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Olcay Unver

Professor of Practice
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 4280
Professor of Practice
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 4280
Senior Global Futures Scientist
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 4280
Biography: 

Olcay Ünver is  Professor of Practice at Environmental and Resource Management Program and Senior Global Futures Scientist with Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University, member of Water Policy Group, Senior Water Advisor to FAO, and  Industry Fellow at Australian Rivers Institute. In his public service career spanning three decades, he led FAO’s water programs and activities, UN-Water’s World Water Assessment Programme, and UNESCO’s Program Office on Global Water Assessment and served as Vice-Chair of UN-Water.

Prior to joining the United Nations, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio and President of the Southeastern Anatolia Project in Turkey, where he transformed a large infrastructure project into a sustainable socioeconomic development program. In 1999, he was listed among the 19 “European Visionaries” by Time Magazine and was featured in New York Times for his efforts towards sustainable, human-centered development. 

He served as Secretary General and Vice President of IWRA, and Governor and Treasurer of World Water Council. He has served on boards and committees involving water, sustainable development, sustainable food and agriculture systems, water cooperation and policy. Olcay is a NATO Science Fellow, TÜBİTAK Honor Fellow and IWRA Fellow.

Education: 

Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, 09/1981 to 08/1987

Major subjects: Water resources planning and management, simulation and optimal management of river systems

University of Texas, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

 

M.Sc. in Civil Engineering, 09/1979 to 05/1981

Major subjects: Water resources engineering and hydrology, urban water supply and drainage 

Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

 

B.S. in Civil Engineering, 09/1973 to 02/1979

Major subjects: Hydrology, hydraulics, water resources

Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

 

Videos
Audio: 
Interview at the High-Level Global Forum on Food and Agriculture, Berlin, Germany, 2017
Publications: 

EDITED BOOKS AND JOURNALS

Water Cooperation: Views on Progress and Way Forward, United Nations University, 2015, (with Z Adeel, S Aslov, J Maestu).

 

Water for Regional Development, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0 19 565794, 2004, (with A Biswas, C Tortajada).

 

Chief Editor, Water Development and Poverty Reduction, Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN 1-4020-7431-X, 2003.

 

Chief Editor, Water Resources Management: Cross Cutting Issues, Middle East Technical University Press, Ankara, Turkey, ISBN 975-7064-57-2, 2002.

 

Guest Editor, Special Issue: Water Resources Development in a Holistic Socioeconomic Context: The Turkish Experience, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax Publishing Co., Vol 13, No 4, 1997.

 

Guest Editor, Special Issue: Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture, Resources, MDPI, ISSN 2079-9276, October 2019.

 

BOOK CHAPTERS

As author/co-author:

 

Drought Management in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin (with A. Kibaroglu, D. Yildiz, and H. Ozguler), in: “GAR Special Report on Drought 2021”, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva. June 2021.

 

Endangered Food Security (with E. Mansur and M. Kay), in: “Sustainability of Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands: Challenge and Response”, eds. J. Schmandt & A. Kibaroglu. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2021.

 

Drivers, Pressures and Stressors: The Societal Framework of Water Resources Management, in:“Handbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples” eds. Bogardi J.J. et al. Springer, Cham. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-60147-8_11 

 

Land and water governance, poverty, and sustainability (with E Mansur), in “Sustainable Food and Agriculture: An Integrated Approach,” eds. C Campanhola and S Pandey, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-12-812134-4, January 2019.

 

Water scarcity and challenges for smallholder agriculture (with M Giordano and J Barron), in “Sustainable Food and Agriculture: An Integrated Approach,” eds. C Campanhola and S Pandey, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-12-812134-4, January 2019.

 

Setting the scene (with J Mateo-Sagasta, SM Zadeh, M De Souza, H Turral, J Burke), in “More people, more food, worse water?: a global review of water pollution from agriculture,” eds. Mateo-Sagasta, J.,  Zadeh, S. M., Turral, H., Rome, Italy: FAO; Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), pp.3-13, 2018.

 

Foreword to "Key Concepts in Water Resource Management: A Review and Critical Evaluation” by J Lautze, Routledge, 2014.

 

Foreword to “Toward a sustainable water future : visions for 2050”,  eds. W M Grayman, D P Loucks, L Saito,  American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012.

 

Preface to “The United Nations World Water Development Report 4: Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk,” UNESCO Publishing, 2012. 

 

Agriculture and Water Elements from The UN World Water Development Report, in Water and Agriculture Implications for Development and Growth, eds. Briscoe et al., Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., USA, 2009.

 

The way forward, in “The United Nations World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World,” UNESCO Publishing, 2009 (with A Bullock, W Cosgrove, F Attia, G Galloway, J Moss, U Shamir, and A Wright).

