Water Program News

10 December 2019
Could we cool the Earth with an ice-free Arctic?

The Arctic region is heating up faster than any other place on Earth, and as more and more sea ice is lost every year, we are already feeling the impacts. IIASA researchers explored strategies for cooling down the oceans in a world without this important cooling mechanism.  More

09 December 2019
Highlighting the importance and vulnerability of the world’s water towers

Mountains and highlands are often referred to as natural “water towers” because they provide lowland communities with essential freshwater for drinking, irrigation, industry, food, and energy production. A new Nature study provides insight into this valuable resource, which is crucial to the welfare of 1.9 billion people.  More

19 November 2019
IIASA researchers among top 1% of most highly cited scientists

Several IIASA researchers from the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases Program, the Energy Program, the Ecosystems Services and Management Program, and the Water Program, have been recognized again for their outstanding contribution to scientific literature.  More

11 November 2019
Using mountains for long-term energy storage

The storage of energy for long periods of time is subject to special challenges. An IIASA researcher proposes using a combination of Mountain Gravity Energy Storage (MGES) and hydropower as a solution for this issue.  More

06 November 2019
Switching to solar and wind will reduce groundwater use

IIASA researchers explored optimal pathways for managing groundwater and hydropower trade-offs for different water availability conditions as solar and wind energy start to play a more prominent role in the state of California.  More

25 October 2019
Integrated solutions for the Indus Basin

New framework helps decision makers find science-based pathways to address water resources and connected sustainability challenges in the Indus River basin.  More

26 August 2019
Taking on SDG 6: Launch of the Water Scarcity Clock

IIASA contributed to the development of the Water Scarcity Clock – a free webtool that allows decision makers to monitor the number of people around the globe suffering from water scarcity in real time. The new tool aimed at policymakers was launched in Stockholm on Sunday, 25 August to mark the start of this year’s World Water Week.  More

07 August 2019
Observation-driven research to inform better groundwater management policies

Groundwater maintains vital ecosystems and strongly influences water and energy budgets. Although at least 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on this valuable resource for their domestic water needs, the processes that sustain it and their sensitivity to climatic variability, are poorly understood. IIASA contributed to a study that looked into climate impacts on groundwater in light of changing climatic patterns in Africa.  More

02 August 2019
Making a case for returning airships to the skies

Reintroducing airships into the world’s transportation-mix could contribute to lowering the transport sector’s carbon emissions and can play a role in establishing a sustainable hydrogen-based economy. According to the authors of an IIASA-led study, these lighter-than-air aircraft could ultimately increase the feasibility of a 100% sustainable world.  More

01 June 2019
Yoshihide Wada appointed as Acting Program Director of the IIASA Water Program

As IIASA is in the midst of developing its new strategy, Japanese water expert Yoshihide Wada has been appointed Acting Program Director of the IIASA Water Program until the end of 2020.  More

15 April 2019
Water Program Director to embark on new endeavor

Water (WAT) Program Director Simon Langan will be leaving IIASA in May to start a new position as Director, Data Analytics and Country Manager at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka.  More

15 April 2019
Investigating the global cropland footprint of EU non-food imports

Palm oil, soya, and ethanol, are among the most used plant-based resources in the production of a variety of everyday products ranging from cosmetics and fuel, to plastic straws. The results of a study by researchers from IIASA and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) shows that Europe imports about 65% of its raw materials for non-food products from abroad – and demand continues to grow.  More

13 March 2019
Radical transformation is required to meet sustainable development

An IIASA scientist has contributed to a new Global Environment Outlook report that details how societies can meet goals to support a healthy planet and growing population, provided they embrace integrated strategies.  More

11 January 2019
Integrated pathways for meeting climate targets and ensuring access to safe water

IIASA researchers have led work to develop new pathways showing how the world can develop water and energy infrastructure consistent with both the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.  More


29 November 2018
IIASA researchers among top 1% of most highly cited scientists

Several IIASA researchers from the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases Program, the Energy Program, the Ecosystems Services and Management Program, and the Water Program are among the world’s most highly cited scientists, according to a new list published by Clarivate Analytics.  More

