Hydrology & Water Resources

The Hydrology and Water Resources Chair Group investigates hydrological processes supporting sustainable development and applies new knowledge in education, capacity development, and technical assistance programmes. We focus on catchment scale hydrological processes, ecohydrology, hydrology of peri-urban areas, and global environmental change processes.

Research in the Hydrology and Water Resources Chair Group seeks to improve understanding of hydrological processes supporting sustainable development. For this reason we focus on catchment hydrology and water resource assessments that control and quantify the spatiotemporal occurrence of water; ecohydrology that examines the interaction of the hydrological cycle and ecosystems both for conservation purposes as well as provision of ecosystem services; climate change and hydrological extremes that force adaptation measures; and peri-urban hydrology that directly influences human health in slum areas. 

Our specific research activities are often co-designed and co-developed with key stakeholders, especially those governmental and non-governmental authorities best positioned to utilize the new knowledge and increasingly partners in the private sector as well. We cooperate with partner institutions and international science initiatives including the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

Catchment hydrology and ecohydrology research of the group has been focused on the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia; the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda; the Pangani Basin of Tanzania; and the transboundary Incomati Basin of southern Africa.  Research into the impacts of climate change and forecasting droughts and floods is focused on the Mekong Basin, the Himalayas, and at the continental scale, across Africa.

On a finer scale the group maintains an active research program in peri-urban hydrogeology, water quality, and groundwater management, focused primarily on slum areas around Kampala, Uganda, Arusha, Tanzania, and Dodowa, Ghana. 

Furthermore, the group carries out innovative research into new tracers such as synthetic DNA and expanding use of isotopic tracers in multiple environments. To apply new hydrological knowledge effectively, the group conducts research into spatial planning tools and processes for integrated natural resources management.

Funding for our project activities comes from a variety of sources, including the European Commission, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, bilateral development agencies, development banks, and various research councils (e.g. NWO-STW in the Netherlands, NERC and ESRC in the UK).

New hydrological knowledge and tools developed by the group are incorporated into the MSc Specialization in Hydrology and Water Resources, other capacity development activities, and technical assistance programmes for development partners.

Learn more about two of our ongoing projects:

T-GroUP Research Project (video)

Mau Mara Serengeti Sustainable Water Initiative (video)

Staff members

PhD fellows