 

Preface to “The United Nations World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World,” UNESCO Publishing, 2009, (with W Cosgrove).

 

Options from beyond the water box in “The United Nations World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World,” UNESCO Publishing, 2009, (with R Cosgrove, J Talafré, R Connor, W Cosgrove, and G de Gooijer).

 

Getting out of the box – linking water to decisions for sustainable development  in “The United Nations World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World,” UNESCO Publishing, 2009, (with A Bullock, W Cosgrove, W Hoek, J Winpenny, G Galloway, and B Heij).

 

Water-Based Sustainable Integrated Regional Development, in “Water Resources Sustainability”, ed. L W Mays, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0071462309, 2007.

 

Participative water-based regional development in the South-Eastern Anatolia Project (GAP): a pioneering model, in “Water as a focus for regional development”, eds. O Unver, A Biswas, C Tortajada, Oxford University Press, 154-189, 2004 (with R Gupta).

 

As contributor:

Water and rural poverty (with P Mejias-Moreno et al), in “World Water Development Report 2019: leaving no one behind,” UNESCO Publishing, March 2019.

 

Nature-based solutions for managing water availability (with A Alfarra, T Turton et al), in “World Water Development Report 2018: nature-based solutions for water,” UNESCO Publishing, pp.37-50, 2018.

 

Agriculture (with SM Zadeh et al), in “World Water Development Report 2017: wastewater, the untapped resource,” UNESCO Publishing, pp.70-77, 2017.

 

Water and jobs in the agriculture-food sector (with MA Even et al), in “World Water Development Report 2016: water and jobs,” UNESCO Publishing, pp.38-44, 2016.

 

 

PAPERS IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS

 

Development for water, food and nutrition in a competitive environment — How NGOs and CSOs are reshaping traditional farmer irrigation advisory services. Irrigation and Drainage, 17 April 2020. DOI: 10.1002/ird.2444 

(with M Kay; K Chavva; AA Amali; E Pek; M Salman)

 

Can the implementation of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus support economic growth in the Mediterranean region? The current status and the way forward.  Frontiers Environ. Sci., 02 July 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2019.00084 (with G Bidoglio et al.).

 

A comparison of the Mediterranean Diet and Current Food Consumption patterns in Spain from a nutritional and water perspective. Science of the Total Environment, Volume 664, 10 May 2019, 1020-1029 (with A Blas, A Garrido, and B Willaarts).

 

Alternative pathways to food security and nutrition: water predicaments and human behavior, Water Policy, IWA Publishing, 20 (5), 871-884, 2018, (with J Lundqvist).

 

Food Security by Optimal Use of Water: Synthesis of the 6th and 7th World Water Forums and Developments since then, Irrigation and Drainage, Wiley, Vol. 67, Issue 3, 327-344, 2018, (with P Steduto, B Schultz, S Ota, D Vallee, S Kulkarni and M D Johns Garcia).

 

Key and Smart Actions to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty through Irrigation and Drainage, Irrigation and Drainage, Wiley, 2018, Vol. 67, Issue 1, 60–71, 2018, (with R Wahaj, E Lorenzon, K Mohammadi, J R Osias, F Reinders, S Wani, J Chuchra, P Lee and I M Sangjun).

 

A thirst for food resilience: Integrating UNFCCC and SDG policies for food and agriculture, Global Water Forum, 16 Nov 2017, (with J Matthews, M White, S Bahije et al).

 

Editorial: Food security with equity through social and technological innovations, Future of Food Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2017, University of Kassel, Germany.

 

Sustainable intensification of agriculture for human prosperity and global sustainability, Ambio, Vol. 46 (1), 4-17, 2017, (with J Rockström, J Williams, G Daily et al).

 

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture-what does it mean and which impact can it have in addressing actual malnutrition problems, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2017, KL-144/3391, Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers, 2017 (with R Charrondiere, M Rahmanian, G Hemrich, J Toppe, G Muir, S Dahdouh, R Rolle, A Mottet, B Scherf).

 

Water-use efficiency and productivity improvements towards a sustainable pathway for meeting future water demand, Water Security, Elsevier, Vol. 1, 21-27, 2017, (with A Bhaduri, J Hoogeveen).

 

Integrated Water Management Approaches for Sustainable Food Production, Irrigation and Drainage, Wiley, Vol. 63, Issue 2, 221-231, 2014, (with C D Fraiture, A Fayrap, R Ragab).

 

Policymakers’ reflections on water governance issues, Ecology and Society 18 (1), 2013, (with J Gupta, A Akhmouch, W Cosgrove, Z Hurwitz, J Maestu).

