Global Water Forum: Emerging Scholars Essay Winners

The Global Water Forum announced the winners of its emerging scholars essay contest today. Here are the abstracts, they can all be read freely here:

Emerging Scholars Award


Announcement and publication of finalists

The Global Water Forum Editorial Team would like to thank all of the participants in the 2012 GWF Emerging Scholars Award. Congratulations to the recipient of the Award’s First Prize: Dr. Edward Spang of the University of California, Davis. We would also like to congratulate Christos Makridis (Stanford University) and Adam Abramson (Ben Gurion University of the Negev), recipients of Second Prize and Third Prize respectively, as well as the other finalists. The entries of the top 3 Prize recipients and those of the other top 10 finalists can be found below.


First Prize

A thirst for power: A global analysis of water consumption for energy production
Edward Spang
University Of California, Davis, United States

Understanding the water demand of energy systems is fundamental to overall national water security. This study develops and applies the first water consumption indicator for national-level energy systems.

Second Prize

Multilateral water governance: Prospects for transboundary water banking
Christos Makridis
Stanford University, United States

The emergence of policy instruments that optimize the outcomes from transboundary water governance is a pressing concern. This article considers the conditions and market design elements of a transboundary water bank along the Colorado River.

Third Prize

Outlining a transition from cost-effective to productive rural water service improvements
Adam Abramson
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Most remote water interventions use the cheapest available means for providing improved water services: the borehole water pump. This study shows however that higher-yielding pumping approaches provide superior returns on investment.

Other finalists (alphabetical order) 

Securing the future of India’s “Water, energy and food”
Naresh Devineni & Shama Perveen
Columbia University, United States

India’s water, energy, and food production systems are being subjected to increasing stress. This study consider the design of an efficient Indian food procurement system that considers climate, groundwater needs, and varying regional productivity of crops.

Unpacking water conflict in Guanacaste, Costa Rica: Why some conflicts escalate, why some remain intractable, and why we can be optimistic about the future 
Christopher Kuzdas
Arizona State University, United States

The most intense water conflicts usually occur within sub-national or sub-regional contexts. This article examines the drivers of regional water conflicts in Costa Rica.

Breaking up water monopolies: Costs and benefits
Alexandros Maziotis
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Italy

This study looks at vertical and horizontal integration in the English and Welsh water industries, showing that there is no reason why water and sewage industries should necessarily be integrated.

Opening the black box of River Basin Organizations
Susanne Schmeier
Earth System Governance Project and MRC-GIZ Cooperation Programme, Lao PDR

This article provides a baseline analysis of how the institutional design of River Basin Organizations can vary, and why this is important for transboundary water governance.


Leveraging carbon financing to enable accountable water treatment programs
Evan Alexander Thomas
Portland State University, United States

This article outlines the technical premise and policy considerations concerning the first Clean Development Mechanism project to finance rural water treatment.


Water supply and sanitation in India: Meeting targets and beyond
Sridhar Vedachalam
Cornell University, United States

Despite India’s progress on the water-related Millenium Development Goals there remain significant disparities and shortcomings, particularly with regards to sanitation.


Big is beautiful: Megadams, African water security, and China’s role in the new global political economy
Harry Verhoeven
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

This article looks at the role of dams in development and energy production arguing that their impact on water security is deeply questionable.


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