United Nations University Water Network

Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan, IWMI, Creative Commons  BY-NC-ND 2.0
Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan, IWMI, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Our Work on Water

Water is a core component of sustainable development, inherently linking livelihoods, ecosystems, populations, and infrastructure. Access to water and the management of water resources, services, and hazards significantly determine the state of human and environmental health, food and energy security, socio-economic prosperity, and peace.

The United Nations University (UNU) focuses its water-related research on the needs of low and middle-income countries as they pursue action plans for sustainable development. The UNU Water Network combines the complementary expertise and diverse geographical experience of UNU researchers to guide policy development, technical problem-solving, natural resource planning, and new technologies that help countries achieve water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Upcoming Events

Recent Publications

Visit UNU Collections for more water-related publications.

Featured Articles

Join the Conversation on Water​

Comprehensive coverage of water-related research, commentary, and events across the UNU system on Twitter.

Visit the UNU Expert directory for a full list of UNU water researchers.

Research Projects


By addressing the gap between theoretical technical capabilities and actual application in socio-political and cultural environments, this project is developing a framework to facilitate the uptake of smart reuse of wastewater resources, and to serve as an assessment mechanism for companies to integrate these techniques in their value chains.


This project contributes evidence to guide policymaking on water’s critical role in abating environmental health risks for a range of preventable diseases, especially among vulnerable populations whose rights to health and water, sanitation, and hygiene are constrained.


Rural areas in Asia often find their economic activity tied to watersheds. This interdisciplinary project is investigating the role of water in society, economy, and the natural environment to scientifically demonstrate how the achievement of the SDGs, especially SDG 6, will contribute to regional development.


In crisis situations, maintaining the operation of health and care facilities is essential to ensure public safety and crisis management. This project is working to improve strategies for the risk management of health care facilities, especially with regard to a failure of water supply and disposal.