Research topics

This section provides an overview of the research topics of the Water Management Chair group corresponding with the research lines defined in the research strategy.

Biophysical and social dimensions of water systems

1.1 Integrated modelling of water systems

1.1.1 Understanding complex water systems

  • Re-operating multi-reservoir systems for hydropower and the environment - Zambezi
  • Modelling trade-off between green and blue water in the Pangani Basin
  • Joint management of a transboundary basin: Riskoman - Incomati
  • Modelling the Blue Nile system: hydropower, irrigation and sedimentation
  • Interaction land and water use

1.1.2 Modelling of coupled socio-ecological systems
Coupling land use change and hydrological modelling (SITE and SWAT)

1.2 Socio-technical interplay of water systems

1.2.1 Water and sanitation and society

Alternative institutional and technological options for sanitation
    Integration: development of and developing eco cities

1.2.2 Water storage and society

1.2.2.1 Governance of large hydraulic infrastructures (with WG chairgroup)

Case studies: Kariba-Cahora Bassa-Itezhi Itezhi-Kafue; High Aswan, Gibe III, etc.

1.2.2..2 Anticipating climate change adaptation: scale effects of water storage on governance

1.2.3 Water, environment and spatial planning

1.2.4 Practice emerges at the social-technical interface

  • Erosion as the outcome of social-technical negotiations
  • Water and silt management in Gezira

1.2.5 Understanding conflict and cooperation through studying interdependencies

  • Understanding robust indigenous water institutions - the Pangani
  • Critical look at benefit-sharing
  • Blue Nile dialogues

Institutional and economic dimensions of water systems

2.1 Improving the effectiveness of water organisations

2.1.1 Water operator partnerships
2.1.2 Performance of water and wastewater utilities
2.1.3 Benchmarking water and wastewater utilities
2.1.4 Performance of river basin organisations
2.1.5 Private sector investments in infrastructure for urban water and sanitation

2.2 Economic and financial analyses of water systems

2.2.1 Hydropower vs. environment: Power2Flow Zambezi project

2.2.2 Smallholder irrigation vs. hydropower: SSI - Pangani
2.2.3 Development and application of modelling tools for allocating scarce water resources among competing users - Incomati Basin
2.2.4 The economic and financial analysis of centralized versus decentralized waste water treatment
2.2.5 The economics of separating grey and brown water
2.2.6 Economic value of ecosystem services
2.2.7 Water value flows: Pangani

Integrative instruments and interventions

3.1 Educational tools

3.1.1 Serious games
Role of games in policy development (Mekong; Pilot study FMMP)

3.1.2 Capacity development for improved performance of water organisations: approaches, instruments and tools

3.2 Technological tools
3.2.1 Alluvial aquifer initiative - participatory/experiment-led testing of pumping technologies
3.2.2 The new media enabling new forms of public participation

3.3 Analytical tools
3.3.1 Value maps - PC Raster
3.3.2 Economic models - GTAP
3.3.3 Drought forecasting
3.3.4 Coupled land use and hydrological model
3.3.5 Water accounting: Assess water resources, usages, and productivity in river basins using remotely sensed data.
3.3.6 Agent-based modelling of water systems

3.4 Use of information and tools in planning and policy

3.4.1 DSS

3.4.2 Operational tools
3.4.3 Integrated assessment of water use and policy
3.4.4 Environmental assessment of water use and policy (EIA, SEA)
3.4.5 Incentive-based policy instruments and water use efficiency
3.4.6 Water, environment and spatial planning (meso scale, river basins, deltas)

  • Spatial planning and Integrated Natural Resources Management (e.g. Afromaison; PhD Masoom)
  • Wetland governance (WETwin, PhD Sylvere)

3.4.7 Economic perspective of water policy and management under climatic change.
3.4.8 Role of tools in (transboundary) water management (e.g. Afro-maison, Mekong)
3.4.9 Information and knowledge in water governance networks (with KM)

3.5 Capacity building interventions

3.5.1 All NICHE programmes we're involved in (Moz, SA, BD, VN, etc..)
3.5.2 Competency framework

  • Competency framework for transboundary water management (MRC) (with KM)
  • Competency framework for IWRM (South Africa)