Ilyas Masih Dr.

Senior Lecturer in Water Resources Planning


Ilyas Masih has a PhD Degree in Hydrology and Water Resources, completed in 2011, from IHE Delft (formerly UNESCO-IHE) Institute for Water Education, and Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He holds a Master Degree in Water Resources Management and a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Engineering.

Dr. Masih is working at IHE since 2011. He currently holds a position of senior lecturer in Water Resources Planning at the Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance. His educational activities include teaching and coordinating courses related to water resources planning, river basin development and environmental impact assessment, water systems modeling, and drought management and reservoir operations. He was the coordinator of water management and governance MSc programme at IHE from 2015-2018. As a programme coordinator he was actively engaged in coordinating the development and smooth delivery of MSc curriculum. He has been interacting with student on various educational matters including career coaching. He is actively involved in training and capacity building activities (of individual & water related organizations) in the field of hydrological modeling and integrated water resources planning and management. He has conducted a number of trainings and capacity building activities in the Netherlands and abroad (Ethiopia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).

He has been engaged in several research projects related to wide range of hydrology and water management issues, and has supervised several MSc and PhD research fellows. He has been engaged in research activities in many countries of Asia and Africa (e.g. the Gash Basin Sudan, Incomati Basin South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, Indus Basin Pakistan, Karkheh Basin Iran, Mekong Basin mainly in Sesan and Srepok sub-basins in Vietnman, Sindh and Chambal sub-basins Madhya Pradesh, India, Upper Blue Nile and Awash Basins in Ethiopia). His current research engagements are mainly focused on impact of global changes (e.g. land use, climate change, water infrastructure development, and pollution) on hydrology and water resources, drought assessment and management, assessment of spatial and temporal variability of hydrology and water resources in river basins, use of global data sets (e.g. remote sensing data) for hydrological modelling, water allocation and reservoir operations, evaluation of water treatment technologies, application of hydrological data analysis and modelling tools for better understanding of the hydrological processes underpinning the formulation of integrated water resources planning and management strategies.

While working at International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Pakistan, Iran and Sri Lanka during 2001 to 2010, Dr. Masih has worked on water saving and water productivity assessment at various scales of rice-wheat systems, groundwater assessment, utilization and management, conjunctive management of surface and groundwater resources to reduce soil salinity and improve land and water productivity. His PhD research was on understanding hydrological variability for improved water management in the semi-arid Karkheh Basin, Iran.

Dr. Masih has co-authored a number of scientifically important and practically relevant research papers and project reports. He has presented his research work at various international workshops and conferences.

Research Summary

Main Research Fields:

-Hydrology and water systems modelling (rainfall-runoff, water allocation and integrated catchment modelling);

-Impact assessment of global changes (climate, land use and water infrastructure) on hydrology and water resources;

-Water resources assessment including spatial and temporal variability;

-Assessment of climate change impact on hydrology and water resources;

-Agricultural (Irrigation) water management (both surface and groundwater);

-Water resources planning;

-Integrated water resources management;

-Drought assessment and management;

-Water treatment and quality management.


Journal Papers

Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Masih, I.; Uhlenbrook, S.;  Jewitt, G. W. P.; van der Zaag, P. 2018. Improved process representation in the simulation of the hydrology of a meso-scale semi-arid catchment. Water 2018, 10, 1549; (Open Access)

Ilyas, H.; Masih, I.; van der Hoek, J. P. 2018. An exploration of disinfection by-products formation and governing factors in chlorinated swimming pool water. Journal of Water Health (in press);   

Mersha, A. N; Masih, I. de Fraiture, C.; Wenninger, J.; Alamirew, T. 2018. Evaluating the impacts of IWRM policy actions on demand satisfaction and downstream water availability in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia. Water 2018, 10(7), 892; (Open Access)

Fadul, E.; De Fraiture, C.; Masih, I. 2018. Risk propagation in spate irrigation systems: A case study from Sudan.  Irrigation and Drainage,  

Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Jewitt, G. W. P.; Masih, I.; Riddell, E.; van der Zaag, P. 2018. Hydrograph separation using tracers and digital filters to quantify runoff components in in a semi-arid mesoscale catchment. Hydrological Processes, 32 (10): 1334-1350.

Nguyen, T.H.; Masih, I.; Mohamed, Y.A.; van der Zaag, P. 2018. Validating Rainfall-Runoff Modelling Using Satellite-Based and Reanalysis Precipitation Products in the  Sre Pok Catchment, the Mekong River Basin. Geosciences 2018, 8 (5), 164; (Open Access)

Ilyas, H.; Masih, I.; van der Hoek, J. P. 2018. Disinfection methods for swimming pool water: Byproduct formation and control. Water. 10 (6), 797, 1-29.

