Environmental Flows Working Group

Rebecca Tharme

Member of the Scientific Steering Committee and Chair of the Environmental Flows Working Group

Dr Rebecca Tharme is the Director of Riverfutures, a company she founded in 2015 to help develop policy-appropriate solutions and technical capacity for environmental water management. She is also an Adjunct Principal Research Fellow of the Australian Rivers Institute. She has 25 years of experience as a leader and member of interdisciplinary, multicultural teams on projects in 40 developing countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia. Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in Zoology (Aquatic Ecology). She is a jury member for Swiss Re Foundation’s International ReSource Award for resilience in water management, and served on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’ Scientific and Technical Review Panel for two terms, from 2002 to 2008. She has held the positions of Director of Partnerships, Great Rivers Program, and Senior Freshwater Scientist in The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water team, and Water and Environment Theme Leader at the International Water Management Institute. She began her career as a researcher in Cape Town University’s Freshwater Research Unit. Rebecca has contributed to several global initiatives on water, environment and sustainability, including the UNEP-led draft framework for international water quality guidelines for freshwater ecosystems, the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. She has co-authored over 90 publications, many on environmental flow policy, science and practice, river ecohydrology, and human water, food and energy security. Rebecca has led numerous capacity development initiatives on river ecology, water management and environment flows, and has given more than 40 invited conference presentations.

Water Future Is Important To Me Because …

I expect Water Future to help set the agenda and path towards truly environmentally and socially sustainable management of our water resources – by bridging social-cultural divides, dissolving the boundaries among institutions, fostering interdisciplinary, and encouraging the sharing of knowledge and best practice, all at scales that will have lasting global impact.

Joseph Flotemersch

Member of the Environmental Flows Working Group

Joseph Flotemersch is a Senior Scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development and the Program Coordinator for the U.S. EPA’s Report on the Environment.  He has a strong background in the assessment and monitoring of aquatic resources; with an emphasis on non wade-able rivers and streams.  Many of his more recent projects are national in scale, including multiple projects working to develop and integrate large-scale social and ecological data-sets in support of systems-scale assessment approaches.  This includes an ongoing Citizen Scientist project with the end-goal of conducting a social values assessment of waters of the United States.

Water Future is Important To Me Because….

Water Future represents an opportunity to exchange and collaboratively improve-upon the best approaches for addressing the world’s water challenges.  Of special interest are innovative applications of proven technologies.

Sue Jackson

Member of the Environmental Flows Working Group and Member of the Water Ethics Working Group

Associate Professor Sue Jackson is a human geographer with twenty years’ experience researching the social dimensions of natural resource management.  She has strong research interests in the social and cultural values associated with water, customary Indigenous resource rights, systems of resource governance, and Indigenous capacity building for improved participation in natural resource management and water planning.  Sue is a Principal Research Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University (Queensland) and an Honorary Fellow at Melbourne University’s Department of Geography. In 2013 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Water Future is Important To Me Because….

Water Future offers a means of bringing scientists, water policy makers and managers together in efforts to address the sustainability challenge. By operating at the international scale it will enable knowledge exchange and experimentation in problem solving. I hope it can cross the boundaries established by the fields of research, policy and management practice and give full and effective consideration to the social and ecological complexity of the problems facing environmental water governance and management.

Margreet Zwarteveen

Member of the Environmental Flows Working Group

Margreet Zwarteveen is Professor of Water Governance at UNESCO-IHE and the University of Amsterdam. Trained as both an irrigation engineer and a social scientist, Margreet is interested in water allocation policies and practices, focusing on questions of (gender-) equity and justice. Her current research includes a project (financed by the CGIAR WLE program) which explores how new investments in irrigation systems along the Nile in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt re-allocate water and water-related benefits, tracing what this means for and according to different groups of people, including experts.  In another project (financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO), Margreet looks at the mobility of Dutch Delta experts and expertise to examine the production of evidence under conditions of uncertainty. In her work, Margreet favors an interdisciplinary approach, seeing water allocations as the outcome of interactions between nature, technologies and society.

Whater Future Is Important To Me Because …

Collaborations that have brought social and biophysical sciences together with practitioners have been some of the most productive and exciting things I have been involved in. Water future is a great opportunity to connect with researchers and practitioners who are interested in progressing a more holistic approach to environmental flows assessment and implementation.

Elizabeth Anderson

Member of the Environmental Flows Working Group

Elizabeth Anderson is a freshwater conservation ecologist based at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, where she is co-Director of the Tropical Conservation Institute and a member of the faculty. Her research explores the natural history of tropical freshwaters of Central America, the Andean Amazon, and East Africa, and the effects of human activities on these ecosystems. Her work has a strong conservation focus and involves collaborations with other scientists and those in key water resource management roles. Dr. Anderson received both undergraduate and PhD (Ecology) degrees from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, GA, USA. She has since worked for the Organization for Tropical Studies as coordinator of international research and study programs for U.S. and Costa Rican students at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica; and as Conservation Sustainability Director at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA. At Florida International University, she worked with the USAID-funded Global Water for Sustainability Program to support pilot projects for integrated water resources management in South America, East Africa and India, and later was Program Officer for East Africa programs. Between 2013-2016, Dr. Anderson has served as the Director of International Research Programs in the School of Environment, Arts and Society at Florida International University. In this post, she built partnership programs with diverse collaborators—other universities, government institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector—for conservation of globally important landscapes in the Andean Amazon and East Africa regions.  Dr. Anderson is a three-time recipient of a Fulbright from the U.S. Department of State, including a Fulbright Research Award to Costa Rica in 2001; a Fulbright Scholar Award to Peru in 2014; and a Fulbright Specialist Award to Colombia in 2015.

Water Future Is Important To Me Because …

Water links humans and nature, and is the most critical resource for our survival.

Michael Douglas

Member of the Environmental Flows Working Group

Michael Douglas is a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Western Australia and a University Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University. He is Hub Leader of the Northern Australian Environmental Resources Hub: a 6 year research initiative focused on supporting the sustainable development in northern Australia, funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program. He also leads the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research consortium and has been doing research on northern Australia’s water resources and aquatic biodiversity for the past 25 years.

Water Future Is Important To Me Because …

Collaborations that have brought social and biophysical sciences together with practitioners have been some of the most productive and exciting things I have been involved in. Water future is a great opportunity to connect with researchers and practitioners who are interested in progressing a more holistic approach to environmental flows assessment and implementation.