Scotland is proud to host the only UNESCO category 2 Water Centre in the UK.  The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (CWLPS) was founded in the University of Dundee in 2007 under UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). It has a global reputation in research, including transboundary water governance, integrated water and coastal zone management, climate adaptation, ecosystems services, and the ground-breaking Ganga River Health Projectco-sponsored by Hydro Nation International.  The Centre has championed the IHP agenda by building frameworks for water law and policy experts, water resource managers and water scientists to work together.  Many countries and regions face challenges of developing efficient and equitable water governance systems; the Centre, together with local and global partners, can play a leading role to address these global challenges. 

For over a decade the Scottish Government has been tackling global inequality through its dedicated International Development Fund (IDF), and since 2015 has aligned its social justice imperative with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  IDF investments are strongly geared to delivering outcomes, promote adoption of best practice and focus where the biggest impact for the available budget can be achieved.  Presently, the Scottish Government reports development-related activities directly through the Scottish Voluntary National Reporting process and indirectly through similar arrangements in partner countries such as India and Malawi.  However, there is a significant opportunity and ready-made platform to raise the international profile of these contributions by formally reporting through the Centre to the IHP’s Governing Council and thus directly into the UN’s World Water Assessment Programme, as well as by networking with the UNESCO ‘family’, including the Water Chairs and other Water Centres.

The unique interdisciplinary profile and established track record of the Centre in Dundee has exceptional international reach and provides an outstanding portal to show-case and celebrate the impactful research and educational programmes emanating from Scotland’s water-related academics and for the international development initiatives supported by the Scottish Government.

Our Centre



We have a strong focus on research, providing high quality insights into water law, policy and science.



We participate in projects covering a wide variety of topics, including water governance, integrated water and coastal zone management.


Flood management

Past projects include climate change, flood management and wetland ecosystem research.



Our approach considers societal constraints and those of the human and natural world.