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Completed Projects

Securing water for megacities - São Paulo Metropolitan Region


Securing water for megacities: An analysis of water governance and scarcity in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region

The aim of this project is to understand the causes and effects of water shortages in São Paulo, and how decision-making structures and processes both trigger and address them. Despite having a relatively well-functioning water utility, this megacity has struggled to supply water to an expanding population amid limited supplies, especially to poor areas. One question is whether a centralized water utility is suitable for such a large and diverse city. One proposed solution is to instead mobilize the resources and expertise of the private sector, despite disappointing results elsewhere. Based on a study of central São Paulo and the municipalities surrounding its main reservoirs, this project will examine how the utility’s institutional structure, comprising a private-public partnership, has influenced investment in infrastructure and management of consumer demand. It will explore how far these institutional aspects have combined with climatic conditions to produce shortages, and to encourage individual water infrastructure.

Start date September 2015 | End date September 2017

UEA Team

Dr Jessica Budds, Co-Investigator


Dr Vanessa Empinotti, Principal Investigator, Department of Territorial Planning, Universidade Federal do ABC, São Paulo, Brazil.


British Academy Newton Fund Mobility Grant

Hydropolitical baseline study of the Yarmouk basin

Blue Peace in the Middle East

Hydropolitical baseline study of the Yarmouk basin

The Yarmouk tributary of the Jordan River remains the source of life for tens of thousands in both Syria and Jordan. In what appears to be a ‘race to the bottom’, however, water is being pumped out at unsustainable rates, and cooperation has broken down. A team of seasoned researchers led by Prof Mark Zeitoun at the UEA Water Security Research Centre has begun exploring how water use and availability is influenced by regional political and climatic dynamics. The goal of the study is to provide rigorous hydrological and political analysis that will serve as a baseline for effective transboundary water resources management and hydro-diplomacy programming. Updates on progress forthcoming.

Start date May 2016 | End date November 2017


UEA Team

Prof Mark Zeitoun


Muna Dajani - London School of Economics

Dr Chadi ABdallah - CNRS Lebanon

Prof Adbdulalh Droubi - Syria

Prof Sa’eb Khresat - Jordan University of Science and Technology.


Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

UEA School of International Development


Associated publications:


UEA (2018). Hydro-political Baseline of the Yarmouk Tributary of the Jordan River. Norwich, Water Security Research Centre of the University of East Anglia. (confidential).  

Journal articles forthcoming

For further information, contact Professor Mark Zeitoun at at or Tel: +44 (0)1603 593232.





The AQUAVALENS or ‘healthy water' consortium, coordinated by Professor Paul Hunter, is a 9million Euro project protecting the health of Europeans by improving methods for the detection of pathogens in drinking water and water used in food preparation. It brings together 39 partners from small and medium size businesses, universities and research institutes, connecting a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, public health practitioners and policy makers from 13 countries across Europe.

AQUAVALENS is centred on the concept of developing suitable platforms that harness the advances in new molecular techniques to permit the routine detection of waterborne pathogens and improve the provision of hygienically safe water for drinking and food production that is appropriate for large and small systems throughout Europe. Whilst in recent years there has been considerable developments, especially in molecular technology, very few systems are available that meet the needs of water providers. Consequently, and unless it proves essential, rather than necessarily develop new technologies, the key focus will be to adopt and, where appropriate, adapt existing technologies to develop these detection systems.

Link to the website and associated publications here.


UEA Team

Professor Paul Hunter, Consortium Coordinator



The AQUAVALENS consortium brings together 39 partners from small and medium size businesses, universities and research institutes, connecting a multidisciplinary team from 13 countries across Europe. For full list of partners - see website here.


Seventh Framework Programme

Fair data for better access to water


Fair data for better access to water

In collaboration with Tshwane University of Technology South Africa (Department of Engineering) and Egerton University Kenya (Department of Engineering), Jo-Anne Geere is leading the development and piloting of a mobile phone app for community based data collection on access to drinking water and health.