 

La sostenibilidad de un mundo con menos agua, Política exterior, Vol. 26 (148), 72-80, 2012.

 

Mejores prácticas en la gestión del agua transfronteriza, Ingeniería y Territorio, 91, 28-35, 2010, (with L Salamé, T Etitia).

 

Global governance of water: a practitioner's perspective, Global Governance, Vol. 14 (4), 409-417, 2008.

 

Agricultural water use in Turkey, Water International, Vol. 29 (2), 257-264, 2004, (with B Cakmak, T Akuzum).

 

Water pricing: Issues and options in Turkey, International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2003/6/1, Vol. 19, Issue 2, 311-330, 2003, (with R Gupta).

 

Evaluation du prix de l'eau en Turquie avec une reference speciale au projet du Sud Est de l'Anatolie, Houille Blanche, 92-98, 2003, (with R Gupta).

 

Southeastern Anatolia Development Project, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Engineering Review, U.S.A., Vol.22, No.3, 2002.

 

Institutionalizing the Sustainable Development Approach: Co-ordination across Traditional Boundaries, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax Publishing Co., Vol. 17, No. 4, 511–520, 2001.

 

An Institutional Framework for Facilitating Cooperation in the Euphrates-Tigris River Basin, 

International Negotiation, Kluwer Law International, Vol. 5, 311-330, 2000, (with A Kibaroglu).

 

Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax Publishing Co., Vol 13, No 4, 453-483, 1997.

 

Editorial, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax Publishing Co., Vol. 13, No. 2, 1997.

 

Southeastern Anatolia Integrated Development Project (GAP), Turkey: An Overview of Issues of Sustainability, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax Publishing Co., Vol. 13, No. 2, 187-207, 1997.

 

Improvement of Canal Regulation Techniques in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) of Turkey, Water International, Vol 18, No 3, 1993, (with B Voron).

 

Improvement of Field Water Distribution and Irrigation Techniques in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) of Turkey, Water International, International Water Resources Association, Vol 1, No 3, 1993, (with B Voron).

 

A Self-Correction Technique for Real-Time Simulation of Regulated Rivers, Water Resources Development, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., London, Vol 8, No 4, 248-256, 1992.

 

Model for Real-Time Optimal Flood Control Operation of Reservoir Systems, Water Resources Management, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Volume 4, Issue 1,  21-46, 1990, (with L W Mays).

  

Real-Time Flood Management Model for Highland Lakes, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, A.S.C.E., Vol 113, No 5, 1987.

 

Optimal Determination of Loss Rate Functions and Unit Hydrographs, with L W Mays, Water Resources Research, Vol. 20, No. 2, 23-214, 1984, (with L W Mays and K Lansey).

 

 

SELECTED REPORTS, CONFERENCE SPEECHES/PAPERS, OPINION PIECES

Gerald Lacey Lecture, Irrigation and Water Forum, Oxfordshire, Oxford, U.K.,  12 May 2021.

 

“Technology and innovation in food and water security”. E-Symposium “The Future of Resources and Sustainability”. TRENDS Research Group. 6 April 2021.

 

Panel Speaker, Water Governance and Peace. Webinar jointly organized by OECD and Vatican. 26 March 2021.

 

Keynote Speaker in Webinar “Water, Sanitation, COVID-19, Values and the Future of Water”. Light Millennium, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations, Earth Forever, and Agualimpia. 21 March 2021. 

 

Invited Speaker, “Nature-based solutions are great, but why don’t we see a lot more of them?”. IAHR 85th Anniversary Summit, International Association for Hydro-environment Engineering and Research. 14 December 2020. Beijing, China and online.

 

“Outrunning COVID - accelerating progress on water, sanitation and hygiene”. Invited article. Smart Water Magazine.16 November 2020.

 

Keynote Speaker, “Tackling the water crisis: Accelerating progress towards achieving SDG 6 and scaling impact to the local level”. Final Conference, GRoW Water as a Global Resource. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 20 October 2020. Berlin, Germany.

 

High-level Panel Speaker, “GRoW Recommendations for Policy and Practice”. Final Conference, GRoW Water as a Global Resource. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 21 October 2020. Berlin, Germany.

 

Invited Speaker, “Multilateral cooperation and the rights to water and sanitation- current challenges and roadmap for the 2020-2030 decade”. Celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation. Organized by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. 7 July 2020.

 

Invited Speaker, International Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Human Rights to Water and Sanitation. Water Research Commission of South Africa. 30 July 2020.

 

“The CARROT framework for achieving a paradigm shift in sanitation security and water reuse”. Invited article. Smart Water Magazine.10 June 2020. With H. Aboelnga.

