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Large agencies such as the World Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United Nations, regional development banks (such as the Asian Development Bank), and philanthropic organizations (such as the Rockefeller Foundation) are actively engaged in water resources development in low-income countries. Why? And what metrics do they use to decide if the investments of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in water infrastructure projects are justified? And what accommodations do they tend to make for risks such as climate change? And what attention do they tend to give to questions of equity? I probably have no idea. But I’ve worked with many of these agencies for a decade or so, and I’ll give you what I know, and raise questions for discussion. I’ll plan to use two examples, primarily: Mexico City rural-urban water transfers, and hydropower development in Nepal.


This is Part 5 (of 5) for the Managing Infrastructure with Deep Uncertainty Discussion Series.

Bio-- Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He is a specialist in the development and application of numerical models of the integrated hydro-economic system for risk management under the uncertainty of climate (and other) change. He was the lead author of the World Bank’s 2015 Decision Tree for Confronting Climate Uncertainty in Water Resources Planning and Project Design, and a primary scientific contributor to the International Hydropower Association’s 2019 Climate Resilience Guide, the California Department of Water Resources’ 2019 Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, and UNESCO’s 2018 Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis. He is a past chair of the Environmental and Water Resources Systems (EWRS) Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and was named the 2018 A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional of the American Water Resources Association. His PhD is from Tufts University, and his postdoctoral work was conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in the Hydrosystems Research Group.