12 October 2018
Innovative tool allows continental-scale water, energy, and land system modeling

A new large-scale hydroeconomic model, developed by a team at IIASA, will allow researchers to study water systems across whole continents, looking at sustainability of supply and the impacts of water management on the energy and agricultural sectors.  More

14 September 2018
China’s energy policies: A balancing act between air quality, carbon emissions, and water scarcity goals

China is attempting a shift from coal to natural gas in an effort to address the country’s severe air pollution. A new study shows that although such a switch generally has benefits for air quality, carbon mitigation, and water stress, some options may in fact increase carbon emissions and water consumption.  More

14 September 2018
Novel framework to address uncertainty in water management

IIASA researchers have developed a general decision-making framework to support policy decisions on the management of water resources, which, for the first time, explicitly takes into account the associated uncertainties.  More

26 July 2018
Wada wins early career award in hydrologic sciences

Yoshihide Wada, IIASA Water Program deputy director, has won the 2018 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award for his outstanding work in hydrologic science, presented by the American Geophysical Union.  More


16 October 2017
Yoshihide Wada to receive prestigious prize from the European Geosciences Union

2018 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists  More

07 August 2017
Climate plays a major role in decline of one of Asia's most critical water resources

Climate variability, rather than the presence of a major dam, is most likely the primary cause for a water supply decline in East Asia's largest floodplain lake system, according to new research.  More

21 July 2017
Better farm water management could help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals

Around 40% of irrigated agriculture is unsustainable, according to a new study. However, better farm water management could help reconcile global water, environment, and food targets.  More

17 June 2017
Water for life

Options Magazine Summer 2017: Q&A with IIASA researcher Yoshihide Wada, deputy director of the IIASA Water Program. His current research includes a global assessment of the sustainability of future food production under socioeconomic and climate change, and water scarcity.  More

15 June 2017
Water management interventions push scarcity downstream

Human interventions to harness water resources, such as reservoirs, dams, and irrigation measures, have increased water availability for much of the global population, but at the same time, swept water scarcity problems downstream.  More

25 April 2017
Fossil groundwater vulnerable to modern contamination

A new study shows that over half of global groundwater is over 12,000 years old  More

29 March 2017
Global food supply at risk from agricultural misuse of nonrenewable water

The rising use of unsustainable water supplies by international food producers is putting global food and water supplies at risk and could cause basic food prices to skyrocket, suggests a new study from international researchers.  More

17 March 2017
Innovative IIASA research highlighted by major journal

Five IIASA studies published in Environmental Research Letters in 2016 were selected for the journal’s Highlights of 2016, as especially innovative or groundbreaking work.  More

07 March 2017
Traveling droughts bring new possibilities for prediction

Droughts can travel hundreds to thousands of kilometers from where they started, like a slow-moving hurricane. A new study sheds light on how these droughts evolve in space and time, bringing vital new insight for water managers.  More

26 January 2017
Dutch Hydrological Society awards Yoshihide Wada Hydrology Prize

Dutch Hydrological Society recognizes IIASA Water Program Deputy Director Yoshihide Wada’s contribution to hydrological sciences  More

09 January 2017
Changing rainfall patterns linked to water security in India

Changes in precipitation, which are linked to the warming of the Indian Ocean, are the main reason for recent changes in groundwater storage in India.  More


10 November 2016
Climate, human influence conspired in Lake Urmia’s decline

A combination of climate change and water usage are responsible for the staggering drying of Lake Urmia, what was once the second largest salt lake in the world.  More

29 August 2016
Flood resilience portal launched

During World Water Week, an international partnership on flood resilience, including IIASA researchers, is launching an online Flood Resilience Portal to provide essential information and practical solutions for flooding around the world.  More

18 July 2016
Managing an endangered river across the US-Mexico border

A new IIASA study shows how improving communication and involvement could bring consensus solutions for the embattled Rio Grande/Bravo, which is shared between the USA and Mexico.  More

02 May 2016
How much does groundwater contribute to sea level rise?

Land water, including groundwater extraction, contributes far less to sea level rise than previously thought, according to a new study.  More

