10 March 2016

Simon Langan and Yoshihide Wada to head IIASA water program

IIASA has appointed British water expert Simon Langan to head the IIASA Water Program. Yoshihide Wada from Japan was named as the deputy program director.

Laxenburg, Austria © Pecold | Dollar Photo Club

Laxenburg, Austria © Pecold | Dollar Photo Club

Simon Langan, currently a principal researcher at the International Water Management Institute in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, is an expert in agricultural water management. He will join the IIASA Water program on 1 May 2016.

Yoshihide Wada, a Japanese hydrologist who received his PhD in the Netherlands, joined IIASA from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in 2016. His expertise lies in global water modeling and the links between water, climate, and society.

Together the two researchers bring new leadership, international perspective, and expertise in integrated water modeling methodology to the IIASA Water Program, which was founded in 2013 with the start of the Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative.  Under the leadership of Acting Program Director Bill Cosgrove, who founded the initiative, and former Water Program Director David Wiberg, the initiative has laid the groundwork for a new set of water scenarios that combine input from research, policy, and civil society to build scientific evidence to promote global water security.

Left: Simon Langan, Right, Yoshihide Wada

IIASA Director General and CEO Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat says, “IIASA researchers have contributed to important water research since the 1970’s. The new water program and WFaS initiative bring IIASA’s unique skills to bear on one of the most pressing issues of our time, and one that is inextricably linked with other global challenges in which IIASA is a research leader. Simon Langan and Yoshihide Wada will bring the leadership, complementary expertise, and perspective that IIASA needs to bring this ambitious and pioneering research to fruition.”

Langan says, “The importance of water, how it is allocated and managed at global and regional scales is fundamental to the future wellbeing and economic stability of society. The water program in a first phase has examined future water security under a range of socioeconomic scenarios used by the IPCC. I am looking forward to work with stakeholders at global and local scales to identify policy options and technical solutions to achieve water-dependent Sustainable Development Goals.”

Wada says, “Water crises such as water scarcity and groundwater depletion are not just a problem just for one part of the world. In our globalized world connected via food trade, local water management has global impacts, and global developments have local impacts. Planning water systems without consideration of the larger system could result in missed synergistic opportunities, efficiencies, or lost investments. It is important to keep global thinking in order to implement local management options. We need crosscutting, community-scale efforts and policy development for a sustainable global water future.”

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Last edited: 09 March 2016


Simon Langan

Program Director



Yoshihide Wada

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

Water Futures and Solutions

A groundbreaking study into sustainable water solutions.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313