Policy Briefs

2021 (coming soon)

Cooperation and joint investments are key to sustainable development in the Indus basin. Achieving sustainable development in the Indus basin will strongly depend on the capacity of riparian countries to realize the opportunities that arise when cooperation and joint investments across sectors and countries are embraced.

Sustainable development pathways to water, food, and energy security in the Zambezi basin. The Zambezi basin has enough resources to meet its development targets but doing so sustainably will require making strategic choices that deviate from the prevailing development paradigm and investing in the outstanding natural capital of riparian countries.


Between 1.5°C and 2°C – the big impacts of half a degree. ISWEL research shows substantial benefits of climate mitigation and achieving the 1.5°C target, as well as where the action is most urgently required to reduce the vulnerability of the world’s poorest to unavoidable climate impacts.


Tool Guidelines

Guidebook for designing and running face-to-face and online participatory scenario workshops. A practical and step-by-step instruction to designing and running participatory workshops to co-design sustainability pathways. This guideline comes along with additional materials, including tips for moderators, participants, and a tutorial for developing an online platform using MIRO.

Scientific Papers


Vinca, A., Parkinson, S., Riahi, K., Byers, E., Siddiqi, A., Muhammad, A., Ilyas, A., Yogeswaran, N., Willaarts, B., Magnuszewski, P. and Awais, M. (2020). Transboundary cooperation a potential route to sustainable development in the Indus basin. Nature Sustainability, pp.1-9. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-020-00654-7.

Burek P., Satoh Y., Kahil T., Tang, T., Greve P., Smilovic M., Guillaumot L., Zhao, F., & Wada, Y. (2020). Development of the Community Water Model (CWatM v1.04) – a high-resolution hydrological model for global and regional assessment of integrated water resources management, Geosciences Model Development Discussions, 13, 3267–3298, DOI:10.5194/gmd-13-3267-2020, 2020.


Wang, M., Tang, T., Burek, P., Havlík, P., Krisztin, T., Kroeze, C., Leclère, D., Strokal, M., Wada, Y., Wang, Y. and Langan, S (2019). Increasing nitrogen export to sea: A scenario analysis for the Indus River. Science of the Total Environment 694: e133629. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133629.

Kahil, T., Albiac, J., Fischer, G., Strokal, M., Tramberend, S., Greve, P., Tang, T., Burek, P., Burtscher, R. and Wada, Y (2019). A nexus modeling framework for assessing water scarcity solutions. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 40: 72-80. DOI:10.1016/j.cosust.2019.09.009.

Wada, Y., Vinca, A., Parkinson, S., Willaarts, B.A., Magnuszewski, P., Mochizuki, J., Mayor, B., Wang, Y., Burek, P., Byers, E. and Riahi, K (2019). Co-designing Indus Water-Energy-Land Futures. One Earth DOI:10.1016/j.oneear.2019.10.006.

Pastor A, Palazzo A , Havlik P, Biemans H, Wada Y , Obersteiner M , Kabat P, & Ludwig F (2019). The global nexus of food–trade–water sustaining environmental flows by 2050. Nature Sustainability DOI:10.1038/s41893-019-0287-1.

Johnson N, Burek P , Byers E , Falchetta G, Flörke M, Fujimori S, Havlik P, Hejazi M, et al. (2019). Integrated Solutions for the Water-Energy-Land Nexus: Are Global Models Rising to the Challenge? Water 11 (11): 2223. DOI:10.3390/w11112223.

Vinca A, Parkinson S, Byers E , Burek P , Khan Z, Krey V , Diuana F, Wang Y, et al. (2019). The Nexus Solutions Tool (NEST): An open platform for optimizing multi-scale energy-water-land system transformations. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions: 1-33. DOI:10.5194/gmd-2019-134.

Mayor Rodriguez B (2019). Growth patterns in mature desalination technologies and analogies with the energy field. Desalination 457: 75-84. DOI:10.1016/j.desal.2019.01.029.

Tang T , Strokal M, van Vliet MTH, Seuntjens P, Burek P , Kroeze C, Langan S , & Wada Y (2019). Bridging global, basin, and local-scale water quality modeling towards enhancing water quality management worldwide. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 36: 39-48. DOI:10.1016/j.cosust.2018.10.004.


Byers E , Gidden M, Leclere D, Burek P , Ebi KL, Greve P, Grey D, Havlik P, et al. (2018). Global exposure and vulnerability to multi-sector development and climate change hotspots. Environmental Research Letters 13: e055012. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/aabf45.

Parkinson S, Krey V , Huppmann D , Kahil T , McCollum D, Fricko O , Byers E , Gidden M, et al. (2018). Balancing clean water-climate change mitigation tradeoffs. Environmental Research Letters 14 (1): e014009. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/aaf2a3.

Kahil T , Parkinson S, Satoh Y, Greve P, Burek P , Veldkamp T, Burtscher R, Byers E , et al. (2018). A continental-scale hydro-economic model for integrating water-energy-land nexus solutions. Water Resources Research DOI:10.1029/2017WR022478.

Greve P, Kahil T , Mochizuki J , Schinko T , Satoh Y, Burek P , Fischer G, Tramberend S , et al. (2018). Global assessment of water challenges under uncertainty in water scarcity projections. Nature Sustainability 1: 486-494. DOI:10.1038/s41893-018-0134-9.