20 April 2016
Climate change threatens already volatile Lake Urmia

Climate change is likely to worsen the situation of the drought-stricken hypersaline Lake Urmia in Iran, even in the most optimistic climate change scenario and without any further human impact.  More

10 March 2016
Simon Langan and Yoshihide Wada to head IIASA water program

IIASA has appointed British water expert Simon Langan to head the IIASA Water Program. Yoshihide Wada from Japan was named as the deputy program director.  More

04 March 2016
Clean energy could stress global water resources

Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector could lead to greater pressure on water resources, increasing water use and thermal water pollution. Dedicated adaptation measures will be needed in order to avoid potential trade-offs between the water and climate change impacts of the energy system.  More

25 January 2016
Pressure building on global water supply

A new study projects that global demand for water could more than double by 2050, increasing pressure on already scarce water resources. Water efficiency and water saving measures could stabilize demand.  More

04 January 2016
Worldwide electricity production vulnerable to climate and water resource change

Climate change impacts on rivers and streams may substantially reduce electricity production capacity around the world. A new study calls for a greater focus on adaptation efforts in order to maintain future energy security.  More


01 January 2016
William J. Cosgrove to return to IIASA as Interim Water Program Director

While IIASA is in the process of hiring a new permanent Director of the Water Program, Dr. William J. Cosgrove will return to IIASA as Interim Water Program Director.  More

12 November 2015
Reducing water scarcity possible by 2050: Linking global assessments to policy dimensions

Yoshihide Wada, a close collaborator of the IIASA Water Program, as speaker at Systems Analysis 2015, a major international conference bringing together leading researchers from around the world to discuss the current state and future directions of systems analysis, taking place from 11-13 November 2015 at IIASA in Laxenburg, Austria.  More

21 July 2015
Economy main factor in US emissions decline

Recent declines in greenhouse gas emissions in the US were spurred more by the economic recession than by a shift from coal to natural gas, according to new IIASA research.  More

15 April 2015
Severe drought due to climate change: Where and when?

New research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) shows that some regions may see unprecedented levels of drought before 2050—drawing increasing urgency to calls for adaptation and updated water management policy.  More

05 March 2015
The big questions in climate impact science

A workshop at IIASA brought together international researchers to examine the big picture of climate change impacts around the world, and make a new research plan to hone in on the major remaining questions.  More


31 August 2014
IIASA at the Stockholm World Water Week 2014

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) will play a crucial role at the Stockholm World Water Week 2014. Dr. David Wiberg, the acting director of IIASA´s water program, Dr. Paul T. Yillia, research scholar at IIASA and consultant at Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) , Dr. Piotr Magnuszewski, research scholar at IIASA, Dr. Sylvain Leduc, research scholar at IIASA.  More

04 June 2014
IIASA as the first international partner in the U.S. Water Partnership

In June 2014, the Steering Committee of the U.S. Water Partnership approved IIASA as the first international partner in the U.S. Water Partnership. Ambassador Hattie Babbitt, the Steering Committee Chair congratulated and officially welcomed IIASA as their new partner.  More

03 June 2014
IIASA Finalist under USAID Securing Water for Food

IIASA´s proposal, submitted with the coordinating agency and engineering company ARCADIS, is included in the finalists under USAID’s Grand Challenges for Development in their first-ever call for innovations to improve water and food security in the developing world under the Securing Water for Food challenge.  More

15 May 2014
Water-Energy Nexus Panel Discussion at the

On 13 - 14 May 2014 theAfrican Utility Week (AUW) took place in Cape Town, South Africa, where Africa’s present and future water and energy challenges have been discussed. Dr. Paul T. Yillia, research scholar with IIASA’s flagship research programme, “Global Water Futures and Solutions” and consultant for the UN Secretary General’s Initiative on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) organised and led a panel on the water-energy-food nexus at the Conference.Dr. Yillia presents a report with very interesting results.  More

14 May 2014
Nexus research and the Global Environment Facility

IIASA energy and water experts visit the Global Environment Facility in Washington DC to discuss future collaborations on energy, water, and integrated systems research.  More

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Last edited: 21 March 2021


Yoshihide Wada

Program Director

Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 241


Paula Abarca del Rio

Program and Project Officer

Water Security Research Group|Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 448

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313