Policy relevance

During 2015, the research and collaborations of the Water (WAT) Program helped to set the international agenda for water.

Adapted from: © 3dmask | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © 3dmask | Dreamstime

WAT’s key policy-relevant activities in 2015 included:

  1. Leading the Water Futures and Solutions initiative (WFaS).
  2. Joining UN-Water and helping to make water a prominent part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Participating in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Global Water Partnership Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth.
  4. Serving on the Scientific Programme Committee for Stockholm World Water Week.
  5. Developing policy briefs targeting global and regional issues.

In addition, WAT developed and enhanced assessment tools and data portals for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN to use for water and agriculture assessments. The program also provided the analytical basis for monitoring, assessing, and evaluating implementation the Renewable Energy Directive in EU member states and facilitated the FAO’s independent application of the Global Agro-Ecological Zones data portal for internally defined research questions, assessments, and policy objectives.

To help build the critical capacity needed to advance water research and coordinate a knowledge hub, funding partnerships have been established for WFaS with development implementation agencies such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Austrian Development Agency. The work developed for these institutions aims to identify where local, regional, and global action is required. Furthermore, the Asia-specific findings under WFaS will be used by ADB for the upcoming Asian Water Development Outlook 2016 report.

Networks have been expanded even further by initiating and developing funded projects that serve as case studies in WFaS, such as a study funded by development aid agencies in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the USA under the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge. This links IIASA to water utilities; the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in the Netherlands; ARCADIS, a global engineering firm; and to stakeholders and policymakers in the case study areas.

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Last edited: 09 March 2016

Research program

Further information



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