Nora van Cauwenbergh

Senior Lecturer in Water Resources Planning


Dr. Van Cauwenbergh holds a position of senior lecturer Water Resources Planning at IHE Delft. Nora is an expert in water and sustainable development with over a 15 years of experience in academia and the private sector. She is passionate about contributing to a green and inclusive society through co-design of innovative natural resources management considering different value systems.

In the water sector, she has worked on participatory design and use of software tools and protocols for stakeholder negotiation in water management. Her research and capacity building expertise is built on experience in management of water scarcity in semi-arid zones (Spain, Algeria, Saudi-Arabia and Morocco), integrated water resources management, planning and conflict management (India, Palestine, Mexico, Myanmar, Mali and Bangladesh), and integration of nature-based solutions in basin and city planning to reduce flood and drought risk (Colombia, Chile and EU).

As business owner and lead business development of green solutions in the private sector, she has performed water/energy audits at different scales and co-designed and implemented green buildings. She has academic positions in VUB/KULeuven (IUPWARE) and IHE Delft, where she coordinates and teaches various water management and planning topics and supervises MSc and PhD candidates.


Godinez-Madrigal, J., Van Cauwenbergh, N. and Van der Zaag, P. 2020. Unravelling intractable water conflicts: the entanglement of science and politics in decision-making on a large hydraulic infrastructure project. Hess-D preprint

Godinez-Madrigal, J., Van der Zaag, P. and Van Cauwenbergh, N. 2019. Production of competing water knowledge in the face of water crises. Revisiting the IWRM success story of the Lerma-Chapala basin, Mexico. Geoforum 103: 3-15

Van Cauwenbergh, N., Ballester, A. and Ahlers, R., 2018. Participatory processes and supportive tools for planning in complex dynamic environments: a case study on web-GIS based participatory water resources planning in Almeria (Spain). Ecology and Society 23(2):2.

Cabello, V., Kovacic, Z., Van Cauwenbergh N. 2018. Unravelling narratives of water management: Reflections on epistemic uncertainty in the first cycle of implementation of the Water Framework Directive in southern Spain. Environmental Science and Policy 85: 19-27.

Denjean B, Altamirano M, Graveline N, Bresch D, Giordano R, Pengal, P, Van Cauwenbergh, N, Mulligan M, van der Keur P, Moncoulon D, Manez M, Kozinc Z, Matthews J, Lopez-Gunn E. 2017. “Nature Assurance Scheme: Ecosystem Resilience contribution to nature-based investment robustness”, Environmental Research 159: 24-38.

Van Cauwenbergh, N., D. Pinte, A. Tilmant, I. Frances, A. Pulido-Bosch, and M. Vanclooster. 2007. Multi-objective, multiple participant decision support for water management in the Andarax catchment, Almeria, Journal of Environmental Geology, 54, 479-489.

Van Cauwenbergh N., Biala, K, Bielders, C., Brouckaert, V., Franchois, L., Garcia-Cidad, V., Hermy, M., Mathijs, E., Muys, B., Reijnders, J., Sauvenier, X., Valckx, J., Vanclooster, M, Van der Veken, B., Wauters, E. and Peeters, A. 2007. SAFE - a hierarchical framework for assessing the sustainability of agricultural systems, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 120 , 229 242. 

Zolghadr-Asli, B., Bozorg-Haddad, O., Van Cauwenbergh, N., 2021. Multi-Attribute Decision-Making: A view of the world of decision-making in Bozorg Hadded eds - Essential Tools for Water Resources Analysis, Planning, and Management, Springer Water, 2021.

Van Cauwenbergh, N. and Idllalene, S., 2012. Land Grabs in Morocco – the Spanish quest for Africa. In “Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa. Foreign Direct Investment and food and water security”. Routledge, John Antony Allan, Martin Keulertz, Suvi Sojamo and Jeroen Warner Eds. 446pp.

Lopez-Gunn, E., Rica, M. and N. Van Cauwenbergh, 2012. Taming the groundwater chaos. In Complutense Monografias.

Other information

White paper on “Allies for climate resilience – closing the gap in protection, investment and information to support EU Climate Adaptation” – output of 5 national and 1 EU roundtable with DG Clima and representatives of cities, insurance sector, DRR, planning authorities, August 2020. E. Lopez-Gunn1, N. Van Cauwenbergh 2, R. Marchal 3, P. van der keur4, J. Weinberg5, B. Mayor1, L. Vay1, Z. Shubber and F. Nanu

Guidelines on implementation and investment plans for adaptation (under translation for practitioners). Includes checklist for self-assessment of readiness levels and participatory adaptive planning approach. Reference: Van Cauwenbergh, N., Dourojeanni, P., Mayor, B., Altamirano, M., Dartee, K., Basco-Carrera, L., Piton, G., Tacnet, JM., Manez, M., Lopez-Gunn, E. (2020). Guidelines for the definition of implementation and investment plans for adaptation. EU Horizon 2020 NAIAD Project, Grant Agreement N°730497.

Video on participatory methods and tools for water management in “Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security” (GWP)

Altaguax website and DSS: interactive multi-criteria analysis tool ( offline since 2019), used by Andalusian Water Agency to support compliance with EU WFD on stakeholder participation in river basin planning. Video available upon request

Voting app for water conflict management – web-based preference elicitation and visualization to identify different opinions on water interventions and objectives based on PCA. Code available upon request.

Technical report on alternative water management strategies for urban water security in Guadalajara and Leon, used in high-level government discussion. Godinez-Madrigal, J, Claura-Gutierrez, P.,Van Cauwenbergh, N., van der Zaag, P. (2019). Dilemas en las estrategias de gestion y abastecimiento del agua en Guadalajara y Leon para el caso del proyecto El Zapotillo. Available here.


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