 

“Coronavirus - wake-up call to ensure water and sanitation for all”. Opinion piece. Thompson Reuters Foundation. 26 March 2020. With H. Aboelnga And A. Elmahdi.

 

“Climate Change, Water Resources and International Agenda”. Keynote Address to Inaugural Roorkee Water Conclave, Indian Institute of Technology and National Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India, 26 February 2020.

 

Second Workshop on Development Impact and SDGs: Water investments in the context of the SDG framework, Keynote Speech in Opening Plenary. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and New Development Bank, 9-10 December, 2019, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy.

 

Invited speech: “Water, Agriculture, Urbanization”. Chatham House. Water 2019, The New Oil? London, U.K., 18 November 2019.

 

“Coping with water scarcity requires holistic approaches”. Opinion piece. Thompson Reuters Foundation. 14 November 2019. With E. Mansur.

 

“Water and Climate Change: Challenges”. Keynote Speech at International Conference 'Towards a Sustainable Water Future', Future Earth and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India, 25 September 2019.

 

“Glancing at 2050 from the Perspective of Global Sustainability, Water Resources and Food Security”. Keynote Address to Environmental Security Session, International Security Congress (Theory, Method, Practice), Presidency of Republic of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey, 20 September 2019.

 

Role of Civil Society and Non-State Actors with Focus on Farmers and Extension Facilities, Background Paper for World Irrigation Forum 3, Bali, Indonesia, 1-7 September 2019, (with M Kay, K Chavva, A Amali).

 

Water and food security: pathways that leave no one behind and those that do, Keynote Speech at 

10th Water Research Horizon Conference 2019, Water Science Alliance and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover, Germany, 19 June 2019.

 

Four reasons small farms are running out of water – and how we can fix it. Opinion piece. Thomson Reuters Foundation, 31 January 2019, (with M Giordano and J Barron).

 

Business as usual is not an option to manage our water, energy and food sectors, IDA Global Connections, Winter 2019 issue, International Desalination Association.

 

Black Soils for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, World Soil Day Event, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland, Katowice, Poland, 5 December 2018.

 

Nature-based solutions in agricultural water management, FAO Discussion Paper, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, November 2018.

 

Keynote Address, Action Panel on “Integrated water resources management, water efficiency and productivity”, High-Level International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028”, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 21 June 2018.

 

Feeding the World in a Changing Environment, Innovation Talk, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA, 25 January 2018.

 

 Managing Water Scarcity for Agriculture, Agriculture-based climate solutions, 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Agriculture Action Day, Bonn, Germany, 10 November 2017.

 

Water alliance with socioeconomic sectors, 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Water Action Day, Marrakesh, Morocco, 9 November 2016. 

 

Key and Smart Actions to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty through Irrigation and Drainage, Second World Irrigation Forum Background Paper, 2016, (with R Wahaj, E Lorenzon, K Mohammedi, JR Osias, F Reinders).

 

Freshwater, Fish and the Future: Water Governance and Management for Sustainable Development, Proceedings of the Global Cross-Sectoral Conference, Rome, Italy

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Michigan State University, American Fisheries Society, 2016, (with L Pluschke, B Riley, S Youn).

 

Can saving lives save livelihoods? The water- energy-food nexus and human security, Water for Development – Charting a Water Wise Path, 59-63, Stockholm International Water Institute, 2015, (with L Pluschke).

 

Water resources: which future?, Keynote Speech at International Conference “A resource in jeopardy: the present and future of water”, Aqvitaly, Italian Ministries of Enviroment and Agriculture, Rome, Italy, 19 February 2015.

 

Water and Sanitation as a Human Right, Keynote Speech at Water Day at Rio+20, UN-Water, UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 19 June 2012.

 

Water governance requires co-operation and co-ordination from all stakeholders and across all sectors, Europe's World, 202/6/1, Friends of Europe Publishers, 2012.

 

Firat-Dicle Havzasinda Isbirligi Icin Yeni Acilimlar (in Turkish), Stratejik Analiz, 32-44, 2006, (with A Kibaroğlu).

 

The present situation of water resources of countries in the Euphrates-Tigris River basin, 

Expert Meeting on the Use of Japanese Experiences, Knowledge and Technology in the Euphrates-Tigris River Basin, Japan Water Forum, 2006.

 

Integrating Social Development, Environmental Sustainability and Economic Growth, International Workshop on Regional Water Transfer within an Integrated Water Resources Management Perspective, University of Kalmar, Royal Institute of Technology, and Stockholm International Water Institute, 2006.

 

Water-Based Sustainable Integrated Regional Development in Reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq (report commissioned by Global Strategy Institute, Center of Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.), 2005.