Start date January 2015 | End date June 2016


UEA Team

Jo-Anne Geere



Department of Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa 

Department of Engineering, Egerton University, Kenya

Women, informal work and water: drudgery & water-fetching risks


Women, informal work and water: drudgery and risks relate to water-fetching. A Systematic review and meta-analysis

In collaboration with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Jo-Anne Geere is conducting a systematic review of published literature and secondary analysis of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICs) data from 49 countries, to analyse and interpret existing data on the relationships between access to water and household health, to contribute to the UN World Water Development Report 2016. Outputs forthcoming

Start date March 2015 | End date December 2016

UEA Team

Jo-Anne Geere


Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

CORE: Creative outreach for resource efficiency

CORE: Creative outreach for resource efficiency

Being more efficient with resources, i.e. water, energy, packaging, transport, raw materials and waste, benefits the environment through more effective use of finite assets and reductions in emissions; it can also collectively deliver savings for business and, at a national level, make UK industry more profitable. Recent UK government policy and strategy has created a step-change in support for resource efficiency (RE) initiatives, underlining the UK's commitment to development in this area. As a result, RE has become a headline term within UK government and business, stimulated by the EU flagship initiative on RE under the Europe 2020 strategy, which provides a long-term framework (roadmap) for action.

CORE (Creative outreach for resource efficiency) aims to support the delivery of a vibrant and creative outreach programme to maximise public and user engagement in RE. It is an enabler project, helping other EPSRC-supported projects (funded through the EPSRC's Resource Efficiency sandpit) to deliver high-impact, world-class science. Essentially, through-life, the CORE project will gain momentum and broaden its outreach by continually cycling through a three-stage process of capacity building (based on existing networks and contacts); disseminating key results to targeted audiences and getting feedback; and then, reaching out to new participants (academics and others), with a view to long-term survival and winning subsequent funded projects. The project will ideate, coordinate and support the use of vibrant and creative outreach mechanisms for exciting public and user engagement activities; organise specific events and activities; establish a new, one-stop online shop for information, dissemination and knowledge-sharing; support the targeted dissemination of high-quality outcomes; sustain and develop a healthy, collegiate community of practice; and, identify and communicate news of outreach, collaboration, enterprise and research opportunities. CORE will strive to be vibrant, visual and creative, ensuring that academics 'get out of the lab', provoke public debate and deliver world-class engagement on their projects.

This project will directly support outward-facing activities of value with appropriate public and user groups through an Innovative Outreach Fund, cross-cutting themes and policymakers' events. Partner institutions will use exciting mechanisms (such as pop-up labs, crowdsourcing, podcasts, social design and innovation, physical hands-on and fun demonstrations and schools events) to encourage dialogue, co-create outcomes and deliver impact with a range of stakeholders.

This project has strong links to the EPSRC's research themes of: 'Living with Environmental Change', 'Engineering' and 'Manufacturing the Future'. CORE responds to the national and European policy agendas on resource efficiency and so will place the UK in a leadership position on engagement, co-creation and, hopefully, partnership building in this emerging area.


UEA Team

Dr Dabo Guan


For full list of partner institutions, visit


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

EPSRC logo

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)

For more information please visit

Public Health and Social Benefits of At-House Water Supplies

This DFID-funded research project aims to test the hypothesis that increased access to an at-house water supply will deliver significantly greater health, social and economic benefits than those derived from a shared public water supply. Barbara Evans (Leeds University), Professor Paul Hunter (UEA), Professor Jamie Bartram (University of North Carolina) are leading the investigation of the physical health impact of accessing drinking water from publically shared taps outside of the home, in comparison to at-house water supply.

Start date: January 2012 | End date: March 2013


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.

For more information please visit

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.

Water Security and Climate Change Adaptation in the River Nile Basin

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.

For more information please visit:

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

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.

For more information please visit:

Catchment Management for Protection of Water Resources

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).

For more information please visit:

PRESPA: Phongola River Ecosystems Services and Poverty Alleviation

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.

For more information please visit:

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.

For more information please visit:

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.