Water governance

Research on water governance at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) starts from the premise that the global water crisis is not primarily a physical but a governance crisis. We analyse water governance problems in different political regimes and at all scales (local to global). Research on the prerequisites for sustainable and adaptive water management and on the scope of action of the actors involved includes perspectives for development cooperation.

The team works on the fragmentation of global water governance and develops solutions to water problems while considering the interplay with climate policies and international agricultural trade. Research on transboundary water resources focuses on conflict and cooperation potentials as well as on options for benefit-sharing in different basins worldwide. It examines the institutionalisation and effectiveness of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and river basin management. In this context, we also explore how developing countries may adapt to climate change.

Further topics are sustainable dam development including social and environmental aspects; large-scale acquisitions in agricultural land and the implications for water rights; local water conflicts; and the challenges of the agriculture, energy and water nexus.

Special Water and Energy

One sixth of the world's electricity is currently generated by hydropower. Considerable hydropower potentials in Africa and Asia are yet untapped.


Sustainability in the water-energy-food nexus
Bhaduri, A. / C. Ringler / I. Dombrowsky / R. Mohtar / W. Scheumann (eds.),  Water International (Special Issue), 40 (5-6), 723-732


Cover: Climatic Change

Private finance for adaptation: do private realities meet public ambitions?
Pauw, Pieter, Richard Klein, Pier Vellinga, Frank Biermann (2015)
Climatic Change, pp 1-15


Biodiversity – A vital foundation for sustainable development
G7 Elmau Progress Report
(long version in English)