 

Water and Peace in the Middle East: A Regional Perspective, The Fourth Biennial International Conference on Intercultural Research: Conflict, Negotiation and Mediation across Cultures, International Academy for Intercultural Research, Kent, Ohio, U.S.A., 2005.

 

The Tigris and Euphrates River Basins: A New Look at Development, Future Watch, Global Strategy Institute, Center of Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., USA, 5 June 2005.

 

Water for Food Security: Southeastern Anatolia Project-A Model for Integrated Development, International Regional Symposium on "Water for Human Survival", International Water Resources Association and Central Board of Irrigation and Power of India, New Delhi, India, 2002.

 

Regional Development Based on Water Resources, invited Paper, 27th Hydraulic Conference on Water and Economy, Hydrotechnique Society of France, Paris, France, 2002.

 

Toward a holistic approach to water management: lessons learned in the GAP Experience, 3rd International Symposium on Environmental Hydraulics (ISEH), Arizona State University, U.S.A., 2001.

 

World Water: Problems and Solutions, 1st National Irrigation Congress, Irrigation Society of Turkey, Antalya, Turkey, 2001.

 

Southeastern Turkey: Sustainable Development and Foreign Investment, OECD-China Conference on Foreign Direct Investment in China’s Regional Development, Xi'an, China, 2001.

 

Hydropower Development in an Underdeveloped Region: Sustainable Development in Southeastern Turkey, Power Engineering Society Meeting, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Vancouver, Canada, 2001.

 

Turkish Experience in Sustainable Regional Development, Regional Issues, Water and Life for 21st Century, 2nd World Water Forum, Hague, The Netherlands, 2000.

 

Regional Socioeconomic Development and Water, Averting a Water Crisis in the Middle East: Make Water a Medium of Cooperation rather than Conflict, Green Cross International and UNESCO Joint Workshop, Paris, France, 1998.

 

Innovative Approaches in Integrated Sustainable Regional Development, World Water: Financing for the Future, International Herald Tribune Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 1997.

 

Optimal Control Approaches for Sedimentation and Flood Control in Rivers, Proceedings of Joint US/Korea Seminar on Reduction of Natural and Environmental Disasters in Water Environment, Seoul, Korea, with C Carriaga and L W Mays, 1995.

 

Innovations in Water Resources Development in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) of Turkey, invited paper, in Conference: Water as an Element of Cooperation and Development in the Middle East, Hacettepe University and Friedrich-Naumann Foundation of Germany, Ankara, Turkey, 1993.

 

Land Use Planning and GAP, 4th Congress on Mapping, invited paper, Chambers of Surveying Engineers of Turkey, in Turkish, Ankara Turkey, 1993.

 

A Monte Carlo model for evaluation of medium-term reservoir operation, American Water Resources Association, National Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A., 1987.

 

Real-Time Flood Forecasting and Optimal Multireservoir Operation, with L W Mays, International Association for Hydraulic Research, Annual Meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1987.

 

Implementation and Overview of a Real-Time Flood Management Model for the Highland Lakes, Proc. Symposium on Engineering Hydrology, A.S.C.E., Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A., 1987 (with R Frithiof).

 

Development and Calibration of a Real-Time Flood Forecasting and Management Model, Proc. 1987 National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, A.S.C.E., Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A.,1987, (with L W Mays).

 

Optimal Control Model for Real-Time Multireservoir Operation, Joint National Meeting of The Institute of Management Sciences and Operations Research Society of America, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A., 1987.

Summer 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
ERM 593Applied Project
Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
ERM 428Intl Environmental Management
ERM 528Intl Environmental Management
ERM 592Research
ERM 593Applied Project
EGR 792Research
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
ERM 494Special Topics
ERM 540Intl Environmental Law/Policy
ERM 598Special Topics
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
ERM 428Intl Environmental Management
ERM 528Intl Environmental Management
ERM 592Research
EGR 792Research
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ERM 494Special Topics
ERM 598Special Topics
Honors / Awards: 

• Fellow, International Water Resources Association, Illinois, U.S., elected in 2000

• Science Fellow/Scholar, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1981-1984

• Honor Fellow, Turkish Scientific & Technical Research Council, 1981-1987

• European Visionary, featured by the Time Magazine in the 1998-1999 Special Winter Issue on Europe (“Visions of Europe”) as one of the 19 European visionaries.

  https://www.academia.edu/2411651/Time_Magazine_piece_December_1998

• Featured in New York Times’ May 29, 1997 issue.

https://www.academia.edu/2411587/New_York_Times_article_by_Stephen_Kinzer_May_29_1997

 

Editorships: 

Associate Editor

Water-Smart Food Production (Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems), 2020 to date

 

Editorial Boards 

• Water Security Journal, Elsevier, 2017 to date

• Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems (Water-Smart Food Production specialty section), 2020 to date

• Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, University of Kassel, Germany, 2017 to date

• International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax, 1998 to 2004

• Hydro Review Worldwide, PenWell, 1997 to 2002

 

Guest Editor

• Water, MDPI, 2021

• Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 2021

• Resources, MDPI, 2019

• International Journal of Water Resources Development, Carfax, Vol 13, 1997

Professional Associations: 

PROFESSIONAL/SCIENTIFIC GROUPS, PROGRAMS AND SOCIETIES

Water Security Coalition

Member, 2021 to date

Convened/hosted by Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.


