Project properties

Title Water Scarcity
Group Water Systems and Global Change
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Inge de Graaf (
Samuel Sutanto (
Raffaele Vignola (
Fulco Ludwig (
Bram Droppers (
Lisanne Nauta (
Examiner(s) Carolien Kroeze
Contact info Maria del Pozo (
Mengru Wang (
Begin date 2021/03/01
End date
Description Theme introduction

Fresh Water is one of our most valuable resources on earth. It fuels our food production and our industry and we cannot exist without it. The availability of sufficient clean water is essential for people and natural ecosystems and is a key issue in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. In many regions worldwide the availability of clean water is at risk as a result of population growth, economic developments and climate change. In the coming decades, water demands will increase further and climate change is likely to intensify the water cycle, changing our dependencies on surface and groundwater. To ensure that sufficient clean water is available for natural ecosystems it is necessary to define accurately how much water is needed to sustain ecosystem services. Water scarcity challenges will arise in the availability of resources as well as the governance of these resources

Projects & possibilities for students

The WSG group is working on water scarcity from many different angles. We are interested in model development and data analysis (Inge de Graaf, Bram Droppers, Lisanne Nauta, Fulco Ludwig, Samuel Sutanto) as well as the link between models and governance (Raffaele Vignola).

We are, for example, improving current hydrological models by including groundwater flow and environmental flow requirements in the assessments of future water stress, linking water and future food security and we are including data of these hydrological models in a global climate service. We are also interested in analysing the occurrences of drought and heatwaves as single and/or as compound events, including forecasting and projection of these extreme events and we Link water scarcity and drought events with their impacts. Additionally we want to see how models can support governance decisions and how governance actors can help improve models.

We are looking for students with a variety of interests for example (but not limed by) in model development and testing, case study analysis on model and governance questions and in combining modelling with social science.

For this topic there are possibilities in The Netherlands and abroad.

Please refer to the water quality posters or for water scarcity & water quality questions

Used skills Possible methods used in the thesis:
- Model conceptualization & development
- Indicator development & analysis
- Sensitivity analysis
- Scenario analysis
- Data processing & analysis
- Field studies & experiments
- Case study analysis
- Policy document analysis
- Social network analysis
- Interviews, surveys & focus groups
- Mixed methods