sera Young at

Flash Talk

“Development of a Transdisciplinary Scale to Measure Household Water Insecurity” 10:10 to 10:20 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

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