Water equity and the river Nile

My major passion is to describe and analyse the interplay between biophysical, technological and social phenomena, in order to make sense of the complex practices and processes that we encounter in the real water world. I am also an advocate of open access learning and the freedom of information, and so would like to make my teachings and presentations available to everyone.

Lecture notes

I share three of my IHE lecture notes:

Principles of Integrated Water Resources Management – October 2015

Soil and water management for rainfed agriculture – July 2015

Management of transboundary water resources – March 2017


Here are some of the presentations I gave at conferences and seminars.

“Sustainable Development Goals, Targets, Indicators Do we know where we’re heading?”. Invited presentation at the Youth4Water Datathon on Citizen Science & Open Data for Water SDG Monitoring, convened by the Netherlands National IHP Committee. Lijm & Cultuur, Delft, 24 November 2018

“Voedsel en water – genoeg voor een groeiende bevolking? (en waar blijft de Afrikaanse groene revolutie?)”. Invited presentation for the VVM Café “Voedsel, water en landbouw: hoe komen we verder?”, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 14 November 2018

“Dona Anita’s machamba at Macarretane along the Limpopo river, Mozambique, 25 October 2018”. Invited presentation during the special session “Development pathways for nature based solutions to increase water availability and access in arid to semi-arid Africa”, at the 19th WaterNet Symposium, Livingstone, Zambia, 31 October – 2 November 2018

“European lakes and the EU Water Framework Directive”, invited presentation at the ILEC International Colloquium “Mainstreaming Lakes an Other Lentic Waters in the Global Water Agenda”, Tsukuba, Japan, 14 October 2018; a side event of the 17th World Lake Conference “Harmonious Coexistence of Humans and Lakes -Toward Sustainable Ecosystem Services”, Tsukuba, Japan, 15 – 19 October 2018

“A Dutch perspective on water management and droughts”, invited presentation at the Summer School 2018 – Water Support Programme. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, 21 August 2018.

“Global and regional climate models fail to predict the impact of climate change on water availability in the Zambezi basin, southern Africa”. Key-note presentation at the scientific plenary session of the 17th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium, Gaborone, Botswana, 26-28 October 2016

“Water storage: nature-based solutions for resilient communities”. Public lecture as the Royal Bank of Canada Visiting Fellow at the Water Institute, University of Waterloo, Canada, 15 September 2016; See also http://livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/6315692

“On conceptual models of integrated human-water systems”. Invited presentation at the 6th IAHS-EGU International Symposium on IWRM “Evolving water resources systems – understanding, predicting and managing water-society interactions”. Bologna, 4-6 June 2014

“In search of sustainable catchments and basin-wide solidarities in the Blue Nile river basin”. Final presentation of the programme to NWO-WOTRO. Delft, 10 December 2013

“Water and Africa’s Development Agenda”. Invited key-note presentation. Netherlands Association of African Studies NVAS Afrikastudiedag “Everyday Africa” Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden, 23 November 2013

“Valuing ecosystem services linked to river flows in Lower Zambezi basin, Mozambique” by S. Fanaian,  S. Graas, Y. Jiang and P. van der ZaagPaper presented at the 14th WaterNet Symposium “Transboundary Water Cooperation: Building Partnerships”, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 30 October-1 November 2013.

“Managing transboundary water resources – some challenges, examples & opportunities” – Invited presentation during the closed Water Diplomacy Seminar “Managing Water Security”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, 25 April 2013

“Geen vrede zonder water” – invited presentation during the Water Seminar “Geen vrede zonder water” Rotary in Nederland, Watermuseum, Arnhem, 28 March 2013 [in Dutch]

“Inequity triggering collective action” with Hans C. Komakech – Presentation at the Transboundary Water Justice – 6th International workshop on Hydro-Hegemony. London, King’s College/University of East Anglia, 12-13 January 2013

“Water allocation – some observations” – Invited presentation during the international closed workshop “Water Allocation and Green Growth”, convened by the OECD, the Netherlands Commission for UNESCO, the Netherlands IHP Committee and Wageningen University; Wageningen, 22-23 November 2012

“Is hydrology a natural science?” – Leonardo Lecture 2012. EGU Hydrological Sciences Division – Leonardo Topical Conference “Hydrology and Society”, Torino, Italy, 14-16 November 2012

“Exploiting the Nile waters 1902-2012 – towards a new Nile agreement?” with Hermen Smit – Invited presentation during the symposium “Waterconflicten en waterdiplomatie” convened by the Stichting Nationaal Erfgoed Hotel De Wereld. Hotel Hof van Wageningen, Wageningen, 21 September 2012

“Environmental flows – does it make sense for Mozambique?” – Invited presentation of a seminar convened by AMAIA – the Mozambican Association of Environmental Impact Assessment. Maputo, 9 July 2011

“Interdisciplinary water research and education in Sub-Sahara Africa – the need for transboundary approaches” – Invited paper for the ANU-UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance Workshop at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australia National University, Canberra, 27-29 November 2010

“Water: potential source of conflicts?” – Invited lecture Open University, NW-Symposium 2010, Eindhoven, 13 November 2010 [in Dutch]

“Possibilities and constraints of rainfed agriculture in Africa: securing food stocks by slowing the water flow” – Invited paper, 11th NethCID Symposium, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, 21 March 2007.

If you are interested in more details, the ‘Publications‘ page gives an overview of the papers I (co) wrote.

Hwange waterhole, Zimbabwe (photo: Jochem van der Zaag)


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