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Centre for Water Research

The Centre for Water Research (CWR) is an interdisciplinary initiative at IISER Pune formed in November 2020. It draws upon expertise from faculty across different departments at the institute.

CWR aims to generate interdisciplinary knowledge about water systems, including their history and heritage, resource management and sustainable use, and to train the next generation of scholars to look at water from an integrated/multi-dimensional lens. CWR also provides a platform for IISER Pune to engage in socially relevant research that will have impact on public policy and action. CWR will engage in research, teaching/training and outreach. Activities at CWR are primarily undertaken by the faculty along with their students and external collaborators.

Research at CWR looks at fundamental and applied aspects of water management, including the hydroclimate of South Asia, river basin management, water quality, environmental flows, livelihoods and water use across sectors (agricultural, domestic, industrial), historical/cultural aspects and water institutions/policy. Research output will be in the form of dissertations, peer reviewed publications and popular articles.

An advisory group comprising of water scholars and practitioners based in Pune and elsewhere provides inputs to CWR in its research and outreach. The advisory group members include Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni, Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Prof. James Wescoat, Mr. K. J. Joy, Prof. Margreet Zwarteveen and Ms. Shailaja Deshpande. 

The Science Activity Centre (SAC) at IISER Pune partners with CWR in outreach activities.

The Living Waters Museum (LWM) is part of the CWR. Launched in 2017, the Living Waters Museum is a virtual repository curating visual narratives on our water heritage: natural, built and cultural. Engaging youth through storytelling, the creative arts and interactive digital media, the Museum is a member of the Global Network of Water Museums, endorsed by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrology Program as a special initiative towards SDG 6. Building off its work in Mumbai (www.confluence.mumbaiwaternarratives.in), the Museum is currently documenting changing urban waterscapes in Pune and Kolkata, working in collaborative partnerships to visualise the growing socio-ecological challenges facing our everyday lives around water.

For more information on CWR, write to Dr. Bejoy K. Thomas at bejoy@iiserpune.ac.in 

LWM welcomes expressions of interest to develop new content: please contact Dr. Sara Ahmed sara.ahmed@iiserpune.ac.in or livingwatersmuseum@gmail.com

Core Faculty Members

  • Bejoy K. Thomas (Chair, CWR)
    Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Deepak Barua
    Biology & Data Science
  • Sara Ahmed
    Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Amrita Hazra
    Chemistry & Biology
  • Gyana Ranjan Tripathy
    Earth and Climate Science
  • Shalini Sharma
    Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Aparna Deshpande
    Physics (also Science Activity Centre)
  • Joy Merwin Monteiro
    Earth and Climate Science
  • Argha Banerjee
    Earth and Climate Science
  • Pushkar Sohoni
    Humanities and Social Sciences &
    Data Science
  • Sharachchandra Lele
    Humanities and Social Sciences