• What is Water Diplomacy?

    a theory and practice of implementing adaptive water management for complex water issues, developed at Tufts, MIT, and Harvard. The Water Diplomacy approach diagnoses water problems, identifies intervention points, and proposes sustainable solutions that are sensitive to diverse viewpoints and values, ambiguity and uncertainty as well as changing and competing needs.

  • Why Water Diplomacy?

    Increasingly complex water problems require negotiated solutions. Water Diplomacy teaches the skills to transform a fixed quantity of water into a flexible and sustainably shared resource. Water Diplomacy shifts the discussion from “allocation of water” to “benefit from water resources” to open up new avenues for resolving water conflicts.

  • Complex Problems Require Negotiated Solutions

    Water issues create contentious arguments over its availability, access and allocation for human needs, agricultural use, industrial development and ecosystem services. Science or policymaking alone is not sufficient. Sustainable solutions can only come from diplomacy that takes science, policy, and politics into account.

  • A Network of Water Professionals

    We are taking efforts to advance and implement the evolving theory and practice of water diplomacy through our interrelated and linked initiatives.

IGERT PhD: Preparing the Next Generation of Water Scholars

The Water Diplomacy Graduate Program at Tufts University educated doctoral students to become the next generation of teachers and scholars of water diplomacy. Supported by the Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) of the National Science Foundation, this degree taught interdisciplinary water professionals to think across boundaries, integrate explicit and tacit knowledge, and link knowledge and action from multiple perspectives to help resolve water issues through mutual-gains negotiations.

WDW: Building the Capacity of Reflective Water Professionals

The Water Diplomacy Workshop (WDW) was an annual “train-the-trainer” event from 2011 - 2017 that built the capacity of senior water managers. Through highly interactive presentations and exercises, this workshop helped participants master important water network management tools, and gain the skills needed to teach these tools to others.

RCN: Bringing Together Research and Practitioner Communities

The Research Coordination Network (RCN) is a group of researchers and practitioners who will synthesize theory and practice to address complex water problems where natural, societal, and political elements cross multiple boundaries. Supported by the National Science Foundation, this global Water Diplomacy RCN explores ways to incorporate recent developments in complexity theory and negotiations, as well as advances in social networking technology, to generate actionable knowledge for adaptive water management.

Aquapedia: Gathering and Sharing Case Studies About Water

Aquapedia is a freely accessible, managed wiki that gathers case studies of water management and water conflict. It was actively developed through 2017. This experimental approach to open-source transboundary water knowledge was created to provide reliable, relevant, and readily available water information and wisdom from users and producers of explicit and tacit water knowledge. The potentially transformative and collaborative power of AquaPedia will help make water a flexible and expandable resource.


Please join our growing community of scholars and practitioners committed to building the Water Diplomacy Network. Learn more about the network and register for updates or read the Network Blog

WDW Alumni Forum

Only Water Diplomacy Workshop participants, sponsors, and staff can take part in the private forum, where they can discuss workshop topics or download workshop materials.