Research and Projects

Water Security

The core of our research focus and philosophy is the ability to access adequate quantities of water of an acceptable quality for human wellbeing and economic activity.


The institute’s research is organised into four clusters.

Behavioural Studies

Behavioural studies explore the activities and interactions among human beings to create policy that can bring about change through desirable behaviours. Projects include:

• Experiment on smart showers in Singapore
• Experimental studies on willingness to drink recycled water
• Experiments on water consumption using rebates among households

Water Governance

IWP’s research examines the political, social, economic and administrative systems that influence water resource use and management. Projects include:

• Effectiveness of foreign aid on water supply
• Megatrends in water
• Governance of river basins and water diplomacy

Water Economics

IWP takes various approaches to research, from institutional economics, behavioural economics and experimental economics. Projects include:

• Survey on water demand in Singapore (households, hotels, industries) 
• Hotel water-use efficiency in Singapore
• Economic evaluation of sustainable drainage

IWP’s work in this area focuses on the interaction of science, engineering and public policy. Projects include:

• Flood hydrology and the effectiveness of engineering interventions 
• River catchment water, sediment, nutrients and pollutant flows  
• Extreme floods and droughts: probability, frequency and trends. 

Other policy engagement

Since 2011, IWP has partnered with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on the Temasek Foundation Water Leadership Programme, an intensive two-week Executive Education programme designed for water utilities, regulators and urban policymakers in Asia.

In 2015, IWP partnered with the Lee Kuan Yew School Master of Public Affairs (MPA) programme for the Governance Study Project on “Ganga Rejuvenation: Governance Challenges and Policy Options.” First-year MPA students engaged directly with stakeholders, government agencies, NGOs and other actors and developed policy recommendations to address pressing issues faced by the region.

In addition, IWP regularly organises and participates in workshops and forums with policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders. More details on these events can be found on our News and Events page.