Zafar Adeel

Professor of Professional Practice


  • BSc, Civil Engineering, Univ. of Engg. & Tech, Lahore, Pakistan
  • MSc, Environmental Engineering, Iowa State Univ., USA
  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon Univ., USA


Adeel is interested in environmental policy formulation and governance in its broadest sense. His current research interests lie at the intersection of water security with the international development agenda, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He serves as the Series Editor for a book series by Springer: “Water Security in a New World.” He also serves on the editorial boards of Sustainability Science (Springer) and New Water Policy and Practice Journal (PSO). He has served with the United Nations for over 18 years with progressively increasing responsibilities in the international development and research environment. This includes a 10-year tenure as the Director of United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) in Hamilton, Canada. Adeel has helped develop networks of scientists in countries with water challenges, particularly those in Africa, Middle East and Asia. One such network on desertification has published eight books in the UNU Desertification Series. He was elected to serve as a Chair for a group called UN-Water (2010-2012), which coordinates international work of over 60 United Nations and international organizations working on water issues. He also co-chaired the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment team that produced the global desertification synthesis in 2005. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at the McMaster University.

Google Scholar Profile

Some of Adeel’s publications include:


Edited Journal Issues:

  • Current Opinions in Sustainable Science, Vol. 3 No. 6. 2011, Guest Editor
  • Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, Vol. 14 Supp. 1 2004, Special Issue: Focus on the International Year of Freshwater, Guest Editor

Research Papers:

  • Adeel, Z., 2018. Re-imagining Water (and Energy) Sharing in South Asia, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 27 Feb 2018.
  • Adeel, Z., 2017. A renewed focus on water security within the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, Sustain. Sci., 12:891-894.
  • Switzman, H., B. Salem, M.Gad, Z. Adeel, and P. Coulibaly, 2017. Conservation planning as an adaptive strategy for climate change and groundwater depletion in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt, Hydrogeol. J., (DOI 10.1007/s10040-017-1669-y).
  • Adeel, Z., 2014. Engaging and Incentivizing the Private Sector: An Emerging Opportunity for the Water World, New Water Policy and Practice Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, 20-25.
  • Adeel, Z., 2014. Knowledge Challenges for Policy Integration of Water and Energy Domains. Water Monographies II: Water & Energy. United Nations Office to support the Decade ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 / UN-Water Programme on Advocacy and Communication in the framework of the Decade, WCCE - World Council of Civil Engineers, Fundación Aquae.
  • Adeel, Z., 2014. Water, Food and Energy Security in Drylands: Challenges Triggered by Global Changes, International Drylands Development Commission.
  • Adeel, Z., and U. Safriel, 2008. Achieving Sustainability by Introducing Alternative livelihoods, Sustainability Science, Vol. 3 (1).
  • Safriel, U., and Z. Adeel, 2008. Development Paths of Drylands — Is Sustainability Achievable? Sustainability Science, Vol. 3 (1).
  • Adeel, Z., and R. Pomeroy, 2002. Assessment and management of mangrove ecosystems in developing countries, Trees, 16: 235-238.
  • Adeel, Z., 2002. The disaster of arsenic poisoning of groundwater in South Asia – a focus on research needs and UNU’s role, Global Environmental Change, 12(1): 69-72.
  • Adeel, Z. and M. Glantz, 2001. El Niño of the Century: Once Burnt, Twice Shy?, Global Environmental Change, 11(2): 171-174.
  • Adeel, Z., D.A. Edwards, and R.G. Luthy, 1995. Modeling transport of multiple organic compounds: Segregated transport-sorption/solubilization numerical technique, Water Resources Research, 31(8): 2035‑2045.
  • Edwards, D.A., Z. Adeel, and R.G. Luther. 1994. Distribution of nonionic surfactant and phenanthrene in a sediment/aqueous system, Environmental Science and Technology, 28(4): 1032-1042.
  • Adeel, Z., and A.D. Levine, 1994. Solubilization and methanogenesis of a particulate industrial waste: Impact of solids loading and temperature, Waste Management, 14(8): 693‑702.

Book Chapters:

  •  Adeel, Z., 2020. Ethical Dimensions of the Water-Related International Development Agenda, in Ethical Water Stewardship, Stefanovic, I.L., and Z. Adeel (Eds.), Springer Publisher, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Stefanovic, I.L., and Z. Adeel, 2020. Ethics of Shaping Water Futures, in Ethical Water Stewardship, Stefanovic, I.L., and Z. Adeel (Eds.), Springer Publisher, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Adeel, Z., 2017.  Managing Water, Energy, and Food for Long-Term Regional Security, in Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region, Amer, K.M., Z. Adeel, B. Böer, and W. Saleh (Eds.), Springer Publisher, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Adeel, Z., 2017. Water Security as the Centerpiece of the Sustainable Development Agenda, in The Human Face of Water Security, Devlaeminck, D., Z. Adeel, and R. Sandford (Eds.), Springer Publisher, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Adeel, Z., 2016. Placing Canada’s Water Policies in an International Context, in Water Policy and Governance in Canada, S. Renzetti and D.P. Dupont, Springer, The Netherlands.
  • Adeel, Z., and P. Newberg, 2016. The Role of International Development in Reimagining the Indus Basin, in Imagining Industan - Overcoming Water Insecurity in the Indus Basin, Adeel, Z. and R. Wirsing (Eds.), Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Adeel, Z., 2012. A Human Development Approach to Water Security, in The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue, United Nations University, Hamilton, Canada
  • Chociej, Z. and Z. Adeel, 2012. Legal and Ethical Dimensions of a Right to Water, in The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue, United Nations University, Hamilton, Canada
  • Adeel, Z., 2009. Societal Vulnerability to Desertification and Policy Response Options, in Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security – Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks, Brauch, H-G., U. Spring, P. Kameri-Mbote, C. Mesjasz, J. Grin, B. Chourou, and J. Birkmann (Eds), Hexagon Publishers, Germany.
  • Koshy, K., Z. Adeel, M. Lal, and M. Mataki, 2006. Impacts of Pollutants in the Asia-Pacific Region, in Global Change and Integrated Coastal Management – The Asia-Pacific Region, Nick Harvey (ed), Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Safriel, U. and Z. Adeel, 2005. Dryland systems, in Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Current State and Trends, Volume 1, by Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Island Press, Washington DC, USA.
  • Adeel, Z., and N. Miyazaki, 2005. Overview of global marine and coastal challenges, in Mankind and the Oceans, by Miyazaki N., Z. Adeel, and Kouichi Owada (Eds.), UNU Press, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Adeel, Z., 2004. Mangrove action plan, in Mangrove Management and Conservation – Present and Future, by Marta Vannucci (Ed.), UNU Press, Tokyo.
  • Adeel, Z., J.W. Mercer, and C.R. Faust, 2000. Models for describing multiphase flow and transport of contaminants, in Kaluarachchi, J. (Ed.) Groundwater Contamination by Organic Pollutants – Analysis and Remediation, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, USA.

Policy Reports:


Future courses may be subject to change.