Menu Close

Vladimir Smakhtin

Former Director of the Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), United Nations University

Vladimir Smakhtin has 30 years of experience as a Researcher and Manager in the broad area of water resources with an emphasis on global and regional water scarcity and food security. He holds a PhD from the Russian Academy of Science, and worked at Rhodes University and CSIR in South Africa, and as a research program director at the CGIAR research Center -International Water Management Institute, headquartered in Sri Lanka. His experience spreads across agricultural and environmental water management, low-flow and drought analyses, assessment of basin development and climate change impacts on water availability and access, provision of hydrological information for data-poor regions, water-related disaster risk management. He initiated, managed or contributed to numerous research initiatives in over 20 countries worldwide, including the state programme for mitigating the consequences of Chernobyl Accident in Russia and Ukraine, development of Ecological Reserve methods in South Africa, a first ground–breaking analysis of ecosystem water requirements at the global scale, and numerous projects related to management of water resources variability through nature-based solutions and enhanced surface and groundwater storage. Vladimir authored and co-authored over 200 publications, and consulted for a number of national governments and international organisations, including Department of Water Affairs of South Africa, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, World Commission on Dams, WB, ADB, IUCN and UNEP. He has been an active promoter of environmentally sustainable water management globally through science and policy gatherings in over 60 countries.


  • –present
    Director of the Institute for Water, Environment and Health, United Nations University