Planning Committee

The Planning Committee for Water Future was formed as the governing body to guide the formulation of a strategic research agenda for the programme and to make recommendations to the Scientific Committee on research initiatives and operations. The Planning Committee currently reviews and provides advice on the implementation and means by which to achieve the key priorities of the programme.

As Water Future moves out of the development phase, the Planning Committee will dissolve and members will disperse into the Governance Board and Executive Committee, as appropriate. This is expected to occur during 2018.

Anik Bhaduri

Executive Director and Member of the Planning Committee

Anik Bhaduri is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Water Future Programme ( Water Future), member of the Planning Committee and is an Associate Professor within the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University. Previously, he served as Executive Officer of the Global Water System Project (GWSP).  With a background in environment and natural resource economics, Anik has specialised in water resource management. He has worked on several topics and projects, ranging from transboundary water sharing to adaptive water management under climate change. Anik also serves as a senior fellow at the Centre of Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany.


András Szöllösi-Nagy

Chair of the Planning Committee

András Szöllösi-Nagy is currently the Chair of the Planning Committee for Sustainable Water Future Programme and Research Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies Köszeg (iASK). Previously, he was the Rector of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and a Professor of Stochastic Hydrology both at UNESCO-IHE and TU Delft. His research fields include time series analysis, stochastic modelling, state space methods, adaptive systems, real-time hydrological forecasting and control of water resources systems using recursive algorithms. He serves, as elected Governor, on the Board of Governors of the World Water Council, and is elected fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (WAAS).

 Photo courtesy of: UNESCO-IHE

Howard Wheater

Member of the Planning Committee

Howard Wheater is a world expert in hydrological science and sustainable water resource management. He has extensive international experience studying and advising on flood, water resource and water quality issues. He is also vice-chair of the World Climate Research Programme’s Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) Project, and leads UNESCO’s arid zone water resources program.

Richard Lawford

Member of the Planning Committee and Chair of the Data and Earth Observation Core Group

Richard Lawford is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and the co- principal investigator of SWFP’s cluster activity on Water Energy Food Nexus. He explores the linkages between Earth observations of water and climate as they relate to observational methodologies (including satellites), data processing and visualization systems, information interpretation and the use of information in decision support and policy development. His specific areas of application involve climate and hydrological information, water resource management and capacity building.

As a senior scientific advisor of SWFP, Ricchard Lawford provides advice related to Natural and Social Capital in the water sector and the role of Earth observations and integrated information in achieving these goals. He also maintains links between the activities and goals of the Water Resources programme within the Group on Earth Observations and the SWFP. Beyond his role in SWFP, he also serves as the chair of the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations Community of Practice and as a coordinator for the GEO Global Water Sustainability (GEOGLOWS) Initiative. His experience includes conducting hydrometeorlogical research, managing research programmes, directing a global science programme, science policy development for water and natural resources and training meteorologists.


Claudia Pahl-Wostl

Member of the Planning Committee and Co-Chair of the Water Governance Core Group

Claudia Pahl-Wostl is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Future Water Programme (SWFP) and Professor for Resources Management and Director of the Institute for Environmental Systems Research at the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and a former co-chair of the Global Water System Project. Her major research interests are adaptive, multi-level governance and management of water resources, social and societal learning and their role in sustainability transformations, and conceptual and methodological frameworks to analyse social-ecological systems. Her emphasis on interdisciplinary work is reflected in her role as editor of three books and twelve special issues in peer reviewed journals.

Photo courtesy of: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

David Wiberg

Member of the Planning Committee

As the Water Futures Theme Leader at the International Water Management Institute, Dr. Wiberg is managing a team responsible for understanding and evaluating the implications of water management decisions and investments within basins, working with stakeholder to identify portfolios of options that effectively and sustainably enhance water security under a range of possible futures and associated uncertainties. Before joining IWMI, Dr. Wiberg led IIASA’s Water Program and the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative, a consortium of institutions applying systems analysis to build and explore consistent global scenarios of the freshwater systems and exploring the synergies and tradeoffs of large-scale intervention options.

Dr. Wiberg received a degree in physics, with an economics minor, from Gustavus Adolphus College and Master’s and Ph.D degrees in civil engineering, water resource engineering and management from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He designed river basin management software as a consultant for the Bureau of Reclamation, US DOI, and also consulted with the EPA and DOE in the USA. In 1997 he started working with IIASA in the Land-Use Change and Agriculture program, assessing the impact of land use and climate changes on basin water resource availability, demand, required storage capacity, development costs and management options, as well as helping develop the Harmonized World Soil Database and Global Agro-Ecological zoning methodologies and assessments. He consulted concurrently for the World Water Assessment Program and the Dialogue for Water and Climate, served on the Scientific Program Committee of Stockholm World Water Week and the OECD/GWP Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth. Dr. Wiberg’s primary fields of interest are efficient and sustainable water management strategies, water modelling and the development of decision support tools, and climate change impact assessments.

Simon Langan

Member of the Planning Committee

Simon Langan, PhD, is the Director of IIASA’s Water (WAT) Program and the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS). He joined IIASA after leading a large research for development office in East Africa (for the International Water Management Institute, IWMI). His background academic training and experience grew from his doctoral degree in land use and water quality from the University of St. Andrews, UK. His PhD was followed by a three year post-doctoral fellowship in Imperial College, London, UK. His subsequent project and organizational experience has been with various international organizations and centered on a multi/interdisciplinary approach. His areas of interest lies in generating and providing evidence to underpin improving policy and practice relating to the role of changing land use on water quality as well as the broader topics of river functioning and integrated water resource management at a watershed scale. Throughout his career, Dr. Langan has won grants and secured funding from regional and international donor projects, including from the private sector, the EU 7th Framework, Natural Environment Research Council, National Power, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, USAID, and Canadian Government.

