Afua Owusu

PhD Candidate


Afua is a researcher (PhD AIO) in hydrology and water resources management at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands. Her PhD is on improved reservoir operation for implementation of environmental flows and it is part of EuroFLOW, an European training and research network for environmental flow management in river basins.

Afua studied Civil Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, graduating with First Class Honours. She then completed her master’s degree in Environmental Water Management at Cranfield University, UK in 2015, receiving the Atkins Prize for the best student on the course.

She has worked in Ghana as a consultant from 2015 to 2018 with the International Water Management Institute on projects in the Volta Basin. Her interests include hydrological modelling, environmental flows and flood recession agriculture among others.

Research Summary

EuroFLOW project 12 on Improved Reservoir Operation for Implementation of Environmental Flows:

Dams have a history in which their benefits have often come along with environmental degradation and social costs. Learning from existing dams will provide opportunities to plan and operate new dams in a more sustainable manner for river ecosystems and people. This research will generate insights into how dams can be operated differently to support healthy riverine habitats while providing sufficient water for economic development.


Owusu, A., Mul, M., Strauch, M., van der Zaag, P., Volk, M., & Slinger, J. (2021). The clam and the dam: A Bayesian belief network approach to environmental flow assessment in a data scarce region. Science of The Total Environment, 151315.

Owusu, A. G., Mul, M., Zaag, P. van der, & Slinger, J. (2021). Re-operating dams for environmental flows: From recommendation to practice. River Research and Applications, 37(2), 176–186.

Kadyampakeni, D. M., Mul, M. L., Obuobie, E., Appoh, R., Owusu, A., Ghansah, B., Boakye-Acheampong, E. and Barron, J. (2017). Agro-climatic and hydrological characterization of selected watersheds in northern Ghana. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 40p. (IWMI Working Paper 173). doi: 10.5337/2017.209.

Hanson, J.H., Annor, F., Aidoo, J., Adu, A.G., Davenport, E., Kline, A., Owusu, A., Sollman, B., and Tikoli, D. (2012). Capstone design: Insights from an international collaborative student team. Paper presented at the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX.

Other information

IHE Delft, along with 9 other institutions, is a beneficiary and partner in EUROFLOW. Under this project, 15 early stage researchers (ESR), including Afua, are being trained to be future leaders in the science, business and policy of environmental flows.

More about EUROFLOW:

The regulation of river flows is one of the biggest stressors affecting river ecosystems across the world. In many westernised countries, major legislative efforts are therefore underpinning the development of new approaches to mitigate the impacts of river flow regulation. These approaches are based on optimising the management of river flows to maintain services to humans (e.g. water supply, hydropower) whilst protecting and/or rejuvenating the aquatic environment with water of adequate quantity and quality in space and time (i.e. environmental flows, aka e-flows). In this context, a field of applied aquatic science has developed to generate an evidence base for the best ways to manage the quantity, quality and patterns of e-flows to sustain river ecosystems. EUROFLOW will train a cohort of researchers to be future leaders in the science, business and policy of this field. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765553.

More information can be found at


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