• Pictured: Deborah Lawrence, UVA climate scientist, with students in West Kalimantan.

    Interdisciplinary Research: Questions, Answers and Solutions Examining the Global Water Crisis

    The University of Virginia Global Water Initiative (GWI), hosted at the Darden School of Business, brings together more than 25 UVA scholars from the fields of environmental science, engineering, business, economics, history, architecture, nursing and law. The initiative’s interdisciplinary research is based on a premise that the world’s water challenges need a more multifaceted approach.

    The GWI’s concentration on environmental and societal water questions in light of growing tensions among major water users in a global world is unique, differentiated from other academic water centers through its holistic, global and interdisciplinary approach. The initiatitve focuses on three research clusters that are stepping-stones toward comprehensive water management:

    • Water Scarcity, Agriculture, and Climate Change studies food security in a global world in which agriculture uses over 70 percent of fresh water. The GWI researches strategies to feed a growing population in a world whose climate is changing.
    • Water Productivity, Water Markets and the Environment examines how increased competition for scarce resources creates a need for increased water productivity. The initiative investigates how price and non-price mechanisms, as well as water markets, affect productivity while meeting environmental needs.
    • Water Quality, Infrastructure and Innovation explores often inadequate, outdated or non-existent water infrastructure. The GWI analyzes challenges and solutions that ensure water’s quality and safe drinking water for all as pre-conditions for healthy and productive societies.

    The GWI will boost the research of its team of interdisciplinary UVA professors by hiring postdoctoral academics, graduate and undergraduate students as well as holding research workshops, conferences and smaller colloquia through which it will engage the research community and support research grant writing.

    Water Research Seminars

    We hold a regular water research seminar in which we share our own research and invite external speakers.


    You can see a list of recent publications related to the Initiative's efforts via our publications page.

    Research Spotlights

    Exploring the Engineering Behind Urban Water Management With Teresa Culver

    Managing Water Scarcity to Balance the Needs of Nature and Society With Brian Richter

    How Water Access Impacts Women and Children in Developing Nations With Sheetal Sekhri


    The Economics of Water: A Global Perspective

    Fuel or Food? Study Sees Increasing Competition for Land, Water Resources

    Professor, Students Examine Lead Corrosion in Pipes, in Light of Flint’s Problem

    First Global Assessment of Land and Water ‘Grabbing’ Published in National Journal

    Smith: Pure Water for More Than 3 Billion People Worldwide

    University of Virginia Joins Consortium Addressing Global Water Issues