The objective of the WAT Group is to provide the scientific foundation needed for addressing the quest for water security across scales and to help bridge science-policy-practice gaps related to water management by leading global efforts on integrated assessment of water resources and exploring transformation pathways towards a water secure future.

Water plays a central role in all human activities and needs to be managed efficiently and sustainably. The WAT Group pushes the boundary of transdisciplinary water science enabled by the institute’s recognized expertise in systems science approaches, to provide the scientific knowledge needed to address the quest for water security. The group aims to lead global efforts on integrated assessment of water supply and demand and identify solutions options that improve water scarcity, ameliorate water quality, and enhance resilience to extreme events, while at the same time engaging with key stakeholders at different levels to translate science into policy.

The group’s research has informed the development of various widely used models, which will continually be refined and extended to enable application and analysis at policy-relevant spatial scales. The group contributes to several IIASA research themes including biodiversity and ecosystem services, production and consumption, technology and innovation, and governance and institutions, by providing the water resources research expertise required for the development of a systemic approach to resolving sustainability issues.

Projects

Uganda Lanscape

Sustainable water quality management supporting Uganda’s development ambitions (SWAQ-Uganda)

Child labor on the Ghanaian market of Abease

Advancing WFaS East Africa: Scaling out resilient water and agricultural systems (scaleWAYS)

African girl drinking clean fresh water from a water tap outdoors

Water Resources System Safe Operating Space in a Changing Climate and Society (SOS-Water)

World map with texture on global satellite photo, Earth view from space. Detailed flat map of continents and oceans

The World Bank ECA Regional Water Security Initiative: Development of an Assessment and Preparation of Diagnostic Reports

Staff

Dor Fridman profile picture

Dor Fridman

Research Scholar (WAT)

Keerthana Suresh profile picture

Keerthana Suresh

Researcher (WAT)

Samantha Knights profile picture

Samantha Knights

Program Assistant (WAT)

Mikhail Smilovic profile picture

Mikhail Smilovic

Research Scholar (WAT)

News

Hands catching clean water from a natural source

03 October 2022

Towards a safe operating space for water resources in a changing climate and society

The SOS-Water Project, funded under the Horizon Europe scheme and coordinated by IIASA, will create a holistic and participatory assessment framework of a Safe Operating Space (SOS) for the entire water resources system to inform global and regional water management policies and pathways.  
Mountain spring water flowing out of a rock

22 September 2022

An integrated modeling framework to assess surface and groundwater resources

Against the backdrop of climate change and rising water demand, tools for adequately modeling water availability are much needed. In a new study, researchers applied a large-scale model linking surface water to groundwater, which can be used for estimating water resources at a high spatial resolution.
paper cut-out figures on blue background give high five

10 May 2022

IIASA recognizes outstanding research contributions

IIASA recently instituted a new system of awards to recognize outstanding contributions towards meeting the strategic priorities and values of the institute. We are proud to announce that five IIASA research activities have been recognized in the inaugural 2022 award cycle.

Focus

Illustration of different natural disasters

21 October 2022

Financial instruments for disaster risk and their effects on economic growth

Julian Joseph writes about a recent study in which researchers used a novel concept in the economic modeling of disaster risk reduction to explore how damages from disasters can be compensated for and what effect they have on economic growth.

08 September 2022

Co-development – more than just a buzz word

Striving for excellence and designing truly innovative solutions in science requires many creative minds from different disciplines and parts of society to work together.
Team Partnership Collaboration Support Concept

01 June 2022

Water tomorrow

A new tool to assess water security can help nations plan for a challenging future.
African girl drinking clean fresh water from a water tap outdoors