Ilyas. H.; Masih, I. 2018. The effects of different aeration strategies on the performance of constructed wetlands for phosphorus removal. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Published online:

Ilyas, H.; Masih, I. 2017. The performance of the intensified constructed wetlands for organic matter and nitrogen removal: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 198: 372-383. DOI

Ilyas, H.; Masih, I. 2017. Intensification of constructed wetlands for land area reduction: A review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(13): 12081-12091. DOI . (Open Access)

Abdullah, A.D.; Popescu, I.; Dastgheib, A.; Masih, I.; Karim, U.F.A. 2017. Analysis of possible actions to manage the longitudinal changes of water salinity in a tidal river. Water Resources management, 31(7): 2157-2171.DOI   

 Ngo, L.A.; Masih, I.; Jiang, Y.; Douven, W.. 2016. Impact of reservoir operation and climate change on the hydrological regime of the Sesan and Srepok Rivers in the Lower Mekong Basin. Climatic Change, published online on 27th December, 2016, DOI

Abdullah, A. D.; Karim, U. F. A.; Masih, I.; Popescu, I,; van der Zaag, P. 2016. Anthropogenic and tidal influences on salinity levels and variability of the Shatt al-Arab River. International Journal of River Basin Management, 14 (3): 357-366.DOI

Abdullah, A. D.; Gisen, J. I. A.; van der Zaag, P.; Savenije, H. H. G.;  Karim, U. F. A.; Masih, I.; Popescu, I. 2016. Predicting the salt water intrusion in the Shatt al-Arab estuary using an analytical approach. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20: 4031-4042. DOI . (Open Access)

Mersha, A.; de Fraiture, C.; Mehari, A.; Masih, I.; Alamirew, T. 2016. Integrated Water Resources Management: Contrasting principles, policy, and practice, Awash River Basin, Ethiopia. Water Policy 18: 335-354. DOI

 Abdullah, A. D.; Masih, I.; van der Zaag, P.; Karim, U. F. A.; Popescu, I.; Q. Al-Suhail,. 2015. Shatt al Arab River system under escalating pressure: A preliminary exploration of the issues and options for mitigation. Journal of River Basin Management, 13(2): 215-227. DOI

Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Masih, I.; Uhlenbrook, S.;  Jewitt, G. W. P.; van der Zaag, P.; Riddell, E. 2015. Drivers of spatial and temporal variability of streamflow in the Incomati River Basin. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19: 657–673. DOI . (Open Access)

Mussa, F. E. F.; Zhou, Y.; Maskey, S.; Masih, I; Uhlenbrook, S. 2015. Groundwater as an emergency source for drought mitigation in the Crocodile River catchment, South Africa. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19, 1093–1106, 2015. DOI . (Open Access)

Masih, I.; Maskey, S.; Mussa, F.E.F.; P. Trambauer. 2014. A review of droughts on the African continent: a geospatial and long-term perspective. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18: 3635–3649, 2014. DOI . (Open Access)

Sunday, R. K. M.; Masih, I.; Werner, M.; van der Zaag, P. 2014. Streamflow forecasting for the operational water management in the Incomati river basin Southern Africa. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 72–75 (2014) 1–12. DOI

Ahmad, M.D.; Masih, I.; Giordano, M. 2014. Constraints and opportunities for water savings and increasing productivity through Resource Conservation Technologies in Pakistan. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 187 (2014) 106–115. DOI  

Masih, I.; Maskey, S.; Uhlenbrook, S. 2012. Supporting well-informed decision and policy making through hydrological data analysis and modelling: the case of the Karkheh Basin, Iran. Water International, 37(4):  427-441. DOI  

Masih, I.; Maskey, S.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Smakhtin, V. 2011. Impact of upstream changes in rain-fed agriculture on downstream flow in a semi-arid basin. Agricultural Water Management, 100: 36-45. DOI

Masih, I.; Maskey, S.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Smakhtin, V. 2011. Assessing the impact of areal precipitation input on streamflow simulations using the SWAT model. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(1):179-195. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00502.x.

Masih, I.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Maskey, S.; Smakhtin, V. 2011. Streamflow trends and climate linkages in the Zagros Mountain, Iran. Climatic Change 104: 317-338. DOI   

Masih, I.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Maskey, S.; Ahmad, M.D. 2010. Regionalization of a conceptual rainfall-runoff model based on similarity of the flow duration curve: A case study from the semi-arid Karkheh basin, Iran. Journal of Hydrology 391: 188-201. DOI

Masih, I.; Ahmad, M.D.; Turral, H.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Karimi, P. 2009. Analysing streamflow variability and water allocation for sustainable management of water resources in the semi-arid Karkheh River Basin, Iran. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 34 (4-5): 329–340.

Ahmad, M.D.; Islam, Md. A.; Masih, I.; Muthuwatta, L. P.; Karimi, P.; Turral, H. 2009. Mapping basin-level water productivity using remote sensing and secondary data in the Karkheh River Basin, Iran. Water International 34(1):119-133. DOI

Ahmad, M.D.; Giordano, M.; Turral, H.; Masih, I.; Masood, Z. 2007. At what scale does water saving really save water? Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 62(2):29A-35A. DOI   

Qureshi, A.S.; Masih, I.; Turral, H. 2006. Comparing land and water productivities of transplanted and direct dry seeded rice for Pakistani Punjab. Journal of Applied Irrigation Science 41(1): 47-60.

Humphreys, E.; Meisner, E.; Gupta, R.; Timsina, J.; Beecher, H.G.; Lu, T.Y.; Sing, Y.; Gill, M.A.; Masih, I.; Guo, Z.J.; Thompson, J.A. 2005. Water savings in rice-wheat systems. Plant Production Science 8(3): 242-258. DOI

Ahmad, M.D.; Masih, I.; Turral, H. 2004. Diagnostic analysis of spatial and temporal variations in crop water productivity: A field scale analysis of the rice-wheat cropping system of Punjab, Pakistan. Journal of Applied Irrigation Science 39(1):43-63.

Qureshi, A.S. Asghar, M.N.; Ahmed, S.; Masih, I. 2004. Sustaining crop production in saline groundwater areas: A case study from Pakistani Punjab. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 55:421-431.  


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