Research Themes

Much of the developed world has an aging infrastructure, while the developing world has inadequate infrastructure to meet urban water needs. Water and energy efficiency are recognized as key goals. Together, these factors are asking societies to revisit how water should be allocated and priced; what should be the designs for new infrastructure, and how climate and other risks are best managed.

The Columbia Water Center is researching innovative solutions to these problems—recognizing the public and private sector roles and opportunities, and the unique water, climate and socio-economic settings around the world. Our work stresses analytics at multiple scales, from technologies at the farm level, to new systems-level thinking in the design of urban smart water grids, reservoir and groundwater operations, ecosystems restoration, water-informed agriculture and food procurement and national and regional water policy. Sophisticated water demand/supply and flood forecasts using climate information and their integration with financial risk management instruments are central to our work.

America's Water

America’s Water

Re-designing our water systems for the 21st century. Publications

Global Floods

Global Floods Initiative

Linking climate to extreme floods at a global scale: from atmospheric rivers to supply chain impacts and portfolio risk analysis. Publications


Data Analytics and Multi-Scale Predictions

Innovative statistical and machine-learning algorithms and applications for multiscale prediction, simulation and scenario analysis working with climate, water, economic and demographic data.


Risk and Financial Instruments

Models for dynamic and catastrophic water and climate risk, and its strategic management for governments and business. Publications


Water, Food, Energy Nexus

Models, technologies and policy innovations for sustainable resource allocation and management.