About Us

The Institute of Water Policy was launched in 2008 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

We need closer collaboration to share expertise and experiences, pursue joint research projects and develop pragmatic, workable solutions…

The Institute of Water Policy will be set up under the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.  It will undertake policy research, to complement the investments in water R&D and the expanding water industry cluster here in Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 24 June 2008

IWP is part of the Lee Kuan Yew School for Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, recognised as the world’s number one university for water research.

IWP’s mission is to help improve water policy and governance in Asia through research, training, thought leadership and consulting. Recently, IWP has been refocusing its research to issues that are relevant to Singapore. 

Singapore and many other industrialised countries have well developed advanced, full-service water delivery systems. Yet, much of the world still lacks access to a safe and reliable water supply and sanitation system due to the mismanagement of water utilities, policy and program failures in the water sector, and the inability to integrate water security goals in policy-making at a regional or national level.

IWP undertakes independent research and engages in institutional and corporate partnerships to influence the discourse on water governance issues and make a difference in water governance and management.  

IWP receives funding from the Public Utilities Board and Tote Board amounting to SGD 2 million a year until 2019. It is currently in discussion with PUB for long term funding. It also successfully competed for local and international research grants from organisations such the Singapore Ministry of Education and National Research Foundation; Public Utilities Board (competitive grant); Vietnam’s National Foundation for Science and Technology Development; the United States National Science Foundation; and CGIAR.


IWP is led by Professor Eduardo Araral (Director) and Assistant Professor Leong Ching (Co- Director).


The centre has 4 Senior Research Fellows, 10 Research Fellows/Associates/Assistants, and 2 administrative staff. In addition, IWP works with 6 LKYSPP faculty members and has 13 adjunct faculty and researchers.

Amongst them, Visiting Professor Asit Biswas, founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico and recipient of the 2006 Stockholm Water Prize; and Michael Howlett, editor-in-chief of Policy Sciences journal. 


IWP’s four senior research fellows lead a number of the centre’s research projects. The Institute also seeks to nurture younger scholars through the School’s PhD program and internships.

IWP Senior Research Fellows


Research and Publications

IWP’s research explores the nature of challenges to water security, identifies smarter policies in the water sector, and evaluates the outputs and outcomes of investments and other interventions about water resources. The Institute’s many book and journal publications contribute to the academic dialogue on water governance but also have a strong practical component.

IWP’s research focuses on three main areas: water governance and behavioral studies, water economics and water science and technology.

Since the Institute’s founding, IWP researchers have carried out research projects on subjects including disaster governance; water reuse policies; and the effectiveness of foreign aid in the water supply and sanitation sector. Ongoing projects include research on uncertainty in policy design; water use efficiency in Singapore hotels; governance of the Mekong River Basin; and gender preferences for weather-related insurance among farmers in Bangladesh.

Policy and Societal Impact

Singapore is lauded for its success in water management and governance; this gives the centre unique and significant opportunities to shape the discourse on water policy in Asia.

IWP regularly participates in policy forums and responds to requests for policy-relevant research from ministries, donor organisations, NGOs, and firms. The Institute also undertakes advisory and consultancy roles with government agencies, development banks, NGOs, and other strategic stakeholders in a range of countries, including Singapore, Australia, Turkey, South Africa, India, China, Egypt and Brazil.

Since 2011, IWP has partnered with Singapore’s PUB to run the Temasek Foundation Water Leadership Programme, which has trained more than 170 middle- and upper-level water utilities managers, regulators, and others concerned with the governance of water utilities across Asia.