'Human Right 2 Water

Member, 2020 to date

Geneva, Switzerland 

 

Water Policy Group

Member, 2019 to date 

http://waterpolicygroup.com 

Convened/hosted by Univesity of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 

 

World Water Council

Member, Board of Governors, 1995-2005 and 2015 to March 2019

Treasurer, elected by Board of Governors, 2000-2003

Chairman, Finance Committee, elected by Board of Governors, 1998-2000

 

Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation (ETIC)

Founder and Coordinator, 2005-2007

ETIC is a riparian initiative of scholars from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey with a mission to mobilize collective expertise, catalyze processes and develop appropriate partnerships to encourage regional cooperation and development to improve the quality of life for the people of the Euphrates-Tigris Region.

 

International Water Resources Association

Vice President for the Europe and Middle East Region, elected by General Assembly, 2004-2006

Secretary General, elected by General Assembly, 2001-2003

 

International Hydropower Association

Council Member, elected by General Assembly, 1997-2000

 

Club of Tokyo, Japan, 2000-2004

Member

 

Black Sea Economic Cooperation Foundation of the U.S., Washington, D.C.

Member of Agribusiness Council, 1997-2002

 

 

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History: 
  • Currently advises a Ph.D. and an M.S. student, mentors an upper level student at Arizona State University.
  • Doctoral committee member for Ph.D. student from Egypt, enrolled in University of Kassel, Germany. Urban water security, urban water management. 2020.
  • Ph.D. student from Finland, enrolled in Aalto University, Finland. Water scarcity, food supply, food loss and waste. 2019.
  • Ph.D. student from Spain, enrolled in University of Madrid, Spain. Water implications of actual dietary trends in Spain vs Mediterranean Diet. 2018.
  • M.S. student from Indonesia, enrolled in University of Kassel, Germany. Water productivity of irrigated and rainfed rice in Southeast Asian countries. 2018.
Work History: 

Professor of Practice, Arizona State University, Fall 2020 to date

Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School, Environmental and Resource Management Program 

• Teaches upper level and graduate level courses “Water and Food Security”, “International Environmental Management”, “International Environmental Law and Policy”, and “Soils & Groundwater Contamination”.

• Supervises, guides, and mentors students.

• Collaborates with various groups in research and outreach.

 

Senior Water Advisor, 14 April 2019 to 30 September 2020 and May 2021 to date

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

• Strategic advice and review for the flagship report State of Land and Water Resources in Food and Agriculture, 2021.

• Advice for Project Improved Water Governance in Azerbaijan.

• Provided advice on strategic issues regarding water and sustainable development; climate change and natural resource management; water efficiency and agricultural productivity; water and tenure, migration, nutrition and sustainable intensification.

 

Vice Chair, UN-Water August 2018 to October 2020

(UN-Water is the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related matters, including sanitation)

• Led, on behalf of the Chair, Joint Steering Group, which is responsible for all operational matters of UN-Water, work and budget planning, and implementation of the decisions.

• Oversaw UN-Water Technical Advisory Unit and preparations for decisions of strategic importance for consideration by UN-Water Members at the bi-annual SPM Meetings.

• Ensured the incorporation of regional, sub-regional and country perspectives in the work of UN-Water.

• Liaised with the stakeholders and resource partners and represented the Chair in UN and other platforms.

 

Deputy Director, Land and Water Division, 13 September 2013-28 February 2019

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

• Led a multi sectoral team of water, land, soil, and biodiversity professionals; manages a diverse portfolio of programmes and projects in water and land resources; and provides coordination among various technical units and organizations. 

• Served as a member of FAO SDG team.

• Conducted the biennial work planning, annual implementation program, and reporting of the Division according to the strategic objectives of FAO, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. 

• Coordinated the climate change related water, land, soil, and ecosystem work and reviewed the adaptation and mitigation outcomes.

• Planned, coordinated and monitored capacity development programs, courses, and webinars. 

• Responsible for the multi-stakeholder partnership WASAG (Global Framework on Water Scarcity in a Changing Climate), and the FAO Water Platform.

• Supervised over 40 professionals and covered an annual budget of USD 5.5 million and an extrabudgetary portfolio of over USD 25 million.

