Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science

Promoting development through good water governance

On this page

We are an interdisciplinary centre for research linked to fresh water, with a particular interest in the connections between law, policy and science. The Centre seeks to create an active community of water researchers from across the University of Dundee and Scotland more broadly.

As the UK’s only United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Category 2 Centre, we work internationally on some of the world’s most urgent problems across multiple sectors and environments and maintain links to an international network of water scholars.

We were established in 2008 by agreement between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UK Government, in partnership with the Scottish Government and University of Dundee.

We also provide a hub for Associate researchers across Scotland working on issues connected to fresh water.


Our core funding comes from the Scottish Government under its Hydro Nation programme. We compete for external grant income from diverse sources, including national and international donor agencies, Governments, UN organisations, research councils, and non-governmental organisations.


The Centre falls under UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), as a water-related UNESCO category 2 centre. We report biannually to the UNESCO IHP against its strategic objectives, linked to water research and management, and related education and capacity building.

Governing Board

The Governing Board oversees and guides the activities of the Centre. Ordinarily, it meets once a year. The board consists of senior water and development advisors, and includes representatives of the Scottish Government, UNESCO IHP, the University of Dundee and the UK Committee for International Hydrology.

Governing Board members

Name Role
Dr Rahmah Elfithri UNESCO IHP
Jon Rathjen Scottish Government
Professor Harry Dixon CEH
Professor Toshio Koike UNESCO ICHARM
Dr Christina Leb World Bank
Dr Katharine Vincent Kulima Integrated Development Solutions (Director)
Professor Jeff Blackford Convener & SHSSL Dean
Professor Sue Dawson Research Lead, EES
Professor Sarah Hendry Head of Dundee Law School
Professor John Rowan Director



See our blog for more information about our research, and commentary on issues related to water
Read our blog