Gidden M, Fujimori S, van den Berg M, Klein D, Smith SJ, van Vuuren D, & Riahi K (2018). A Methodology and Implementation of Automated Emissions Harmonization for Use in Integrated Assessment Models. Environmental Modelling & Software 105: 187-200. DOI:10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.04.002.


Vinca A , Parkinson SByers E , & Burek P  (2019)Achieving Climate-Land-Energy-Water Sustainable Development Goals in the Indus Basin. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2019, 7–12 April 2019, Vienna, Austria.

Tang T , Strokal M, Burek P , Leclere D, Kroeze C, Havlik PLangan S , & Wada Y  (2018). Increasing future human-induced nitrogen exports to rivers and sea in the Zambezi river basin. In: AGU Fall Meeting, 10-14 December 2018, Washington DC,USA.

Palazzo A , van Dijk MWillaarts BMagnuszewski PMayor Rodriguez BBurek P , Kahil T , Tang T , et al. (2018). Integrated solutions for water, energy, and land nexus management the Zambezi Basin: stakeholder engagement and modeling. In: 3rd Zambezi Basin Stakeholders’ forum: Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus for Socio-Economic Benefits in the Zambezi River Basin, 8-9 October 2018, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Tang T , Strokal M, Wada Y , Burek P , Kroeze Cvan Vliet M, & Langan S  (2018). Sources and export of nutrients in the Zambezi River basin: status and future trend. In: International Conference Water Science for Impact, 16-18 October 2018, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Byers E , Parkinson SBalkovic J , Burek P , Ebi K, Gidden M, Grey D, Greve P, et al. (2018). Global climate and development hotspots assessment: Asia under pressure. In: 5th Asian Energy Modelling Workshop, 10-12 September 2018, Singapore.

van Dijk M, You L, Mosnier AHavlik P, & Palazzo A  (2018). Generating high-resolution national crop distribution maps: Combining statistics, gridded data and surveys using an optimization approach. In: 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE), August 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Burek P (2018). Global Hydrological Model Community Water Model (CWATM). In: Indus Basin Knowledge Forum (IBKF), 31 May-2 June 2018, Laxenburg, Austria.

Langan S (2018)Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land (ISWEL). In: Indus Basin Knowledge Forum (IBKF), 31 May-2 June 2018, Laxenburg, Austria.

Willaarts Barbara (2018). Envisioning desirable pathways for the Indus Basin. In: Indus Basin Knowledge Forum (IBKF), 31 May-2 June 2018, Laxenburg, Austria.

Byers E , Gidden MLeclere DBalkovic J , Burek P , Ebi K, Grey D, Greve P, et al. (2018). Global exposure and vulnerability to multi-sector development and climate change hotspots. In: International Energy Workshop, 19-21 June 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Burek P , Kahil T , Parkinson SSatoh Y, & Wada Y  (2018). Integrated modeling for assessing water-energy-land nexus – Application of a hydrological and hydro-economic modeling framework for the Zambezi basin. In: Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2018, 20-24 May, 2018, Chiba, Japan.

Burek P , Satoh YGreve PKahil T , Byers E , Langan S , & Wada Y  (2018). Improving Water Resources Management on Global and Region Scales – Evaluating Strategies for Water Futures with the IIASA’s Community Water Model. In: American Geo-Sciences Union Fall Meeting, 11-15 December, New Orleans, USA.

Parkinson S, Kahil M, Wada Y , Krey V , Byers E , Johnson NBurek P , Satoh Y, et al. (2017). Hydro-economic modeling of integrated solutions for the water-energy-land nexus in Africa. In: AGU Fall Meeting, 11-15 December 2015, New Orleans.

Gidden MByers E , Burek P,  Ebi K, Greve PHavlik P, Hillers A, Johnson N, et al. (2017). Exposure and Vulnerability to Energy, Water, and Land Hotspots under Different Climate Futures. In: 10th Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium Meeting, December 2017.

Palazzo A , Havlik P, & van Dijk M (2017). Future energy, food, and water trade-offs in the Zambezi river basin: A model analysis of Zambia. In: Global Food Security Conference, December 2017.

Byers E , Gidden MBurek P , Leclere DPalazzo A , Parkinson SRogelj J , Satoh Y, et al. (2017). Multi-sector climate impacts assessment for water, energy and land. In: Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project Meeting, 9-10 October 2017, Potsdam, Germany.

Palazzo A , Havlik PLeclere Dvan Dijk M, & Deppermann A (2017). Hotspots in land and water resource uses on the way toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In: Impacts World Conference, 11-13 Octover 2017.

Kahil T , Parkinson SBurek P , Satoh YGreve PFischer GTramberend S , Langan S , et al. (2017). Economic costs of reducing unsustainable groundwater use: Application of IIASA global hydro-economic modeling framework. In: JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017, 20-25 May 2017, Tokyo, Japan.

Burek P , Satoh YGreve PKahil T , & Wada Y  (2017). The CommunityWater Model (CWATM) / Development of a community driven global water model. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2017, 23–28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria.

Gidden MByers E , Greve PKahil T , Parkinson S, Raptis C, Rogelj J , Satoh Y, et al. (2017). Hydroclimatic risks and uncertainty in the global power sector. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2017, 23–28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria.

Greve PKahil T , Schinko T , Mochizuki J , Satoh YBurek P , Burtscher RLangan S , et al. (2017). Global assessment of water policy vulnerability under uncertainty in water scarcity projections. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2017, 23–28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria.

Kahil T  (2017). Hydro-economic classification and modeling framework. In: IIASA Institutional Evaluation 2017, 27 February-1 March 2017, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.