Photo: G.M.B. Akash

Water management and Climate Change adaptation in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia

Societal resilience to climate change and water insecurity through strengthened education and research on water and society.

Project title: Water and Society (WaSo-Asia) – Water management and Climate Change adaptation in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia


Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia are countries which are heavily dependent on sound water management and they are also some of the countries most severely affected by climate changes. Shared challenges relate to water and population increase, urbanisation and industrialisation.

All three countries need water specialists to meet key challenges such as the need for Integrated Water Resources Management, water supply and sanitation and adaptation to climate change.

Currently there exist few graduate programs related to water and sanitation in the region and there is a lack of water specialists that can inform policy on these issues.

There is therefore a strong need to build institutional capacity within these countries to do policy and livelihoods relevant research on water, society and climate change adaption from a basis of cross-disciplinary and gender sensitive research.

A holistic approach to climate change research, water and society

University of Peradeniya, will in collaboration with the University of Jaffna and two regional universities  Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and Institute of Technology of Cambodia, in partnership with Telemark University College and the University of Life Sciences in Norway, join different disciplines from meteorology to humanities and social science to take a holistic and gender sensitive approach to resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation research with special reference to water and society.

The project aims to strengthen capacity among the institutions to teach, research and supervise students on water and climate issues. Master and PhD courses on traditional water engineering disciplines will be strengthened with climate change perspectives. Staff fellows at the institutions in the south will exchange to the partner universities in the region to benefit from each institution’s strong competence within their field.

Cooperation and synergies with the WaSo-Africa 

The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the WaSo- sister project in Africa (WaSo-Africa), also supported by NORHED. The two projects will share experiences in solving common challenges within, and unique comparative studies between, the two South- South continents.

Key goals and achievements

Overall goal

Build supervisory and Graduate/Post-Graduate programme content capacity at participating institutions within water and society (climate change) related disciplines. 

The objectives of the project are

  1. Education: More and better qualified graduates relevant to needs of the country/region; Increased capacity to deliver high quality education in priority disciplines and regional/international collaboration in education strengthened.
  2. Research: More and better research relevant to country/region; Increased capacity to deliver relevant and high quality research and regional/international collaboration in PhD and research increased and improved.
  3. Institutional development: Appropriate infrastructures, policies and systems to ensure sustainable capacity to educate and research; Institutional policies in place to ensure gender balance and anti-discrimination, and retention of staff; Administrative and financial systems up to date and adequate.
Published 01.07.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 18 million NOK

Contact persons for the project