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Research Professor of Environmental Policy
Adjunct Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Adjunct Research Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment
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Robert G. Varady is research professor of environmental policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He also is adjunct research professor of arid lands studies in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and adjunct professor in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.
Varady obtained his PhD in 1981 in the modern history of developing-country infrastructure from the University of Arizona, and holds MS and BS degrees in mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering) and the City College of New York, respectively.
Varady's work mostly has addressed environmental and water-management governance and policy in arid regions, with an emphasis on transboundary issues, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has studied the history of global water initiatives, transboundary aquifer governance, and water security in the Americas. He has been a consultant to UNESCO, FAO, and GEF on a number of water-related efforts, and recently led an evaluation of UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Program.
Varady has co-edited ten books, monographs, digests, edited volumes, and journal special issues; and published more than 200 essays and authored some 50 reports on water and environmental governance, policy, and history; agricultural development; information management; and transportation systems. He also has directed environmental and agricultural projects in West Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
He is past president of the International Water History Association (IWHA) and his international efforts were recognized by the University of Arizona’s 2012 Award for Excellence in Global Service.
Links to projects and programs
Links to ResearchGate and GoogleScholar
For information about the publications listed here, including how to obtain copies if you are unable to access them via the links provided, contact Robert Varady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books and journal special issues
Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. 2013. Megdal, SB, RG Varady, and S Eden, eds. Leiden: CRC Press/Balkema – Taylor & Francis Group in cooperation with UNESCO-IHE. 320 + xxii pp.
“Rethinking Integrated Assessments and Management Projects in the Americas” Special issue (Vol. 26) Environmental Science and Policy. 2013. Garfin, G, P Romero-Lankao, and RG Varady, eds. 112 pp.
Moving Forward from Vulnerability to Adaptation: Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. 2012. Wilder, M, CA Scott, N Pineda-Pablos, RG Varady, and GM Garfin, eds. 2012. Tucson: Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. 170 pp. English and Spanish.
Conservation of Shared Environments: Learning from the United States and Mexico. 2009. López-Hoffman, L, ED McGovern, RG Varady, and KW Flessa, eds. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 320p.
Articles and essays
Innovative approaches to collaborative groundwater
governance in the United States: Case studies from three high-growth regions in
the Sun Belt. 2017. Megdal, SB, Gerlak, A, Huang, L-Y, Delano, N, Varady, RG,
and Petersen-Perlman, J.
59, 5: 718-735.
Adaptive management and water security in a global context: Definitions, concepts, and examples. In press. Varady, RG, A Zuñiga-Teran, G Garfin, F Martín, and S Vicuña. In press. Special issue of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, "Environmental Change and Assessment," ed. by GM Garfin, M Wilder, and R Merideth.
Metrics for assessing adaptive capacity and water security:
Common challenges, diverging contexts, emerging consensus. 2016. Garfin, G, CA
Scott, M Wilder, RG Varady, and R Merideth. 2016. Special issue,
"Environmental Change and Assessment," of
Current Opinion in
21: 86-89. ed. by Garfin, G, Wilder, M, and Merideth,
Modes, approaches, and lessons learned: A survey of selected cases of groundwater governance across the globe. 2016. Varady, RG, AA Zuniga-Teran, AK Gerlak, and SB Megdal. In special issue, “Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management,” ed. by S Megdal, S Eden, and E Shamir. Water 8, 417: 24pp. doi:10.3390/w8100417.
Scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders plan for climate change: A promising approach in Chile’s Maipo basin. 2016. Ocampo-Melgar, A, S Vicuña, J Gironás-León, RG Varady, and CA Scott. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 58, 5 (Sept.-Oct.): 24-37.
Desalination and water security in the US–Mexico border region: assessing the social, environmental and political impacts. 2016. Wilder, MO, I Aguilar-Barajas; N Pineda-Pablos, RG Varady, SM Megdal, J McEvoy, R Merideth, AA Zúñiga-Terán, and CA Scott. Water International 41, 5: 756-75.
Transboundary groundwater governance in the Guarani Aquifer System: reflections from a survey of global and regional experts. 2015. Sugg, Z, RG Varady, AK Gerlak, and R de Grenade. Water International 40, 3: 377–400.
Groundwater governance in the United States: Common priorities and challenges. (2015) Megdal, S. B., A. K. Gerlak, R. G. Varady, and L.-Y. Huang. Groundwater 52, 1: 1-8.
Water security and adaptive management in the arid Americas. 2013. Scott, CA, FJ Meza, RG Varady, H Tiessen, J McEvoy, GM Garfin, LM Farfán, M Wilder, N Pineda Pablos. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103, 2: 280-289.
Editorial: Rethinking integrated assessments and management projects in the Americas. 2013. Garfin, GM, P Romero-Lankao, RG Varady, eds. Special issue of Environmental Science and Policy 26 (Feb.): 1-5.
Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the Western U.S.-Mexico border region. 2013. Varady, RG, CA Scott, M Wilder, B Morehouse, N Pineda, and GM Garfin. In special issue, “Rethinking Integrated Assessments and Management Projects in the Americas,” of Environmental Science and Policy 26 (Feb.): 102–112. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.006
Science-policy dialogues for water security: Addressing vulnerability and adaptation to global change in the Arid Americas. 2012. Scott, CA, RG Varady, F Meza, E Montaña, GB de Raga, B Luckman, and C Martius. Environment (May-June) 54, 3: 30-42.