• Represented FAO and UN-Water in global forums, international organizations, boards and committees. 

 

Coordinator, the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP); and Director, UNESCO Programme Office for Global Water Assessment, Paris, France, May 2007-June 2009 and Perugia, Italy, June 2009-September 2013

• Transformed project-based assessment work into an established program with in-house capability and led the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, establishing strong partnerships and coordination with UN agencies, non-UN institutions and stakeholders.

• Led the preparation of the United Nations World Water Development Reports (WWDR) and produced WWDR 3 (2009), WWDR 4 (2012) and WWDR 5 (2014).  

• Supervised and guided PCCP, the transboundary water resources cooperation program of UNESCO and helped advance the mutual understanding, cooperation and solidarity between countries and stakeholders in transboundary basins, through joint activities and capacity development programs.

• Established an intersectoral dialogue series of publications providing further breadth to WWDR in food, energy, environment and health; a specialization series providing in-depth knowledge in water resources, water services and hydrology; and developed the World Water Futures Programme (now implemented by IIASA).

• Served on the Task Group that developed the draft texts for SDG 6 and provided assistance to the UN Technical Support Team (TST) in finalizing the SDG 6.

• Supervised all relevant administrative and managerial activities and 19 full-time individuals and 14-20 consultants.

• Managed an annual, regular budget of USD 4 million, and an extrabudgetary portfolio of USD 800,000.

 

Visiting Distinguished Professor of Water Resources, August 2004 to May 2007

Kent State University, Ohio

• Developed and implemented international projects and research, which included establishing and leading ETIC, Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation, a Track 2 initiative covering Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran; a capacity building programme for Iraqi water sector; collaborative capacity building of water managers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; and a series of dialogue events between the officials, professionals and academics, and business people from the riparian countries of the Euphrates-Tigris basin.

• Established and coordinated a core, lead group of academics from the Euphrates-Tigris riparian countries.

• Raised and managed the equivalent of USD 400,000 from UNESCO, US Department of State and Bahcesehir University of Turkey.

 

Senior Advisor, July 2003 to August 2004

Prime Minister's Office, State Planning Organization, Ankara, Turkey

• Provided advice on matters regarding water resources, sustainable development, and international water and cooperation issues.

 

President, May 1991 to July 2003

Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, Ankara, Turkey

• Transformed an infrastructure project consisting of dams, power plants, and irrigation systems into a socioeconomic development program, which entailed planning, coordination and monitoring of activities in agriculture, energy, transport-telecom, industry, health, education, and urban-rural infrastructure, and business development with a sustainability focus. 

• Led the development authority of 400+ staff members, managed USD 10+ million direct annual budget allocation, raised and managed over USD 70 million and planned the allocation of USD 100-500 million worth of investments annually.

• Transformed a small planning unit into a development agency which included engineers of various disciplines, city and regional planners, environmentalists, economists, and sociologists among others. 

• Raised over USD 70 million from the European Union, governments of Switzerland, U.S.A., Japan, Canada, and France; UNDP, UNICEF and various international organizations; and foundations and charities such as Packard Humanities Institute, Rotary, and National Science Foundation.  Led the development of the sustainable development definition and norms for GAP, established its multi-sector program and managed its implementation. Initiated special projects to improve the status of women, for the sustainable use of natural resources, and to support entrepreneurship development. Initiated cooperative programs with counterpart organizations from countries such as Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Israel, U.S.A., Italy, and France. Received awards and mention nationally and internationally. 

• Featured in the Time Magazine as a European visionary and in the New York Times.

 

Regional Director, November 1989 to May 1991

Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, Sanliurfa, Turkey 

• The founding Regional Director of the Development Administration. 

• Established the monitoring and evaluation scheme for natural resource development projects, indicators for investments and economic development; set up partnerships with local and regional public entities, municipalities, and NGOs. 

• Supervised the social and economic development efforts as well as water resources programs; provided public policy support to the Government.

• Managed 20+ employees.

 

Water Resources Specialist, August 1988 to November 1989

Prime Minister's Office, State Planning Organization, Sanliurfa, Turkey

• Established a monitoring an evaluation system for water resources development and supervised the water resources, irrigation, energy and environment components of the GAP Master Plan Study.  

• Managed a team of 5 specialists.

 

Water Resources Engineer, June 1986 to June 1988

Lower Colorado River Authority, Austin, Texas, United States of America

Developed simulation and optimization models and their respective computer programs for the management of the Lower Colorado River, which entailed the operations of six dams, five hydropower plants, irrigation water for 100,000 acres, environmental flows, cooling water for a nuclear power plant and water supply. Also developed rainfall-runoff models for the river basin; linked the models; and installed, tested and calibrated the computer programs; assisted in real-time flood operations, and prepared post-flood report of benefits of computer-aided flood management.