Dr. Langan has an extensive number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as experience in policy-related analyses, including over 120 papers, technical reports, books/chapters and conference proceedings. From a management view, he has the drive to inspire and lead teams of researchers from different disciplines and various nationalities towards achieving higher goals, from research to implementation.

Photo courtesy of: IIASA

Claudia Ringler

Member of the Planning Committee and Member of the Sustainable W-E-F Nexus Working Group

Claudia Ringler is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and Deputy Division Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She also manages IFPRI’s Natural Resource Theme and co- leads the Institute’s water research program. She is currently also a co- manager of the Managing Resource Variability and Competing Uses flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Lands and Ecosystems (WLE) and chairs the Food, Energy, Environment and Water Network. Her research interests are water management, global food and water security, natural resource constraints to global food production, and the synergies of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Photo courtesy of: YouTube

Janos J. Bogardi

Member of the Planning Committee

Janos J. Bogardi is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP), the chair of German National Committee of the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and a senior fellow at Centre of Development Research , University of Bonn, Germany. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and was Professor for Hydraulics and quantitative Water Resource Management at the Agricultural University of Wageningen, the Netherlands and has also worked with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France. He was then appointed the director of the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany. In June 2008, he was honoured by the International Cannes Water Prize‚ Grand Prix des Lumières de l‘Eau de Cannes‘.

Charles Vörösmarty

Member of the Planning Committee

Charles Vörösmarty is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the City University of New York. Charles was the founding chair of the Global Water System Project. His research focuses on the development of computer models and geospatial data sets used in synthesis studies of the interactions among the water cycle, climate, biogeochemistry and anthropogenic activities. His studies are built around local, regional and continental to global-scale modelling of water balance, discharge, constituent fluxes in river systems and the analysis of the impacts of large-scale water engineering on the terrestrial water cycle.

Photo Courtesy of: CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

Josh Tewksbury

Member of the Planning Committee

Josh is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) and is the Global Hub  Director( Colorado) of Future Earth. Josh was trained as an ecologist, evolutionary biologist, and conservation biologist. He has 20+ years of active research focused on climate impacts on plants and animals; the influence of fragmentation, connectivity, invasive species and mutualism loss on populations and communities; the evolution and functional significance of chemical defense in plants; and other topics.

Photo courtesy of: Future Earth

Stuart Bunn

Member of the Planning Committee

Stuart Bunn is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP), a Professor and Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. His major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on the science to underpin river management. Stuart has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management issues. Stuart was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Water System Project, the Chair of the Scientific Expert Panel for the Southeast Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership and has previously served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Council.

Photo courtesy of: Griffith University

Vladimir Smakhtin

Member of the Planning Committee

Vladimir Smakhtin is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Future Water Programme (SWFP) and the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) in Canada. Dr Smakhtin holds PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Prior to Joining UNU, Vladimir Smakhtin served as the director of the research program on Water Availability, Risk and Resilience at the International Water Management Institute, headquartered in Sri Lanka. in Colombo, and before that – at CSIR and Rhodes University in South Africa. His experience spreads across agricultural and environmental water management, low-flow and drought analyses, assessment of basin development and climate change impacts on water availability and access, provision of hydrological information for data-poor regions, water-related disaster risk management.

Astrid Hillers

Member of the Planning Committee

Astrid Hillers is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and a senior environmental specialist at Global Environmental facility. Astrid has joined the International Waters (IW) team, coming from the World Bank where she has worked since 2000. She has been engaged in cooperation on river basins in Africa, especially the Nile Basin Initiative, most of her time at the Bank. In the last three years, she has been part of the Bank’s Climate Change team and has been involved in developing the Bank’s ‘Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change’ as well as working on adaptation to climate change, focusing on coordinating the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience.

Photo courtesy of: GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network

Stefan Uhlenbrook

Member of the Planning Committee

Stefan Uhlenbrook is a member of the Planning Committee for the Sustainable Water Future Programme (SWFP) and the coordinator (Director) of the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), a UNESCO programme based in Perugia, Italy . Before joining WWAP, Stefan Uhlenbrook served UNESCO-IHE for almost 11 years in different functions, as Professor of Hydrology and Chair of the Hydrology and Water Resources Core Group (2005-2012); Director Academic Affairs (2010-2012); Vice Rector(since 2013) and Officer-in-Charge (since November 2014).) and Officer-in-Charge (since November  2014).

Photo courtesy of: UNESCO – IHE

Nick Schofield

Member of the Planning Committee

Nick is the Chief Executive of the Australian Water Partnership and has over 35 years’ experience in the water and natural resource management sector.  He has led 14 major research programs across Australia at the intersections of water, agriculture, forestry, mining, urbanisation, biodiversity and climate change.  Nick has developed national policies and pioneered methods in research prioritisation, evaluation and futures analysis.

Jens Liebe

Member of the Planning Committee

Jens Liebe is a Senior Programme Expert at the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre. He holds a PhD in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. Prior to joining UNESCO-UNEVOC, Jens Liebe held positions as Programme Officer and Assistant Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and as a Senior Scientist at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn. He has extensive experience in water resources and interdisciplinary research, and in working at the interface of science and implementation.