Hydrosolidarity and beyond: Can ethics and equity find a place in today's water resource management? 2011. Gerlak, A, RG Varady, O Petit, and A Haverland. Water International 36(3): 251-65. doi: 10.1080/02508060.2011.586552
Adapting across boundaries: Climate change, social learning, and resilience in the U.S.-Mexico border. 2010. Wilder, M, CA Scott, N Pineda Pablos, RG Varady, GM Garfin, and J McEvoy. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(4): 917-28. doi: 10.1080/00045608.2010.500235
Ecosystem services across borders: A framework for transboundary conservation. 2010. López-Hoffman, L, RG Varady, KW Flessa, and P Balvanera. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(2): 84-91. doi: 10.1890/070216
Hydrosolidarity and international water conflict. 2009. Gerlak, AK, RG Varady, and AC Haverland. International Negotiation 14(2): 311–28. doi: 10.1163/157180609X432842
Paradigmas para la gestion del agua en el siglo XXI (Paradigms for water management in the 21st century). 2009. Varady, RG, and E McGovern. Hydria 25(October): 11–14.
Charting the emergence of "global water initiatives" in world water governance. 2009. Varady, RG, K Meehan, and E McGovern. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 34(3): 150–55.
> DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2008.06.004
Groundwater governance in the United States: A mosaic of
priorities and approaches
Megdal, SB, Zuniga Teran, A, Varady, RG, Delano, N, Gerlak, AK, and
Vimont, ET. In
Advances in Groundwater Governance, ed. by
Villholth, K, Lopez-Gunn, E, van Der Gun, J, Conti, K, and Garrido, A. Delft:
Addressing the groundwater governance challenge—A call from the “Groundwater Governance: A Global Framework for Action” Project. (in press). Varady, RG, SB Megdal, K Conti, G-J Nijsten, F Scheibler, J van der Gun, A Merla and M de Chaisemartin. In Water Governance for the 21st Century, by ed. by I. Buchan. Springer.
Gilbert Fowler White. (in press). Merideth, R, and RG Varady. In Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science, E Wohl, ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
The Santa Cruz River: Four millennia of water heritage and security in the U.S.-Mexico border region (2015) De Grenade, R. R., R. G. Varady. In Water and Heritage: Material, Conceptual and Spiritual Connections, WJH Willems and H van Schaik, eds, 371-87. Sidestone Press.
Hydrosolidarity and its place in international water diplomacy. 2014. Varady, RG, AK Gerlak, and ED McGovern. In Hydro Diplomacy: Sharing Water Across Borders, G. Pangare, ed., 23-31. Bangkok: IUCN.
Key issues, institutions, and strategies for managing transboundary water resources in the Arizona-Mexico border region. 2013. Varady, RG, R Salmón Castelo, and S Eden. In Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges, SB Megdal, RG Varady, and S Eden, eds., 35-50. Leiden: CRC Press/Balkema – Taylor & Francis with UNESCO-IHE.
Moving forward from vulnerability to adaptation: Theory, methodology, and context. 2012. Wilder, M, RG Varady, and GM Garfin. In Moving Forward from Vulnerability to Adaptation: Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, M Wilder, et al., eds., 3-16. Tucson: Udall Center.
Old and new: Changing paradigms in arid lands water management. 2009. Hutchinson, CF, RG Varady, and S Drake. In Water and Sustainability in Arid Regions: Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Social Sciences, G Schneier-Madanes and MF Courel, eds., 311–32. New York: Springer.
Transboundary conservation in context: What drives environmental change? 2009. Varady, RG, and E Ward. In Conservation of Shared Environments: Learning from the United States and Mexico, L López-Hoffman, ED McGovern, RG Varady, and KW Flessa, eds., 9-22. Tucson: University of Arizona Press
Global water initiatives: What do the experts think? Report on a survey of leading figures ... (2009) Varady, R.G., and M. Iles-Shih. In Impacts of Megaconferences on the Water Sector, AK Biswas and C Tortajada, eds., 15-68. London: Springer Verlag.
Transboundary conservation in the borderlands: What drives environmental change? 2009. Varady RG, and ER Ward. In Conservation of Shared Environments: Learning from the United States and Mexico,L López-Hoffman, ED McGovern, RG Varady, and KW Flessa, eds., 9–22. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Reports and working papers
Evaluation of the World Water Assessment Programme. 2015. Gerlak, AK, Megdal, SB, and RG Varady (team leader), in collab. with A Malhotra and J Vaessen (task manager). Paris: UNESCO. 127 + vi pp.
Improving integrated surface water and groundwater management in the United States: Three case studies of innovative groundwater governance approaches. 2015. Megdal, SB, AK Gerlak, RG Varady, and L-Y Huang. 2015. Report. Tucson: UA Water Resources Research Center. 53 pp.
Groundwater policy and governance. 2013. Varady, RG, F van Weert, SB Megdal, A Gerlak, C Abdalla Iskandar, and L House-Peters. Thematic Paper No. 5. Groundwater governance: A global framework for country action. GEF project 3726. 38 pp.
Guidance on links between water reclamation and reuse and regional growth. 2011. Scott, CA, A Browning-Aiken, KJ Ormerod, RG Varady, CD Mogollon, and C Tessmer. Report 6-16-1. WateReuse Research Foundation.