 

Research Assistant and Research Associate, January 1984 to May 1986

The University of Texas at Austin

River and reservoir modelling, water resources management, rainfall-runoff modelling.

 

Project Engineer, September 1979 to May 1980

Metropolitan Municipality of Ankara, Turkey

Urban sewerage; modelling and calibration of rainwater drainage and wastewater collection networks. 

 

Service: 

• Member, PRIMA Scientific Evaluation Committee, Horizon 2020, European Union, 2020

• Evaluation Committee Member, EXPO 2020, Dubai, Best Practices Award, 2019-2020

• Jury Member, Stockholm Water Prize, SIWI, 2010-2015

• Jury Member, Water for Life Best Practices Award, UN-Water, 2011-2013

• Jury Member, World Irrigation and Drainage Prize, ICID, 2016-2019

Consulting: 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

• Strategic advice and review for the flagship report State of Land and Water Resources in Food and Agriculture.

• Advice for Project Improved Water Governance in Azerbaijan.

• Provided advice on strategic issues regarding water and sustainable development; climate change and natural resource management; water efficiency and agricultural productivity; water and tenure, migration, nutrition and sustainable intensification.

UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrology Programme (IHP), Paris, France

Strategic advice and support for the development of the IHP IX Phase Operational Implementation Plan

EQT Partners Fund Management GmbH, Munich, Germany

• Expert advice on desalination and water use projections.
 

State University of New York (SUNY)

• External evaluation of the U.S. Department of State-funded project "SUNY- Turkish Higher Education Council Dual Degree Program".

 

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C. 

• Water and socioeconomic development options for Afghanistan.

 

U.S. Department of State

• Joint capacity development program for mid-level water managers from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France

• Development and implementation of a track-two collaboration initiative for the Euphrates-Tigris Basin.

 

U.S. Department of State

• Strategic advice for Iraqi water sector reform and capacity development.

 

Municipality of Ankara, Turkey

• Planning and design of rainwater and wastewater collection network.

 

Su-Is Consultants, Ankara, Turkey

• Computer model and computer code for urban water distribution networks.

 

Board: 

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Structured Doctoral Program

Advisory Board Member, 2018 to date

Agricultural University of Georgia and Kassel University (Germany) joint program

 

Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)

Observer in Food and Water Sub-Network, 2018-2019

Founded in 1991, UNIMED is an association of 112 Universities from 23 countries on both shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Water for food is a priority area and the theme for one of its seven sub-networks.

 

Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management (S2S)

Steering Committee Member, 2017-2019

Hosted and supported by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the SDS Action Platform was launched in 2014 as a multi-stakeholder initiative to help freshwater, coastal and marine experts connect and engage in collaborative projects, promote best practices, and take collaborative action to improve the management of land, water, coastal and marine linkages. 

 

Water Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) of European Commission 

Advisory Board Member, 2016-2019

Water JPI is one of the ten JPIs developed by the EC in 2008 as a means to advance the formation and realization of the “European Research Area” in responding to the ‘Grand Challenges’. Water JPI is composed of 22 member and 3 observer countries and the European Commission.

 

CGIAR Water, Land and Ecosystems Program (WLE)

Steering Committee Member, 2014-2019

Led by International Water Management Institute, and partnered by 11 CGIAR institutes and FAO, WLE is a global research-for-development program working through partnerships to provide sustainable solutions for people and societies.

 

FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT)

Steering Committee Member, 2013-2019

VGGT supports countries to achieve food security for all and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

 

World Water Council

Member, Board of Governors, 1995-2005 and 2015-2019

Treasurer, elected by Board of Governors, 2000-2003

Chairman, Finance Committee, elected by Board of Governors, 1998-2000

 

Kalpasar Development Project, Government of Gujarat, India

Expert Advisory Committee Member, 2003-2006

Provided expert policy advice as to the social and environmental aspects of development.

 

International Water Resources Association

Vice President for the Europe and Middle East Region, elected by General Assembly, 2004-2006

Secretary General, elected by General Assembly, 2001-2003

 

Black Sea Economic Cooperation Foundation of the U.S., Washington, D.C.

Member of Agribusiness Council, 1997-2002

 

12th World Water Congress, International Water Resources Association

Chair, International Steering Committee, Delhi, India, November 2005.

 

G20 2020: Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All

Observer, Agriculture and Water Ministers Meeting. September 2020. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Speaker and observer, Water Deputies Meetings. July-September 2020. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Industry Positions: 

Adjunct Industry Fellow, Griffith University, Australia, December 2020 to date

Australian Rivers Institute