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.



Yoshihide Wada, a Japanese hydrologist, received his PhD (Cum Ladue) in the Netherlands and joined IIASA from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in 2016.  

His expertise lies in global water modeling and the links between water, climate, and society. Wada was an active collaborator for the flagship project, Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS), when the IIASA water program was established in 2013.  He has recently been appointed as a Chair and Professor of Global Water and Food Security at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. 

Wada contributes an international perspective and considerable expertise in integrated water modeling methodology to the IIASA Water Program. He has been invited to more than 200 conferences worldwide and has (co)authored about 200 publications, 120 of which appeared in international peer-reviewed journals including Nature. The citation of these peer-reviewed papers exceeds 1700 each year. He has been selected as a highly cited researcher (top 1%) by Web of Science/Scopus. He has obtained several EU and international projects from JPI/ERA4CS, H2020, Belmont Forum, and World Bank. He has involved in the Fifth and Sixth Assessment Report (AR5/6) of IPCC and a lead author of the UNEP GEO-6 (Global Environmental Outlook) for Freshwater. 

Wada has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades for his research including: the European Geoscience Union (EGU) Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists (2018), the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Hydrologic Science Early Career Award (2018), and the Young Scientist Prize from the Ministry of Education (MEXT) in Japan (2018).  

The Water Program seeks to incorporate water science into assessment and planning studies at the nexus of water, food, energy, and environmental security. Its aim is to establish a critical mass of water knowledge through the development of new modeling tools and data collection that combine input from research, policy, and civil society to build scientific evidence to promote global water security. 

IIASA Director General, Albert van Jaarsveld says, “IIASA researchers have contributed to vital water research since the 1970’s. The water program and WFaS initiative bring IIASA’s unique expertise to one of the most important issues our planet faces and one that is inextricably linked with other global and universal challenges in which IIASA is a research leader.” 

Wada says, “Sustainable management of water resources is an overwhelming task, when faced with a growing population that is increasing its demand for food, energy and water under a changing climate. We need flexible tools for evaluating water resources across different scales linked to different sectors, and stronger participatory approaches with stakeholders and to co-design and co-develop these tools and scenarios towards more sustainable water futures. IIASA has a unique portfolio as a hub for scientific knowledge and networks that influence global and regional policy frameworks. We will play a pivotal role to support community-scale efforts towards global transformations for sustainable water futures.”

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Last edited: 22 June 2019


Yoshihide Wada

Program Director

Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 241


Zhang, S. , Yi, B.-W., Worrell, E., Wagner, F. , Crijns-Graus, W., Purohit, P. , Wada, Y. , & Varis, O. (2019). Integrated assessment of resource-energy-environment nexus in China's iron and steel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production 232, 235-249. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.05.392.

Harmsen, M., van Vuuren, D.P., Bodirsky, B., Chateau, J., Durand-Lasserve, O., Drouet, L., Fricko, O. , Fujimori, S. , et al. (2019). The role of methane in future climate strategies: mitigation potentials and climate impacts. Climatic Change 163, 1409-1425. 10.1007/s10584-019-02437-2.

Zaherpour, J., Mount, N., Gosling, S., Dankers, R., Eisner, S., Gerten, D., Liu, X., Masaki, Y., et al. (2019). Exploring the value of machine learning for weighted multi-model combination of an ensemble of global hydrological models. Environmental Modelling & Software 114, 112-128. 10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.01.003.

Hunt, J. , Byers, E. , Wada, Y. , Parkinson, S. , Gernaat, D., Langan, S. , van Vuurem, D., & Riahi, K. (2019). Global resource potential of seasonal pumped-storage for energy and water storage. Nature Communications 11, e947. 10.1038/s41467-020-14555-y. (In Press)

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