Research Identity

Calling upon more than 30 water scientists based at the University of East Anglia, we offer a considerable array of skills. Although we cover most topics associated with water, we identify ourselves particularly through key expertise in:

  • climate change and variability; adaptation and vulnerability;
  • transboundary water interaction: cooperation and conflict;
  • power, hegemony and hydro-hegemony;
  • irrigation performance and policy;
  • river basin management;
  • water diplomacy; and
  • water allocation, and re-allocation.

Consultancy Research

We offer a range of consultancy services via International Development UEA.  We go beyond studying phenomena to bring about positive change by means of engagement through extensive outreach, commissioned training, action research and policy formation. 


Contact International Development UEA, Katharine Trott in the first instance or Jane Bartlett or Adrian Martin


Research Projects (see full list below)


Environmental and Climate Change

ADMIT: Harmonising Adaptation and Mitigation for agriculture and water in China
 The ADMIT project is researching sustainable agriculture in China with an overall objective of estimating the 'carbon cost' of future agricultural water use responses for adaptation to climate change. The project is a joint collaboration between China and UK and forms part of the China-UK Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN). The project runs from Jan 2010 to Feb 2012 with Declan Conway as project manager and Sabrina Rothausen as main researcher. Download the ADMIT project brochure (pdf)

Transboundary Climate Security: Climate Vulnerability and Human Security in the Jordan River Basin

The research is led by Michael Mason of LSE, and is advised by Mark Zeitoun. It addresses climate vulnerable rural communities within the national territories of the watershed of the Jordan River (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory). A critical human security approach is used to investigate the attributes in one of the worlds' most physically and politically stressed rivers.

Climate change adaptation in international river basins in Africa

This project, led by Marisa Goulden and Declan Conway, looked at adaptation to climate variability and climate change in internationally shared river basins in Africa. Case study research was conducted in the River Nile Basin in 2007 and 2008. Funding: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, September 2006 to March 2009.
This four-year research programme, funded by the Tyndall Centre and led by Declan Conway and Marisa Goulden, examines the role of conflict and cooperation between the ten countries that share the River Nile Basin in adapting to the impacts of climate extremes including floods and droughts and the possible impacts of future climate change. The latest research on this project examines perceptions of experts in three of the Nile Basin countries (Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda) of the potential impacts of climate change and changing water sharing and water use patterns in the basin on water security, human well-being and adaptation needs.

The Water-Food-Climate Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa
This study explores the potential for Water Demand Management (WDM) to respond to climate-induced pressures on water and food availability throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. It considers the interdependency of the water-food-climate nexus through extensive review of the latest climate projections, and current state of water resources availability and food security for Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Yemen. Commissioned by the International Development Research Council


Transboundary Water Interaction: Conflict and Cooperation

Dams and Displacement

Environmental Justice and Displacement from the Merowe Dam in Sudan, led by Mark Zeitoun with Asim al Moghraby, Mohammad Hashim Jalal, and Azza Dirar. The work explores the extent to which justice struggles by those displaced by the Merowe dam were supported or let down by international norms on water and development-induced displacement. Part of a Rethinking Environment and Development in an Era of Global Norms: An Exploration of Forests and Water in Nepal, Sudan and Uganda, an ESRC-funded project led by Prof Thomas Sikor.  2013 - 2015.

Armed Conflict and Urban Essential Service

The relationship between water and war is being explored in greater detail through the Armed Conflict and Urban Essential Services project in conjunction with the the International Committee of the Red Cross. led by Mark Zeitoun with Heather Elaydi, Charles Thompson and Ruth MacDougall, the work seeks to identify the methods, tools and data required for the evaluation of the impact of armed conflict on essential services in urban areas. The rationale stems from the widespread collateral or intentional destruction of e.g. water infrastructure in war zones, despite some protection offered by International Humanitarian Law. 2013+

Legal Analysis of the Upper Jordan River Basin.

The research, led by Mark Zeitoun, investigates the merits and limits of the application of customary international law to water use in the Upper Jordan River basin. The project will audit the availability, use and distribution of water resources, and check compatibility of different legal instruments – notably the UN Watercourses Convention, the Draft Aquifer Articles, the UNECE Water Convention, and the draft Arab Water Convention.

CLICO: Climate Change, Conflict and Human Security

This collaborative project, funded under the EU Framework 7 Program, explores the ways in which different hydro-climatic (water related) hazards, and the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of societies interact to produce conflict and/or cooperation and human insecurity. The three year project commenced in January 2010 and involves 14 research teams from Europe, North Africa, the Sahel and the Middle East. The UEA team comprised Anita Milman, Declan Conway, Marisa Goulden and Neil Adger.


Integrated Catchment Management

This project investigated how the scientific and social accomplishments of innovative catchment management programmes in the USA, Australia and other European countries can be extended to the UK. A catchment management 'template' was derived which compiles and assimilates scientific understanding and governance procedures as tested in actual decision making and management practice in case study catchments. Research is being undertaken by Kevin Hiscock and Tobias Kruger, with partners in London (SOAS), USA, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU).


Irrigation and Livelihoods

The Phongola River ESPA project, managed by Bruce LankfordVasudha Chhotray and Marisa Goulden (DEV, UEA), and Chris Dickens and Kate Pringle (INR, South Africa), was one of 12 projects funded by NERC examining the linkages between eco-system services and poverty alleviation (ESPA). Research centred on the Phongola/Jozini water system in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, running from January 2009 to January 2010.
RIPARWIN: Raising Irrigation Productivity And Releasing Water for Intersectoral Need
This five year project (2001 - 2006) examined the idea that irrigation efficiency could be raised to release water downstream. It was a DFID-funded research project implemented by the Soil-Water Management Research Group (SWMRG), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania; School of International Development, University of East Anglia (UEA); and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) through its Africa Regional Office, South Africa.
Systematic Review of Water, Institutions and Poverty
A full Systematic Review is being undertaken to address the question: "What factors determine the performance of institutional mechanisms for water resources management in developing countries in terms of delivering pro-poor outcomes, and supporting sustainable economic growth?"  Led by Nick HepworthVirginia Hooper, Dennis Hellebrandt, Sarah Lubbe and Mark Zeitoun work with the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence on the behalf of DFID and is expected to end mid-2012.




Research into practice

Centre staff offer wide ranging advisory and research services to external agencies. Recent funders and clients include:

  • the African Development Bank (ADB);
  • Anglian Water;
  • Environment Agency for England and Wales;
  • UK Department for International Development (DfID);
  • UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra);
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • European Union (EU);
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
  • International Rivers;
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO);
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • (IUCN);
  • International Water Management Institute (IWMI);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Oxfam;
  • UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR);
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
  • The World Bank.

As part of the School of International Development, the Centre benefits from a unique partnership with International Development UEA, a charitable company which supports the research, training and consultancy activities of academic staff.